Gardening A – Z

Gardening A – F
A - F


  • Aquascaping is the craft of arranging aquatic plants, as well as rocks, stones, cavework, or driftwood, in a pleasing manner within an aquarium, if you like – gardening under water. An aquascape usually houses fish as well as plants, although it is possible to create an aquascape with plants only, or with rockwork or other hardscape and no plants.
  • An arboretum is a collection of trees. An arboretum is a botanical garden containing living collections of woody plants intended at least partly for scientific study. An arboretum specializing in growing conifers is known as a pinetum.


  • Bonsai is a Japanese art form using miniature trees grown in containers.

  • Botanical gardens are usually well-tended parks displaying a wide range of plants labelled with their botanical names. They may contain specialist plant collections such as cacti and succulent plants, herb gardens, plants from particular parts of the world, and so on; there may be greenhouses, again with special collections such as tropical plants, alpine plants or other exotic plants.


  • The RHS Chelsea Flower Show, officially the Great Spring Show, is a garden show held each year on five days in May by the Royal Horticultural Society (RHS) in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea in Chelsea, London. It is the most famous such show in the United Kingdom, perhaps the most famous gardening event in the world and part of London’s summer social season. Popular parts of the Chelsea Flower Show include the show gardens designed by leading names and the centre-piece of the floral marquee.

  • community garden is a single piece of land gardened collectively by a group of people.
  • Companion planting is the planting of different crops next to one another with the idea that they assist each other in nutrient uptake, pest control, pollination, and other factors necessary to increasing crop productivity. Companion planting is used by farmers and gardeners in both industrialized and developing countries for many reasons. Many of the modern principles of companion planting were present many centuries ago in cottage gardens in England.
  • Compost is plant matter that has been decomposed and recycled as a fertilizer and soil amendment. Compost is a key ingredient in organic farming. The process of composting requires simply piling up waste outdoors and waiting a year or more. Modern composting is a multi-step, closely monitored process with measured inputs of water, air and carbon- and nitrogen-rich materials. Compost can be rich in nutrients. It is used in many ways, including as a soil conditioner, a fertilizer, addition of vital humus, and as a natural pesticide for soil.
  • Composting organisms require four equally important things to work effectively:
  1. Carbon — for energy; the microbial oxidation of carbon produces the heat.
  2. Nitrogen — to grow and reproduce more organisms to oxidize the carbon.
  3. Oxygen — for oxidizing the carbon, the decomposition process.
  4. Water — in the right amounts to maintain activity without causing anaerobic conditions.

The English garden is a style of landscape garden which emerged in England in the early 18th century. It usually included a lake, sweeps of gently rolling lawns set against groves of trees, and recreations of classical temples, Gothic ruins, bridges, and other picturesque architecture, designed to recreate an idyllic pastoral landscape.

flowerbed is an element of many gardens. A flowerbed is a garden area especially prepared for growing flowers. The area is typically marked off, often by low-lying structures of brick or similar materials, designed to highlight the flowers and reduce the spread of weeds. There are different types of flowerbeds which include different types of plants such as; seasonal bedding schemes -containing annuals and biennials such as marigolds, alyssum and lobelia herbaceous perennials – containing plants such as delphiniums, lupins and foxgloves

A Fountain is a piece of architecture which pours water into a basin or jets it into the air either to supply drinking water or for decorative or dramatic effect.

Fountains were originally purely functional, connected to springs or aqueducts and used to provide drinking water and water for bathing and washing to the residents of cities, towns and villages. Until the late 19th century most fountains operated by gravity, and needed a source of water higher than the fountain, such as a reservoir or aqueduct, to make the water flow or jet into the air.

The French landscape garden is a style of garden inspired by idealized Italian landscapes and the romantic paintings of Hubert Robert, Claude Lorrain and Nicolas Poussin.

Gardening G – J
G - J

garden is a planned space, usually outdoors, set aside for the display, cultivation, and enjoyment of plants and other forms of nature.

