You are on page 1of 16

LANDSCAPE ARCHITECTURE GLOSSARY Aa Acidity The characteristic of soils that have a pH level of less than 7, which is suited to plants

that thrive in sour soil as opposed to alkaline or sweet soil. Aerobic Pertaining to an organism that needs atmospheric oxygen to thrive, used especially in reference to compost piles. Effective compost bins promote an environment in which such organisms thrive. Aesthetic (adj.) Pertaining to the appreciation of beauty or good taste; visually pleasing. The corresponding noun is "aesthetics," which means the study of the appreciation of beauty. Alkalinity The characteristic of soils with a pH level that is greater than 7, which is suitable for plants that thrive in a "sweet" (alkaline) soil, as opposed to a "sour" or acid soil. Amendment An element added to the soil, such as compost, peat moss, or fertilizer, to improve its capacity to support plant life. While fertilizer improves soil by adding nutrients only, amendments such as peat moss improve soil by making its texture or drainage more conducive to plant health. Peat moss adds no nutrients to soil. Meanwhile, compost enhances soil both through adding nutrients and through improving texture and drainage. Anaerobic Pertaining to organisms, such as bacteria, that can live in the absence of atmospheric oxygen. The term is often used to refer to such organisms living in a compost bin and influencing the quality of its decomposition; it also refers to the conditions under which such organisms thrive, conditions that are considered undesirable. Arbor An open framework designed to offer a shady resting place in a garden or park, often made of rustic work or latticework which serves as a support on which climbers may grow or on which creepers may be trained. Arboriculture The art, science, technology and business of tree care. Arborist A professional who practices arboriculture. Bb Balance (landscape design terminology) Refers to the consistency of visual attraction, or lack thereof. Consistent visual attraction is achieved

through symmetry; if the designers intention is to avoid the monotony of balance, asymmetrical plans will be implemented. Balled and bur lapped Plants shipped to the consumer after having been planted, dug up and wrapped. Balled refers to the rootball which has been dug up; burlapped refers to the wrapping material traditionally used for transporting tree and shrub deliveries. Bare root Plants shipped to the consumer without having been planted in soil, rendering them effectively dormant, are said to be bare root. Rose bushes are sometimes shipped as bare root plants, for instance. Basket weave brick pattern when laying bricks -- for a brick patio, for instance -- various designs, or patterns can be used. One of these patterns is known as "basket weave"; another popular brick pattern is called "herringbone." For a graphic illustration of what the basic weave design looks like, see the picture at the bottom of this page. The basket weave pattern is essentially composed of pairs of bricks. Picture a square area in which 8 bricks are to be laid (2 columns and 2 rows, consisting of 4 pairs of bricks). It would run as follows, starting from the upper left corner and ending at the lower right: 2 bricks standing vertically, 2 bricks horizontally, 2 bricks horizontally, 2 bricks vertically. Bedding plant Plant (usually an annual) grouped with others en masse to produce the maximum in visual appeal, A landscape designer selects bedding plants with regard to color, scale, line, form and texture in relation to the accompanying plants. Biodegradable Capable of being decomposed back into the soil by biological agents, especially bacteria; usually used to refer to items that are to be disposed of. Environmentally sound landscaping often takes into account whether materials are biodegradable. For instance, plastic might be rejected as a material for mulching because it is not biodegradable. Bonsai The historically oriental art of dwarfing trees by careful root and stem pruning coupled with root restriction. The term is from the Japanese for "potted plant," because such trees are often kept in containers. Broadleaf Having relatively broad rather than needle-like or scale-like leaves. "Broadleaf" is often applied to lawn and garden weeds fitting that description, to separate them from other weeds for purposes of categorization. One also refers to evergreen plants such as rhododendron as "broadleaf," to distinguish them from needle-bearing evergreens. Burl A large rounded outgrowth on the trunk or branch of a tree, often used decoratively as a veneer in woodcraft.

