Design Glossary | D-F
Use this landscape architecture design glossary to find what you need.
Deck Contractor: A deck contractor is a professional specifically trained and experienced in the installation and repair of decks of all types.
Decking: Decking is the construction of decks made of either wood or composite materials to create a recreational area either near or above the ground.
Dentil: Often found on the cornices of buildings, dentils are thin, simply designed teeth-like moldings that represent the ends of ceiling beams or roofing.
Design: Designs are the creative, detailed illustrations that display the elements needed to create and convey to the viewer the most beauty, harmony, utility, and value.
Designed Landscape: A designed landscape is a site that appears to be completely natural but actually has both features and elements that were specifically planned, designed, and built under the direction of a landscape architect. An example of a designed landscape would be New York’s Central Park.
Detail Drawings/Drawings: Far more specific than those included within the actual contract, detail drawings are more accurate depictions of the proposed work to be done. Drawings may also be used to showcase intricate details that will be needed for items such as the decorative carvings on deck railings or perhaps even a grouping of flowers or shrubbery.
Down: In landscape architecture a down refers to an undulating upland plain that is completely devoid of any trees.
Drainage: Drainage involves the removal of excess water from a landscape to improve the soil’s structure either mechanically through the use of some type of system or naturally with surface ditches.
Easement: An easement is the legal granting of a right-of-use for an area that is currently designated as private property.
Ecological Design: Ecological design is any form of design which minimizes a destructive impact on the land by integrating its components. The value of ecological design is often seen rather early on in a project as the landscape architect outlines ideas and plans to best utilize a space. Landscape architects may also contribute greatly toward the overall preparation of the initial master plans, supervise construction work, prepare impact assessments at varying intervals as well as conduct assessments and audits.
Ecological Restoration: Ecological restoration, also called the practice of the discipline of “restoration ecology,” is the recently developed study of restoring an ecosystem through active intervention. Beginning in the early to mid 1980s, ecological restoration involves a variety of professionals such as land managers, scientists, and laypeople, all working in tandem for the goal of restoring and repairing different types of damage.
Ecology: Ecology is a branch of biology that focuses on the relationships between living things and the environment in which they live.
Ecosystem: First coined back in 1930 by British botanist Arthur Roy Clapham, the term ecosystem is used to indicate an environment’s natural biological and physical elements. An ecosystem is comprised of animals, plants, and microorganisms, all of which function together interdependently within the environment’s physical factors, or the habitat.
Edging: The act of edging involves the use of rigid lines used to divide one area from another, accentuating the separate and different parts of a landscape.
Entablature: Entablatures are the uppermost portions of classical structures situated above a colonnade’s capitals and consist of architraves, cornices, and friezes. Entablatures were first designed and conceived by the ancient Roman architect Vitruvius.
Environmental Design Professional: Environmental design professionals include occupations such as landscape architects, contractors, engineers, and urban planners.
Environmental Impact: Environmental impact is the change to a site’s natural resources, usually referring to some negative change to animal and or plant life that is caused by man. Many architectural landscaping projects require that an environmental impact study be conducted before the development of a site may commence.
Environmental Inventory: Environmental inventory is the recording of a site’s man-made and natural resources, including variables such as animal life, geological characteristics, vegetation, and also the impact of man’s presence in the form of housing, highways and the deposit of hazardous waste.
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA): The EPA is a United States government run agency who is responsible for the development of land and its natural resources as well as for enforcing the regulations set forth that dictate how land may be used.
Espalier: An espalier is a hedge created by a grouping of fruit trees that have been trained to grow in a certain direction with the use of stakes and lines.
Exedra: An area intended for intimate conversation, an exedra is usually in a recessed, semi-circular position that is either open or colonnaded and includes long benches and or seats.
Eyecatcher: In architecture, eyecatchers are structures, usually ruins built artificially, that are used for the purpose of catching and guiding the eye of the viewer out and away from the immediate garden area and into a wider expanse such as a countryside.
Façade: A façade is the term used to describe the front of any building that has some type of architectural treatment.
Fence: Made of a variety of materials including chain links, PVC, vinyl, wood, or wrought iron, fences are used to enclose a space.
Festoon: A festoon is created by using ribbons or garlands of leaves which are then suspended down between two distant points. A festoon may also be a painted sculpture, usually Corinthian in nature and often found adorning friezes.
Fete Galante: First popularized by the French painter Jean-Antoine Watteau, fete galante is a style of painting depicting landscaping, most usually outdoor, social gatherings (fetes) showing people engaged in dance and conversation.
Flutes: Flutes are the vertical, rounded grooves of a pilaster or column.
Folly: A garden structure specifically built as a visual effect that’s intended to fool the eye.
Forest Service: A Forest Service is an agency within the U.S. Department of Agriculture that is responsible for planning and overseeing the use of national forests by commercial, government, and private users.
Frieze: A frieze is a classically decorated central level of an entablature that features motifs created by moldings and or carvings.
Front: Front is the term used to describe the architectural and decorative face of a building.