The term garden designer can refer either to an amateur or a professional who designs the plan and features of gardens. Amateurs design their gardens for their own properties. Professionals, with experienced skills, design gardens that benefit clients. The compositional elements of garden design and landscape design are: terrain, water, planting, constructed elements and buildings, paving, site characteristics and the local climate. Professional garden designers are trained in and use both the aesthetic arts and technical disciplines for design projects.

Garden plants – see list of garden plants

Gardening is the practice of growing plants. Ornamental plants are normally grown for their flowers, foliage oroverall appearance. Useful plants are grown for consumption (vegetables, fruits, herbs, and leaf vegetables) or for medicinal use. A gardener is someone who practices gardening.

garden building is any structure built in a garden or backyard. Such structures include

  • Sheds
  • Gazeboes
  • Garden offices

garden tool is any one of many tools made for gardens and gardening.

The hand tools still used by gardeners originated with the earliest agricultural implements used by man e.g. the spade, garden hoe, garden fork, and the garden rake.

The development of metal working, allowed the manufacture of more durable tools. Industrial metalworking enabled the manufacture of cutting tools, including pruning shears (secateurs) and grass shears.

The first power tool to become popular with gardeners was the lawn mower. This has been followed by a very wide range of power tools, including cultivators, string trimmer, Irrigation sprinklers, hedge trimmers, lawn aerators, leaf sweepers, leaf blowers, chainsaws, and mini-tractors.

The Garden Gnome Liberation Front

gnome is a mythical creature characterized by its extremely small size and subterranean lifestyle.

Garden gnomes are small ceramic bearded characters (usually male) that are used as decoration in gardens and lawns.

As modern-day garden gnome folklore developed and their popularity increased, the objects became the target of pranks, known collectively as gnoming. Gnoming activity includes the theft of garden gnomes for the alleged purpose of returning the inanimate garden gnomes “to the wild.” In 2008, a 53-year-old French man in Brittany was arrested on suspicion of stealing as many as 170 garden gnomes. In an extension of the prank, several so-called garden gnome liberation organizations have been formed for the stated purpose of freeing the ceramic creatures from forced labour in gardens.

The Garden Gnome Liberation Front was introduced to the French public in 1997. Over the course of a year, the Front stole over 150 garden gnomes, contending that garden gnomes deserved the same freedoms with which they were blessed. The leader of that group was charged in absentia with stealing over 150 garden gnomes over a period of several years. The Front’s leader was given a suspended prison sentence and fined for the 150 stolen gnomes.

growbag is a large plastic bag filled with peat or a similar growth medium. The bag contains enough nutrient for one year’s growing and requires only planting and watering. Growbags come in varieties suited to specific crops. They are being used in increasing amounts to bring vegetation into urban areas.

hedge or hedgerow is a line of closely spaced shrubs and tree species, planted and trained in such a way as to form a barrier or to mark the boundary of an area. Hedges used to separate a road from adjoining fields or one field from another, and of sufficient age to incorporate larger trees, are known as hedgerows. It is also a simple form of topiary.

A herbaceous border is a collection of perennial herbaceous plants. These are plants that live for more than two years and are soft-stemmed and non-woody. They are arranged closely together, usually to create a dramatic effect through colour, shape or large scale. The term herbaceous border is mostly in use in the United Kingdom.

“Invasive species”, or invasive exotics, is a phrase used for flora and fauna.

  • This could apply to non-indigenous species, or “non-native”, plants or animals that affect habitats that they invade. They disrupt by dominating a region because of a lack of natural controls e.g. predators or herbivores. Japanese Knotweed is a good example of this in the UK.
  • It could also include native species, with the non-native ones, that disrupt by a dominant colonization of a particular habitat because of a lack of natural controls e.g. predators or herbivores.

The Italian Renaissance garden was a style of garden which emerged in the late 15th century at villas in Rome and Florence, inspired by classical ideals of order and beauty, and intended for the pleasure of the view of the garden and the landscape beyond, for contemplation, and for the enjoyment of the sights, sounds and smells of the garden itself.