Cc Cabling The use of cables to stabilize a tree that displays a tendency to lean in one direction or another, rather than growing straight. Often employed by arborists or other tree service professionals. Also Known As: bracing Cambium The layer of cells lying between the wood and bark of a stem from which new bark and wood cells originate. Cement (masonry term) The binding agent in concrete and mortar. Limestone is mined, crushed, mixed with other ingredients, and heated to produce cement. Chilling requirement A requirement for fruit and nut trees, measured in terms of the total hours needed during a dormant or winter period in which the temperature is below 45F and above 32F. Meeting the chilling requirement will result in normal growth and bloom in the succeeding growing season. Climber Plant that climbs on its own, using tendrils or some other method (such as the adventitious roots known as holdfasts) to secure itself to objects. Climbers are often supplied with arbors upon which to climb. Vines are subdivided into the categories of climbers and creepers. Cold frame An unheated outdoor structure composed of a wooden or concrete framework and covered with glass or clear plastic, used for the process of hardening off seedlings. Commensal Applied to pests which, while not truly parasitic, do partake of the same food as another. Often applied specifically to rodent pests of the landscape, which partake of human food. In an integrated pest management system for the landscape, commensal pests will be discouraged from arriving by making sure food is kept in well-sealed containers. Compaction Applied to soil which, deprived of proper aeration, suffers from excessive water runoff and poor conditions for plant rooting. In reference to compost bins, compaction occurs under anaerobic conditions. Companion planting The gardening practice of planting one plant in proximity to another, due to the benefits it bestows on the other plant. Organic gardeners, for instance, often juxtapose plants because the one will have insect-repelling qualities that benefit the other, obviating the need to use chemical pesticides. Sometimes, the benefits are shared, making for a symbiotic relationship.

Complete fertilizer A fertilizer that contains nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium. A fertilizer listed as "10-10-10," for instance, would be a complete fertilizer. But a fertilizer listed as "10-0-10" would be incomplete, the middle zero indicating the absence of phosphorus in the fertilizer. Compost A mixture of decaying organic matter, as from leaves and manure, used as an amendment to improve soil structure and provide nutrients. Compost is located in a compost pile or "compost heap," which may or may not be contained in a structure called a compost bin. The composting process is largely the result of the activity of aerobic organisms. Compost bin A structure built to create compost, designed so as to facilitate the decomposition of organic matter through proper aeration and moisture retention. With the proper combination of air and moisture, ideal conditions are produced for the activity of aerobic organisms responsible for the high temperatures that transform the organic materials into compost. Concrete (masonry term) A product composed of cement, sand and gravel or other coarse aggregate. When water is mixed in with this product, it activates the cement, which is the element responsible for binding the mix together to form one solid object. Concrete is sometimes used in the construction of a hardscape design. Conifer (arboricultural term) Literally, a cone-bearer. Trees that are conifers reproduce by forming a cone rather than a flower as a container for their seeds. Control joint (masonry term) Groove inserted into a concrete surface to "control" cracking. Essentially, the groove is an intentional, controlled crack placed in the concrete to preclude the concrete's cracking on its own, in an uncontrolled manner. By placing a groove in concrete before it cures, any stress the concrete will be subjected to subsequently will not produce haphazard cracks that will be a landscaping eyesore. With a trowel or jointer, the mason can cut an even control joint that will be aesthetically pleasing. Control joints can also be cut into existing concrete surfaces using a saw with a masonry blade attached. Core aeration The process of mechanically removing plugs of soil and thatch from a lawn to reduce soil compaction. Corm For certain plants, a protuberant stem growing underground that stores food for potential roots, leaves and flowers. Cotyledon leaves Leaves of the embryo of a seed plant, which upon germination, either remain in the seed or emerge, enlarge, and

become green. Also called false leaves or seed leaves, contradistinction to the first true leaves which develop later.


