Landscape Gardening trade jargon

Jargon by trade

Annual plants have life cycles of a single year. After one growing season they die, and new ones will need to be planted.


The cultivation and management of trees, shrubs and other woody plants.



A synthetic surface made to look like grass. Usually laid in locations where sports are played, but also increasingly used in private gardens.


Biennial plants have life cycles of two years. After two growing seasons they die, and new ones will need to be planted.

Bitumen-based paint

Solvent-based, fast drying paint that can be used to protect numerous materials including ferrous and non-ferrous metals, concrete, roofing felt, fibre/cement,corrugated iron, asphalt and wood.

Block paving

Also known as brick paving, block paving uses bricks to create a driveway or area of hardstanding.

Block splitter

Also known as Block Cutters or Guillotines, a tool that allows bricks to be cut along straight lines to shape them for use in block paving.

Brick saw

A power tool used for cutting concrete, bricks and other materials.

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A flat stone used as a cap on walls or around the perimeter of patios, pools and ponds etc.


The cutting down of a tree to near ground level at regular intervals.

Crazy paving

Paving made of irregular pieces of flat stone.

Crown lift (also know as crown raising)

The removal of a tree's lowest branches.

Crown reduction

The removal of some of a tree's branches with the aim of reducing its height and/or spread.

Crown thin

To remove some of a tree's smaller branches - usually at the outer reaches - to make the foliage more evenly spaced.

Dead wooding

The removal of dead branches from a tree.


The material - usually planks of timber or a composite material manufactured to look like wood - used to make a platform or terrace in landscaping projects. 


Evergreen plants don't lose their foliage, and instead have green leaves on them throughout the year.

Fence clip

A device that fixes fence panels to the posts.

Fence panel

A distinct section of fence supported between the fence posts.

Fence post

The vertical elements of a fence, set in the ground as a supporting the structure.

Fence post caps

A cover designed to fit on top of a fence post.

Fence spikes

The supportive posts which hold up a fence.


Any large, flat stone used for paving and patios.

Formative pruning

Shaping a tree or plant when young to affect its later growth and development.

Hard landscaping

The aspect of garden and other outdoor design that focuses on construction materials and techniques.

Lopping and Topping

Often seen as outdated terminology that can be used to describe clumsy work - lopping involves taking off branches with vertical cuts, while topping involves thinning the crown of the tree with horizontal cuts, often through the main trunk.


A substance made up of leaf matter, tree bark and compost spread around a plant to help insulate the soil.


Overlap fencing (also known as lap fencing)

Fencing made up of panels where boards run horizontally between posts. The panels are surrounded in a frame.

Palisade fencing

A type of fencing made up of either metal or wooden stakes with gaps in between.


A paved area outside a house.


Plants which live for multiple years.

Permeable paving

Paving made up materials that allows water to soak through.

Raised bed

A unit filled with soil and used for planting, which sits above ground level.


Typically square or rectangular pieces of decorative stone or concrete, used mainly to form patio areas in outdoor spaces. Slabs come in a wide variety of colours, and sizes. 

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The layer of soil beneath the topsoil, which typically contains less organic matter.


The uppermost layer of soil, typical around two to eight inches deep.


A frame made up of crossed pieces of wood, often used as a base for climbing plants.

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