Japanese garden

A catalogue of features “typical” of the Japanese garden may be drawn up without inquiring deeply into the aesthetic underlying Japanese practice. Typical Japanese gardens have at their center a home from which the garden is viewed. In addition to residential architecture, depending on the archetype, Japanese gardens often contain several of these elements:

  • Water, real or symbolic.
  • A bridge over the water, or stepping stones.
  • Rocks or stone arrangements (or settings).
  • A lantern, typically of stone.
  • A teahouse or pavilion.
  • An enclosure device such as a hedge, fence, or wall of traditional character.


The Japanese rock gardens ,or “dry landscape” gardens, often called “Zen gardens” were influenced mainly by Zen Buddhism and can be found at Zen temples of meditation.

Gardening K – P
K - P

Landscape design focuses on both the integrated master landscape planning of a property and the specific garden design of landscape elements and plants within it.

lawn is an area of land planted with grasses or other durable plants. Low ornamental meadows in natural landscaping styles are a contemporary option of a lawn. In recreational areas, the specialised names turfpitchfield orgreen may be used, depending on the sport and the continent.

lawn mower is a machine that uses a revolving blade or blades to cut a lawn at an even length. Lawn mowers using a blade that rotates about a vertical axis are known as rotary mowers, while those using a blade assembly that rotates about a horizontal axis are known as cylinder mowers. Many different designs have been made, each suited to a particular purpose. The smallest types, pushed by a human, are suitable for small residential lawns and gardens, while larger, self-contained, ride-on mowers are suitable for large lawns, and the largest, multi-gang mowers pulled behind a tractor, are designed for large expanses of grass such as golf courses and municipal parks.

Natural landscaping, also called native gardening, is the use of native plants, including trees, shrubs, groundcover, and grasses which are indigenous to the geographic area of the garden.

No-dig gardening is a non-cultivation method used by some organic gardeners. This technique recognizes that micro- and macro-biotic organisms constitute a “food web” community in the soil, necessary for the healthy cycling of nutrients and prevention of problematic organisms and diseases. The plants transfer a portion of the carbon energy they produce to the soil, and microbes that benefit from this energy in turn convert available organic substances in the soil to the mineral elements the plants need to thrive.

Organic gardening is the science and art of growing fruits, vegetables, flowers, or ornamental plants by following the essential principles of organic agriculture in soil building and conservation and pest management.

In chemical horticulture, a specific insecticide may be applied to quickly kill off a particular insect pest. Chemical controls can dramatically reduce pest populations in the short term, yet by unavoidably killing (or starving) natural control insects and animals, cause an increase in the pest population in the long term, thereby creating an ever increasing problem. Repeated use of insecticides and herbicides also encourages rapid natural selection of resistant insects, plants and other organisms, necessitating increased use, or requiring new, more powerful controls.

In contrast, organic horticulture tends to tolerate some pest populations while taking the long view. Organic pest control requires a thorough understanding of pest life cycles and interactions, and involves the cumulative effect of many techniques, including: • Allowing for an acceptable level of pest damage • Encouraging predatory beneficial insects to flourish and eat pests • Encouraging beneficial microorganisms • Careful plant selection, choosing disease-resistant varieties • Planting companion crops that discourage or divert pests • Using row covers to protect crop plants during pest migration periods • Rotating crops to different locations from year to year to interrupt pest reproduction cycles • Using insect traps to monitor and control insect populations

patio is an outdoor space generally used for dining or recreation that adjoins a residence and is typically paved. It may refer to a roofless inner courtyard of the sort found in Spanish-style dwellings or a paved area between a residence and a garden. Patios are typically made of concrete or stone slabs laid over a base. This base is often a layer of compacted stone chips, a layer of sharp sand, and a layer of cement mortar.

pergola or arbour is a garden feature forming a shaded walk or passageway of pillars that support cross-beams and a sturdy open lattice, upon which woody vines are trained. As a type of gazebo, it may also be an extension of a building, or serve as protection for an open terrace or a link between pavilions.