Cover crop A crop that is primarily planted not to be harvested for food but to prevent erosion, control weeds and improve soil quality while the garden is otherwise dormant. A cover crop is often ploughed or tilled under before the next food crop is planted, in which cases the "cover crop" is used as a soil amendment and is synonymous with "green manure crop." In its capacity to control weeds it is designatedliving mulch." From the landscape designers perspective, the choice between various cover crops could be influenced by aesthetics, since the cover crop is, after all, taking the place of garden plants in between growing seasons. As such, it should be selected with an eye to its visual impact, in addition to practical considerations. Also Known As: green manure crop Creeper A vine plant that needs to be artificially guided and secured to a support (trained), if it is to grow upright. Also Known As: trailing plant Dd Deciduous (arboricultural term) Shedding foliage at the end of the growing season; used especially in reference to trees. Dethatching The mechanical removal from a lawn of the layer of dead turfgrass tissue known as "thatch." Dioecious Said of a plant species for which the male and female reproductive organs are carried on separate individual plants of the same species. When a plant species is dioecious, at least one male plant must be present in a group for the fruit-bearing female plants to be pollinated. Pronunciation: diEshus (adjective) Also Known As: diecious Dormancy (applied to plants) The temporary diminution or cessation of a plants growth, usually during winter in the temperate zone. (applied to the land itself) The state of the land during periods in which no primary crop is being grown. Note, however, that a secondary, or "cover" crop may be grown on the land during periods of dormancy. Dry wall In reference to stone walls, a dry wall is a wall of stones that is not held together by mortar. Ee Edging A line of demarcation that creates visual interest in a landscape by separating one segment from another. Also Known As: border

Edging plant A compact plant used to form an edging on a landscape. Also Known As: border plant Evergreen Having foliage that persists and remains green throughout the year. Note that not all conifer trees are evergreen, despite the popular association between the two terms. The tamarack or larch, for instance, is a conifer, but it is not an evergreen. Ff Finial A small, ornamental, terminal feature at the top of a gable, lamp, lamppost, stone wall etc. Float (masonry term) A tool with a handle fastened to a flat piece, used to finish a concrete surface. Using an arc-shaped, sweeping motion, one smooths over bumps in the concrete surface with a float. Focalization(landscape design terminology) The forcing of the viewers perspective to a central or focal point. The use of symmetry or balance creates a more intense focalization, while asymmetrical designs soften or even avoid focalization. Forcing The process of causing a plant to grow or flower before its natural season. Also Known As: vernalization Form (landscape design terminology) The shape of a plant, e.g., upright, oval, columnar, spreading, broad spreading, or weeping. Friable Pertaining to soil that has the crumbly texture ideal for the root growth of plants. Fumigate To use a toxic gas to control burrowing rodent pests. Gg Gazebo A small roofed outbuilding erected for outdoor dining and entertaining, often octagonal, with open, screened, or latticework (q.v.) sides Girdling (arboricultural term) The choking of a tree branch either accidentally through a material applied by a human, such as a wrap used in grafting, or through a vine that has vigorously enwrapped a tree, such as bittersweet. Grafting (arboricultural term) Uniting a shoot or bud (the scion) with a plant (the rootstock) that is already established by insertion or by placing in close contact. One danger of grafting is girdling.

