Landscape contracting and the landscaping business in general have a specific language that may sometimes feel like a code that needs cracking. The following list of terms and definitions should help you navigate your way when hiring and working with your Santa Clara County landscape contractor.
A type of easement which permits a contractor to build over a street or structure.
American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA)
A professional society that represents landscape architects and betters their practice and understanding through education, research, state registration, etc.
A plan showing site boundaries and features, used as a basis for further development.
Regulations that stipulate the type of methods and materials allowed on a project.
An authorization dispensed by a government agency which permits construction of a project according to agreed-upon specifications.
A man-made creation or alterations to an outdoor space, including its natural resources.
Computer Aided Design and Drafting (CADD)
A digital design program that produces precise plans for landscaping projects.
The form of the land. Contour lines are map lines which are used to show and measure slope and drainage.
The safeguard, improvement and use of natural resources according to principles that will guarantee economic or social benefits for our environment now and in the future.
A plan for protecting natural or manufactured resources. Used as a tool in making decisions regarding soil, water, vegetation, manufactured objects and other resources.
The creative illustration, planning and specification of outdoor space for utility, value and beauty.
Where water escapes from a land surface or subsurface, through sewers or natural means.
The legal grant to use an area of designated property.
How the land slopes. Grading is the process of changing the degree of the slope in order to promote drainage and landscape design.
Things that are added to a landscape, such as paving stones, gravel, walkways, irrigation systems, roads, retaining walls, sculpture, street amenities, fountains, etc.
International Federation of Landscape Architects (IFLA)
A multinational organization of landscapers whose purpose is the advancement of landscape design.
The amount of land that can be seen at a glance.
A professional who designs outdoor spaces from whole ecosystems to residential sites
Also known as: designer, planner, consultant
The science and art of design of the land involving natural and built elements and concern for resource conservation to improve outdoor spaces. Effective landscape architecture makes the most of the land, adds value to a project and minimizes costs, all while minimizing negative effects to nature.
A trained installer of landscapes who implements the plans of landscape architects.
manipulation of space
The organization of land for aesthetic or functional design. Refers to the building of small backyard patios to huge urban plazas.
An initial plan showing proposed development. Master plans show phases of work needing to be completed and are therefore subject to changes over time.
Elements naturally occurring in an area that can be used to fulfill human needs, including air, soil, water, native vegetation, etc.
A drawing including dimensions that indicates the form and physical objects existing in an outdoor space and those still to be built.
The naturally occurring elements landscape architects work with, such as plant materials.
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Legal land-use control and building regulations usually implemented by a municipality, involving the designation of land areas for specific purposes.