Pergolas may link pavilions or extend from a building’s door to an open garden feature such as an isolated terrace or pool. Freestanding pergolas, those not attached to a home or structure, provide a sitting area that allows for breeze and light sun, but offers protection from the harsh glare of direct sunlight. Pergolas also give climbing plants a structure to grow on.

parterre is a formal garden construction on a level surface consisting of planting beds, edged in stone or tightly clipped hedging, and gravel paths arranged to form a pleasing, usually symmetrical pattern. Parterres need not have any flowers at all.

Pruning is a practice involving the selective removal of parts of a plant. Reasons to prune plants include deadwood removal, shaping (by controlling or directing growth), improving or maintaining health, reducing risk from falling branches, preparing nursery specimens for transplanting, and both harvesting and increasing the yield or quality of flowers and fruits. Pruning entails targetedremoval of diseased, damaged, dead, non-productive, structurally unsound, or otherwise unwanted tissue from crop and landscape plants. Specialized pruning practices may be applied to certain plants, such as roses, fruit trees, and grapevines. Different pruning techniques may be used on herbaceous plants than those used on perennial woody plants. Hedges are usually (but not exclusively) maintained by hedge trimming, rather than by pruning.

Gardening Q – Z
Q - Z

Raised bed gardening is a form of gardening in which the soil is formed in 3–4 foot (1.0–1.2 m) wide beds, which can be of any length or shape. The soil is raised above the surrounding soil (6 inches to waist high), sometimes enclosed by a frame generally made of wood, rock, or concrete blocks, and enriched with compost. The plants are spaced in geometric patterns, much closer together than conventional row gardening. The spacing is such that when the vegetables are fully grown, their leaves just barely touch each other, creating a microclimate in which moisture is conserved and weed growth suppressed.

Raised beds produce a variety of benefits: they extend the planting season; they reduce the need to use poor native soil; and they can reduce weeds if designed properly. Since the gardener does not walk on the raised beds, the soil is not compacted and the roots have an easier time growing. The close plant spacing and the use of compost generally result in higher yields with raised beds in comparison to conventional row gardening. Waist high raised beds enable the elderly and the sick to grow vegetables without having to bend over to tend them.

A rock garden, also known as a rockery or an alpine garden, is a type of garden that features extensive use of rocks or stones, along with plants native to rocky or alpine environments. Rock garden plants tend to be small, both because many of the species are naturally small, and so as not to cover up the rocks. They may be grown in troughs (containers), or in the ground. The plants will usually be types that prefer well-drained soil and less water.

The usual form of a rock garden is a pile of rocks, large and small, esthetically arranged, and with small gaps between, where the plants will be rooted. Some rock gardens incorporate bonsai. Some rock gardens are designed and built to look like natural outcrops of bedrock. Stones are aligned to suggest a bedding plane and plants are often used to conceal the joints between the stones.

The Japanese rock garden, often referred to as Zen garden, is a special kind of rock garden with hardly any plants.

roof garden is any garden on the roof of a building. Besides the decorative benefit, roof plantings may provide food, temperature control, hydrological benefits, architectural enhancement, habitats and recreational opportunities.

Private Roman gardens were generally separated into three parts. The first was a terrace that served as an open air drawing room and connected to the home via a covered portico. The terrace overlooked the lower garden. The lower garden consisted of a variety of flowers, trees, and other foliage and was ideal for a leisurely stroll after a meal, some mild conversation, or other Roman recreation activities. The gestation was a shaded avenue where the master of a home could ride horseback or be carried by his slaves. It generally encircled the lower garden, or was constructed as a separate oval shaped space.

sculpture garden is an outdoor garden dedicated to the presentation of sculpture, usually several permanently-sited works in durable materials in landscaped surroundings.

A sculpture garden may be private, owned by a museum and accessible freely or for a fee, or public and accessible to all. Some cities own large numbers of public sculptures, some of which they may present together in city parks.

shrub or bush is distinguished from a tree by its multiple stems and shorter height, usually under 5–6 m (15–20 ft) tall. A large number of plants can be either shrubs or trees, depending on the growing conditions they experience. Small, low shrubs such as lavender, periwinkle and thyme are often called subshrubs.