Green manure crop A crop that is planted when a garden is otherwise in a state of dormancy and that is not grown for its own sake but rather to be ploughed or tilled under before the regular growing season. Like compost, green manure crops serve as a soil amendment. Ground cover A low-lying plant, usually requiring minimal maintenance and suitable for covering large expanses of ground on the landscape. Hh Hardening off The process, undertaken in spring in the temperate zone, of preparing a plant started indoors for the change in environmental conditions it will encounter when permanently moved outdoors. The plant is hardened off during a transitional period in which it is left outside during daylight hours only and in an area where it can be shaded and protected from wind. A cold frame is ideal for this process. Watering is reduced as well. Gradually, the plant is allowed exposure to an increasing amount of sunlight. Hardscape The inanimate elements of landscaping, especially any masonry work. For instance, stone walls, brick patios and tile paths would all be considered part of the hardscape. But by extension, anything used in landscaping that is not part of the softscape can be considered a hardscape element, including home accents such as water fountains and, yes, even pink flamingos! Heading back Pruning off the terminal or head growth of a plant, especially a tree. Heading back is a general term, whose subcategories include "topping" and "pollarding." Topping is performed on large old trees as an inexpensive alternative to their full removal. Pollarding, in contrast, is performed for aesthetic reasons. Pollarding begins when a tree is young, and continues throughout the life of the tree. Also Known As: pollarding, topping (note that "topping" (q.v.) has acquired a rather negative connotation) Herbaceous Pertaining to plants with a non-woody stem whose aboveground growth dies back in winter in the temperate zone. However, do not confuse "herbaceous" with "annual": an annual plant dies altogether at the end of the growing season, both above the ground and below. Horticulture The science or art of cultivating fruits, vegetables, flowers, or ornamental plants. Humus Organic matter partly or wholly decomposed. When its total decomposition is hastened by human intervention in order to use it as a soil amendment, it is virtually synonymous with compost.

Hybrid plant A plant produced by impregnating the pistil of one species with the pollen of another. Also Known As: hybridized plant Ii Indigenous plant A plant native to the locale in question. Indigenous plants are sometimes allowed to co-exist with lawn grass, ground covers, or garden plants, especially if they are not invasive. Indeed, some landscaping themes favours indigenous plants, as in wildflower gardens. Integrated pest management The management of pest problems that involves use of the full spectrum of control measures in a coordinated, integrated and foresighted manner. A cornerstone of IPM is that taking preventive steps to preclude a pest problem is preferable to waiting for pests to arrive and then having to eradicate them. Invasive plant Unwanted plants that exhibit a tendency to spread out of control, once introduced, often thereby producing a monoculture that discourages the growth of other plant varieties. Landscapers need to control or eradicate such plants that invade the lawn or garden. Invertebrate An animal without a backbone, e.g., an insect; animal pests are usually categorized as invertebrate pests or vertebrate pests. Jj Jointed Possessing a stem with nodes. Jointer (masonry term) Tool used to make control joints on a newly poured concrete surface. Kk Knot garden A symmetrically-designed garden, using geometric patterns, in which control is exercised by the precise use of edging plants. Shrubbery often plays a dominant role in knot gardens, since it can be pruned to conform to precise measurements. Knot gardens gained popularity with the nobility during the European Renaissance and are especially associated with the grand English estates. Ll Landscape architecture The profession that practices the art of arranging or modifying the features of a landscape, an urban area, etc., for aesthetic or practical purposes. That is, the "landscape architect" practices "landscape design," although non-professionals often use the

terms interchangeably. Also Known As: landscape design (The American Society of Landscape Architects, however, asserts that the terminology "landscape architect" denotes a higher level of skill, usually reinforced by a degree, than does "landscape designer." The University of Greenwich School of Architecture and Landscaping also draws a distinction: "The relationship between Landscape Design and Landscape Architecture is equivalent to the relationship between the laws and lawyers.") Landscape design The art of arranging or modifying the features of a landscape, an urban area, etc., for aesthetic or practical purposes. Often divided into hardscape design and softscape design. Landscape gardening The decoration of land, as by planting trees and shrubs and designing gardens. Used especially to refer to residential landscaping work. Latticework An open framework made of strips of metal, wood, or similar material overlapped or overlaid in a regular, usually crisscross pattern. Also Known As: lattice, fretwork Leader (botany) The primary stem of a plant, usually the top stem. Used primarily to refer to trees. Also Known As: apex Limbing (arboricultural term) Removing unwanted limbs from a tree. Large scaffold (q.v.) branches hanging dangerously over a house, for instance, often need to be removed. This work is best performed by an arborist or other tree service professional. But the term "limbing" is properly applied to the removal of any limbs from any tree, regardless of size. Lime The rock powder used to raise the pH of soils high in acidity, thereby making them more alkaline. Line (landscape design terminology) Refers to the fact that the viewers eye movement or flow can be governed by the arrangement of plants and their borders. Eye movement is unconsciously influenced by the way plant groupings fit or flow together, both on the horizontal and vertical planes. Living mulch A cover crop plant that is planted around and between the primary plants in a garden to control weeds, prevent erosion, facilitate water penetration and improve the soil. Such plants are sometimes used in companion planting. Loam A soil possessing an ideal mixture of clay, sand and humus for growing plants.

