Aerate: The process of perforating the soil to allow air, water, and nutrients to penetrate the roots, promoting healthier growth.
Annual: Plants that complete their life cycle in one year, from germination to seed production.
Buffer Zone: A protective or separating planting, often used between differing uses or areas in a landscape.
Canopy: The upper layer or habitat zone, formed by mature tree crowns and including other biological organisms.
Deciduous: Plants that shed their leaves annually, typically during the fall.
Drip Line: An imaginary boundary that represents the outermost reaches of a tree’s canopy from where water drips onto the ground.
Espalier: A way of training a tree or shrub against a wall or fence in a flat plane.
Focal Point: A specific element or area in a design that draws visual attention.
Gazebo: A freestanding, roofed structure, usually open on the sides, providing shade and a place to relax.
Ground Cover: Low-growing plants that spread across the ground, reducing soil erosion and suppressing weeds.
Hardscape: The non-living elements of landscaping, such as patios, walls, and walkways.
Hedge: A dense row of shrubs or low trees that form a boundary or provide privacy.
Hydrozoning: The practice of grouping plants with similar water requirements together.
Irrigation: The artificial application of water to land to assist in the growth of crops and vegetation.
Island Bed: A planting bed, usually filled with flowers or shrubbery, surrounded by grass or other ground cover.
Knot Garden: A formal, square garden divided by intersecting paths, with plants (often herbs) filling the squares.
Lattice: An openwork structure of crossed strips or slats, often used as screens or to support climbing plants.
Mulch: Material, such as decomposed leaves or bark, spread around a plant to retain moisture, suppress weeds, and improve soil conditions.
Native Plants: Plants that have developed, occur naturally, or existed for many years in an area.
Organic Gardening: A method of gardening in harmony with nature, without the use of synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.
Perennial: Plants that live for more than two years, producing flowers and seeds over multiple seasons.
Pergola: A garden structure with a flat top and usually horizontal trelliswork supported on columns or posts, often covered with climbing plants.
Quickset Hedge: A hedge made by planting live cuttings directly into the ground.
Rain Garden: A depression that collects rainwater runoff, using plants to absorb the water and promote filtration.
Retaining Wall: A structure designed to restrain soil at a different elevation.
Specimen Plant: A plant grown by itself for ornamental effect, rather than being massed with others as in a border.
Terrace: A leveled surface or series of surfaces in a sloping garden, often made of stone or timber.
Topiary: The art or practice of clipping shrubs or trees into ornamental shapes.
Underplanting: The practice of planting groundcovers or other low-growing plants beneath taller plants like trees or shrubs.
Vertical Garden: A garden that grows vertically using a support system, often used in urban settings.
Vista: A designed view in a landscape, often framed by trees, shrubs, or structures.
Windbreak: A barrier, often made of trees or shrubs, designed to protect against the wind.
Water Feature: A design element, such as a fountain, pond, or waterfall, that incorporates water.
Xeriscaping: A landscaping method developed especially for arid and semiarid climates that utilizes water-conserving techniques.
Zen Garden: A type of Japanese garden designed for contemplation and meditation, often with rocks, gravel, and simple, carefully placed plants.