An area of cultivated shrubs in a park or garden is known as a shrubbery. When clipped as topiary, shrubs generally have dense foliage and many small leafy branches growing close together.

Shrubs in common garden practice are generally broad-leaved plants, though some smaller conifers such as Mountain Pine and Common Juniper are also shrubby in structure. Shrubs can be either deciduous or evergreen.

In gardening, a terrace is an element where a raised flat paved or gravelled section overlooks a prospect. A raised terrace keeps a house dry and provides a transition between the hard materials of the architecture and softer ones of the garden.

Topiary is the practice of training live perennial plants, by clipping the foliage and twigs of trees and shrubs to develop and maintain clearly defined shapes, and plants which have been shaped in this way. It can be an art and is a form of living sculpture. The plants used in topiary are evergreen, mostly woody, have small leaves or needles, produce dense foliage, and have compact growth habits. Common species choices used in topiary include cultivars of European box (Buxus sempervirens), yew (Taxus species), and privet (Ligustrumspecies.). Shaped wire cages are sometimes used in modern topiary to guide the shears, but traditional topiary depends on patience and a steady hand; small-leaved ivy can be used to cover a cage and give the look of topiary in a few months. The hedge is a simple form of topiary used to create boundaries, walls or screens.

tree is a perennial woody plant. It is most often defined as a woody plant that has many secondary branches supported clear of the ground on a single main stem or trunk. Woody plants that do not meet these definitions by having multiple stems and/or small size are called shrubs. Compared with most other plants, trees are long-lived, some reaching several thousand years old and growing to up to 115 m (379 ft) high.

tropical garden features tropical plants and requires good rainfall or a decent irrigation or sprinkler system for watering. These gardens typically need fertilizer and heavy mulching.

Tropical gardens are no longer exclusive to tropical areas. Many gardeners in colder climates are adopting the tropical garden design, which is possible through careful choice of plants and flowers. Main features include plants with very large leaves, vegetation that builds in height towards the back of the garden, creating a dense garden. Large plants and small trees hang over the garden, leaving sunlight to hit the ground directly.

vegetable garden is a garden that exists to grow vegetables and other plants useful for human consumption. It is a small-scale form of vegetable growing. A vegetable garden typically includes a compost heap, and several plots or divided areas of land, intended to grow one or two types of plant in each plot. It is usually located to the rear of a property in the back garden or back yard. Many families have home kitchen and vegetable gardens that they use to produce food. In World War II, many people had a garden called a ‘victory garden’ which provided food to families and thus freed up resources for the war effort.

Water gardens, also known as aquatic gardens, are a type of man-made water feature. A water garden is defined as any interior or exterior landscape or architectural element whose primarily purpose is to house, display, or propagate a particular species or variety of aquatic plant. Although a water garden’s primary focus is on plants, they will sometimes also house ornamental fish, in which case the feature will be a fish pond.

Although water gardens can be almost any size or depth, they are typically small and relatively shallow, generally less than twenty inches in depth. This is because most aquatic plants are depth sensitive and require a specific water depth in order to thrive. The particular species inhabiting each water garden will ultimately determine the actual surface area and depth required.

wildlife garden (or wild garden) is an environment that is attractive to various forms of wildlife such as birds, amphibians, reptiles, insects, mammals and so on. A wildlife garden will usually contain a variety of habitats that have either been deliberately created by the gardener, or allowed to self-establish by minimising maintenance and intervention.

Many organic gardeners are sympathetic to the philosophy of wildlife gardening, and will usually try to incorporate some aspects of the wild garden into their own plots in order to both act as a means of biological pest control, as well as for its value in promoting biodiversity and generally benefitting the wider environment.

Xeriscaping and xerogardening refers to landscaping and gardening in ways that reduce or eliminate the need for supplemental water from irrigation. It is promoted in regions that do not have easily accessible, plentiful, or reliable supplies of fresh water, and is gaining acceptance in other areas as climate patterns shift.

The Japanese rock gardens ,or “dry landscape” gardens, often called “Zen gardens” were influenced mainly by Zen Buddhism and can be found at Zen temples of meditation.