Mm Masonry Construction achieved through the use of units of various natural or artificial mineral products, such as stone, brick, or concrete. The term can be applied to the craft itself or to the finished product. Microclimate The climate of a small, specific place within an area as contrasted with the climate of the entire area. The climate of the entire area is indicated by where a region lies in the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone (simply "zone" forshort). Beginning gardeners and landscapers should try to follow USDA Plant Hardiness Zone guidelines. But growing plants not suited to your region's climate is sometimes possible, if one knows how to exploit a microclimate. For instance, a sunny nook in your yard that is sheltered from harsh winds and frosts is an excellent area for experimenting with plants otherwise considered too tender for your region. Let's say you're in zone 5, and the plant you'd like to grow is supposedly hardy only to zone 6. Try growing it in the microclimate of your sunny, sheltered nook. Success isn't guaranteed, but you will have increased the likelihood of the plant's survival considerably. Monoculture The use of land for growing only one type of practice of monoculture on a landscape thus has an effect opposite of biodiversity, and can sometimes be responsible for of plant diseases. However, the planting of bedding plants en widely encountered example of a monocultural use of land. plant. The that is the the spread masse is a

Mortar (masonry term) A product composed of cement and sand. When water is mixed in with this product, the binding element, cement, is activated. Distinguish from "concrete," which acts in a similar way but which contain coarse aggregate which is bound together by the cement. Concrete can stand alone, while mortar is used to hold brick or stone together, for example, to construct a hardscape design feature. Mortared wall A stone wall in which the stones are held together by mortar. Mulch A covering placed around plants or covering the ground in lieu of plants, to prevent the growth of weeds. If placed around plants, mulch provides additional benefits, including the diminution of erosion and water loss, and the regulation of soil temperature. In addition, upon decomposition (for organic mulches), mulches serve as soil amendments. Nn

Naturalized plant A plant established as a part of the flora of a locale other than its place of origin. When a plant naturalizes in an area, this can be either a "good" or a "bad" thing, depending on your opinion of the plant. For instance, when we buy an exotic bulb plant that has a pretty flower and plant this in our gardens, we're delighted if the plant naturalizes. Sometimes, however, exotic plants that become naturalized later come to be looked upon as nuisances. Tenacious enough to spread without humankind's help -- and perhaps even in spite of our attempts to eradicate them -- such naturalized plants tend to acquire a pejorative designation: namely, "invasive." An example of such a plant in North America and the U.K. is Japanese knotweed, an Asian import. Neutral Pertaining to a soil having a pH value of 7, i.e., neither acidic nor alkaline. Nitrogen-fixer Any cover crop (of the legume family) whose roots are colonized by certain bacteria that extract nitrogen from the air and convert or fix it into a form required for their growth. When the bacteria are done with this nitrogen, it becomes available to the cover crop itself. When the cover crop is tilled under, the nitrogen becomes available to your plants. Node The place on a plants stem from which leaves or branches grow. Likewise, on the branches themselves, the place from which leaves, buds or other branches grow. NPK Acronym for nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium, the three nutrients that compose a complete fertilizer. Oo Open-pollinated Pertaining to a plant that is pollinated without human agency. Also Known As: non-hybrid plant pH A measure of the acidity or alkalinity of a soil, numerically equal to 7 for neutral soils, increasing with increasing alkalinity and decreasing with increasing acidity. The pH scale commonly in use ranges from 0 to 14. Pergola An arbor treated architecturally, as with stone columns. Pistillate (plant reproduction terminology) literally, bearing pistils. Pistillate plant parts are "female": i.e., they bear ovules and produce seeds.

