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Plant Happy!

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Laural Landscapes | P.O. Box 4882 | Walnut Creek, California 94596 | ph: 925.274.0782 | Bonded, Insured, Licensed #813304
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Glossary - Landscape Design Terms

ACCENT:
Using the placement of plant(s) or object(s) to bring attention to a specific area.  Like frosting on a cake.

ACIDIC SOIL:
Soil with a PH level less than 7.0.

ALKALINE SOIL:
Soil with a PH level more than 7.0.

ANCHORS:
A plant, object or structure with mass enough to “anchor” a point in the landscape.  Anchoring can be done through characteristics of size, quantity, color, texture, scent, and sound.

ANNUAL:
Flowering plants that “live it up” all in one season.  Often they are of vibrant colors.

ARBOR:
A structure in a garden that can be a destination, sign post, frame for plants to caress and grow upon and where people and animals can rest under.  It can be a combination of these things.  Materials used can be anything including:  wood, metal, driftwood.

ARCADE:
A walkway with a ceiling.  Natures Cathedral is when trees or other plants are used to create the vaulted walkway.

BRANCH COLLAR:
The ridge of cells at the base of a branch.  Prune just outside of it in order for the plant to callus over properly.

BIENNIAL:
Plant that for the 1st year doesn’t bloom, but does in the 2nd before either dying or continuing the cycle.  Ex:  Echium wildpretii/Tower of Jewels

BUD:
Baby leaves or flowers.

CASCADE:
A “fall” of water or plants over rocks or walls.

CROSS POLLINATION:
A plants version of Free Love.  When plants share pollen. The transfer of pollen from one flower to another.

COMPOST:
Mother Nature’s Plant Food.  The result of decaying plants and other organic matter which becomes a nutrient rich soil medium.  Excellent organic addition to soil when planting or feeding existing plants because it is naturally time released. 

DECIDUOUS:
Seasonally Naked Plants.  Trees, shrubs, perennials, ground covers that lose their foliage and grow it back when the weather warms again.

DECKING:
Structures of wood or composite materials that people use for recreation.  Decks can be inches to many feet off the ground.

DEFOLIATION:
Exfoliation for Plants.  When plants shed the foliage they no longer seasonally need.

DG:
Decomposed Granite.  Materials used for hardscape paths, patios, walkways, and steps.  Comes in red, grey or gold.  When compacted, becomes hard like concrete, yet remains permeable. 

DORMANCY:
Plant Hibernation.  Plant version of being Radio Dead.  During colder months, the plants slow down their functions to a minimum to conserve energy.

DRAINAGE:
Having to do with moving water from where you don’t want it to where it can be useful or safely disposed.  Usually involves subterraneous systems of pipes and filtering materials that carry water from one place to another.

DRIP IRRIGATION:
The slow delivery of water to the root zone of plants.  A great way to conserve water and still provide plants the moisture they need.


"... Laural put in a really good irrigation system for us that has worked PERFECTLY"
Annie - Oakland


EVERGREEN:
Plants that continually hold foliage on their limbs.

ESPALLIERED:
A shrub or tree that is pruned to grow in only two dimensions.

FROST LINE:
Top inches of soil that freeze during cold weather.  Number of inches depends on location and severity of weather.

GROUND COVER:
Low growing plants that add texture, color, scent to a bed or garden.

HARDSCAPE:
None-living structure(s) in a landscape.  Pergola, flagstone, brick, pavers, DG, concrete, arbor, outdoor kitchen, swing, deck, pond, fountain, walkways, patios, porches, driveways, sculpture or structures that are walkable, walk-in-able, you can travel on, into and through.  They include:  walkways, steps, staircases, patios, decks, arbors, and water features

HERBACEOUS:
Plants with soft tissue not woody tissue.

HARMONY:
When your heart knows something is right for you, you feel harmony.

HYBRID:
Mixed breeding in the plant world.  Pollen from one type of plant mixes with the pollen of another type of plant to form a new variety of plant.

ISLAND BED:
Beds that have a floating quality about them due to their placement in the landscape.

IMPERVIOUS:
Soil that has become compacted due to vehicle or foot traffic.  Oxygen has been squeezed out of the soil, making it difficult for plants to live in it.

LANDSCAPING FABRIC:
A material either of plastic or felt that is permeable.  It blocks weeds and sunlight but allows water through.

LIMESTONE:
Pulverized limestone that when added to soil increases the soil’s PH level, i.e. it “sweetens” the soil.

MICROCLIMATE:
When a particular area has its own climate due to its location and surrounding environment.  Ex:  a courtyard

MULCH:
A natural or manmade material laid in beds for the purpose of retaining soil moisture, regulating soil temperature, discouraging weed growth and if organic ultimately feeds the soil it is upon when it decomposes.  Organic mulch is a plants version of the perfect houseguest.  The mulch makes the plants life better and the plant is happy to have the mulch stay.

MULTI-STEMMED:
When plants have two or more stems growing out of the ground.

NODE:
Tiny plant Genesis’s.  Place on a plant from where leaves, branches, flowers, fruits evolve.

PATIO:
Flat areas used for gatherings or recreations.  Materials can be:  flagstone, DG, concrete, brick, and pavers.

PERENNIAL:
Plant that grows back after being dormant year after year.

PLANT HAPPY:
Landscape induced euphoria due to being in the presence of beautiful plants and landscaping.

Mary was unable to wipe a childlike grin off of her face while she reveled in the sweet fragrances of her flowers, the gentle sounds of buzzing bees and a chance encounter with a hummingbird under the canopy of her perfectly pruned shade trees. Mary is Plant Happy.

PRUNING:
Systematic cutting of parts of a plant to control its direction and speed of growth.  The end result, if done well, is a plant that is healthy, happy and attractive.

SHEET MULCHING:
The layering of wetted cardboard then 3-6” of mulch on top of soil for the purpose of attracting worms to lay their eggs in the wet cardboard, “Worm Condos”, which when hatch assist with the decomposition of the mulch.

STAKING:
The support of a tree-using guy lines and stakes to hold it in place.

STRUCTURE:
1)    Refers to anything permanent, difficult or impossible to move, like a driveway or patio. 

2)    Components that bring solidarity to your landscape, like a grove of trees

TERRACING:
The building of walls to hold a sloped landscape in place.  Walls can be built of stone, wood, metal, etc.

TOPIARY:
The pruning of shrubs and trees into specific geometric shapes or animal forms. 

VARIEGATED:
When plants have multiple colors and patterns on their foliage.

VEINATION:
The pattern of veins of a plant.  When a different color than foliage, can be striking.

WATER FEATURE:
Something that houses water, either natural or manmade.  Ex:  swimming pool, fountain, pond, waterfall

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