Glossary of Landscaping Terms

Listed below are some of the most commonly used terms throughout the landscaping and landscape design industry. If you have any questions about the terminology, please feel free to contact us.

Landscape Design

Creating nature and culture by bridging the gap between natural and man-made elements.

Landscape Designer

A professional who plans and develops landscape projects for residential and commercial properties.

Landscape Construction

Creating and installing man-made garden structures, such as patios, ponds, gazebos, and irrigation systems.

Landscaping Contracting

The profession of combining art and technology to plan, construct, manage, and maintain a landscape and garden.

Landscape Maintenance

Activities designed to keep a landscape looking healthy, clean, and beautiful.

Landscaping

The process of altering the existing design of a yard or piece of land to make it more visually appealing.

Garden

A piece of land used to grow different vegetables, fruit, flowers, and plants.

Irrigation

A system that supplies water to plants through pipes or sprinklers.

Artificial Turf

Artificially made fibres that are designed to look like natural grass.

Hardscape

Natural components in a landscape, such as plants and soil.

Plantscape

Plants grouped in meaningful pattern throughout a landscape.

Aeration

Creating tiny slices or holes in compact soil to increase water and oxygen levels.

Compost

A soil product made from decomposed garden material. Ideal for adding nutrients and encouraging growth in gardens.

Fertilizer

A material rich in nutrients, such as nitrogen and phosphates, that is added to gardens to feed plants.

Mulch

A material that can be used to cover soil to help maintain moisture and to prevent weed growth.

Topsoil

The very top layer of soil, usually 2-8", that is rich in nutrients.

Pergola

A larger open framework structure that can provide shade over outdoor living spaces.

Gazebo

Free-standing, covered garden structures that are usually open on the sides with solid or lattice half walls.

Vertical Garden

A wall that is partially or completely covered with greenery and includes soil and a water delivery system. Also known as a green wall or living wall.

Retaining Wall

A wall that is usually made from stones, bricks, or concrete and is designed to help stabilize slopes and prevent excessive erosion.

Landscape Lighting

Illuminating outdoor spaces, such as private gardens, for enhancing features or for safety purposes.

Grading

The process of changing the slope level of an area of soil to allow for proper drainage and functionality.

Terracing

The process of creating multiple level areas in a stair-like fashion through the use of retaining walls.

Macronutrients

Essential elements (nitrogen, phosphorus, magnesium, sulfur, and calcium) that are needed in large amounts to encourage healthy plant growth.

Micronutrients

Essential elements (iron, copper, zinc, cobalt, chlorine, molybdenum, and boron) that are needed in very small amounts to encourage healthy plant growth.

Planter

A defined area used to grow plants. It is most commonly raised and made from wood, plastic, or concrete.

Pruning

Cutting certain parts of a plant to help control size, health, and appearance.

Sod

Small areas of turf often used to start a new lawn or to transplant in a new location.

Topiary

Plant growth that is shaped by pruning or shearing to create decorative designs.

Arbor

An open framework structure, often made from wood and shaped like an arch, that vines and plants can climb.

Trellis

A garden structure designed to support climbing vines and plants.

Raised Garden Bed

Garden structures (often bordered by large wood planks) in which the soil is built up higher than the surrounding earth.

Ground Cover

Low-growing plants that create a blanket appearance over a space.

Water Garden

Cultivating plants in water.

Edging

A line used to create visual interest by separating one area of the garden from another.

Rock Garden

A style of garden for growing mountain plants, cactus, succulents, and other plants that thrive in rocky environments.

Water Feature

Indoor or outdoor decor that incorporates water, such as fountains, pools, ponds, waterfalls, and streams.

Cascade

Water falling in a series or steps, usually over a rock formation.

Pondless Waterfall

A waterfall without the presence of a pond.