Plant taxonomy In general, a system of classification for plants. Specifically, we use the plant taxonomy developed by Swedish naturalist Carolus (Carl) Linnaeus (1707-1778). Improving on the unwieldy systems of his predecessors, Linnaeus simplified plant taxonomy through the "binomial" system (literally, "two names"). Linnaeus' system uses one Latin name to indicate the genus, and another Latin name to indicate the specific epithet. Together, the genus and the specific epithet comprise the "species." Thus, for example, our plant taxonomy classifies the plant, bittersweet nightshade as Solanum dulcamara, where the first Latin name is for the genus (nightshade), and the second name is for the specific epithet (bittersweet). Notes: 1. The species is a subset of the genus. 2. The genus name begins with a capital letter; the specific epithet begins with a lower-case letter. 3. When we translate from Latin to English, we reverse the order of the names, putting the specific epithet name before the genus name. 4. We can elaborate further on the species in some cases, which is why sometimes you'll see a third name. In such cases, we're simply getting more specific, accounting for variation within a species. Most commonly, this third name is a cultivar, and it will appear in quotation marks. 5. When you see a genus name, followed by the letter "x," followed by a specific epithet, this is an indication that the plant is a cross between two different plant species -- a "hybrid." Pp Pollarding (arboricultural term) To cut a tree back nearly to the trunk, so as to produce a dense mass of branches for aesthetic purposes. Pollarding begins on young trees, and the process is repeated throughout the life of the tree. Procumbent Trailing along the ground; used to refer to plants that cannot grow upright unless aided by humans through training. Also Known As: trailing Proportion (landscape design terminology) the sense or requirement that the size of the individual components or groups of components in a landscape fit into the whole landscape harmoniously. One way to achieve proportion is through proper use of transition, applied to the size of the respective components. A landscape that fails to convey good proportion is one that is marred by abrupt transitions. Rr

Rhizome A horizontal stem, usually growing under the ground, that often sends out roots and shoots from its nodes. Also Known As: rootstock, rootstalk Rhythm (landscape design terminology) The quality of a landscape design in which the illusion of motion has been created through the arrangement of landscaping elements. For instance, the viewer's perspective can be led beyond the foreground to a more distant part of the landscape. Rootstock Root or part of a root used for plant propagation. In reference to the process of grafting, the rootstock is that part of a grafted plant that supplies the roots. Also Known As: rootstalk Ss Scaffold branch (arboricultural term) One of the primary limbs radiating from the trunk of a tree, from which all subordinate branches stem. Scion (arboricultural term) The detached shoot containing buds from a woody plant, used in grafting. The scion is grafted onto the rootstock. Screed (masonry term) A straight board used to even off the surface of sand or freshly poured concrete. The board is usually slid across the tops of the form boards holding the sand or concrete. In this process, sand or concrete remaining above the level of the forms is moved to areas in which the sand or concrete level is too low, or else simply removed as excess. Sheet composting The technique of spreading organic materials over a garden before they have thoroughly decomposed, then tilling them under to achieve subsequent decomposition. Those who havent the time to manage a compost bin, in which organic materials can be decomposed thoroughly, sometimes employ this technique. Shrub (arboricultural term) Low woody plant, usually with multiple shoots or stems from a base (height of 15 feet or less). A planting of shrubs is called shrubbery. Also Known As: bush (especially a shrub with branches rising from or near the root; but "bush" can also refer to a cluster of shrubs, as in a "thicket") Softscape The animate, horticultural elements of landscaping, i.e., plants. Softscape elements are complemented by hardscape elements, such as stone walls, tile patios and brick walkways. Staminate (plant reproduction terminology) Literally, bearing stamens. Staminate plant parts, or stamens are "male": i.e., they produce pollen.

Stolon A shoot that bends to the ground or that grows horizontally above the ground and produces roots and shoots at the nodes; often used in describing the botany of lawn grasses. Rhizomes, by contrast, dwell underground. Systemic poison An insecticide mixed in a plants soil and drawn up by its roots to its stem and leaves, where it will be ingested by the pest that it is designed to kill. Although the landscaper adhering to an integrated pest management philosophy would prefer to repel insects altogether, the use of a systemic poison is at least preferable to spraying. By the time spraying is carried out, significant plant damage may already have occurred. Tt Tendril A twisting, threadlike structure by which a true climber, such as a grape or cucumber, grasps an object for support. Texture (landscape design terminology) The perceived surface quality of an object. The texture of a plant's foliage or bloom can be perceived as coarse, medium or fine. Thatch The layer of dead turfgrass tissue between the green vegetation and the soil surface that must be removed, or dethatched, to maintain lawn health. Thatch is derived from stems, leaves, stolons, rhizomes and roots. Topiary (arboricultural term) Of or characterized by the pruning of live shrubs or trees into decorative shapes, as of animals. Topping (arboricultural term) To cut a tree back nearly to the trunk. Topping is sometimes used as a less expensive alternative to the full removal of large old trees. It therefore has taken on a utilitarian connotation. In contrast, "pollarding" begins on young trees and is performed for aesthetic, not utilitarian reasons. Pollarding is an ongoing, artistic process; topping is a one-time, desperate action. Transition (landscape design terminology) Gradual change achieved by the manipulation of the basic design elements of color, scale, line, form and texture. Tree (arboriculture term) Woody plant with one main trunk and a rather distinct and elevated head. If not altered through human intervention, a true tree, such as the elm tree, will generally reach a height of 15 feet or more. Uu

Unity (landscape design terminology) The effective use of elements in a design to convey a theme. Unity is achieved by implementing a design consistently over a landscape, through mass planting or repetition. Whereas balance (q.v.) is a term of comparison between two segments of a landscape, unity pertains to the overall picture of a landscape. Unity has been achieved when the viewer senses that all the individual elements of a landscape fit together to form a coherent theme. Also Known As: harmony Vv Variegated Applied to a leaf which is two-toned, i.e., blotched or bordered with a lighter color than that on the rest of the plant. Vernalization Providing plants prematurely and artificially with the warmer temperatures they require to grow, forcing (q.v.) them to bloom earlier in the season than would normally happen. Also Known As: forcing Vertebrate An animal with a backbone, i.e., a mammal, bird, fish, reptile, or amphibian. Animal pests are usually categorized as either invertebrate pests or vertebrate pests. Vine A plant that is either a climber (q.v.) or a creeper (q.v.). Ww Woody Characterized by hard plant stems and having buds that survive above ground in winter. Xx Xeriscaping Landscaping designed specifically for areas that are susceptible to drought. Derived from the Greek "xeros," meaning dry, it is literally dry landscaping. Pronunciation: ZERisCAPEing Zz Zone The full wording for "zone" would be "USDA Plant Hardiness Zone." The United States and southern Canada comprise 11 of these zones: that is, regions based on a 10 degree Fahrenheit difference in the average annual minimum temperature. To put it in layman's terms, the higher the number, the warmer the climate for gardening in that region. For instance, parts of northern Minnesota are considered to be in zones 2 and 3; but central and southern Florida lie in zones 9-11. The bulk of the U.S.A. lies in zones 4-8. It is standard practice for seed dealers and nurseries to label their products according to their zones -- that is, in what zones


be successful at growing those particular plants. Landscaping enthusiasts plan their gardens carefully, and part of that planning involves consulting USDA Plant Hardiness Zone maps. Growing plants not suited to your region's climate is sometimes possible, but not recommended for beginners. Those experienced in gardening and landscaping, however, often make use of what are known as microclimates.