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Garden Glossary


Panorama May be referred to as an unobstructed or complete view of an expanded area as seen from a major viewpoint.
Paradigm Could indicate the current accepted philosophical or theoretical framework for a chosen landscape concept or perhaps the implementation of a new acceptable change.
Palissade French term for a fence made of wooden stakes
Paradise This word is derived from the Persian name "paradeiso"’ for a park stocked with exotic animals and the word Paradise was used by the Greeks to mean an "ideal place."
Paradox This may indicate that a landscape design solution is seemingly contradictory or opposed to common sense and yet is perhaps relevant to the observer.
Park A tract of land that often includes lawns, woodland, gardens and recreation areas, normally for public use
Parterre An ornamental garden with paths between beds often bordered by low, easy to maintain shrubs trimmed into decorative forms and filled with flowers or other fills
Parterre de Broderie This is a parterre with a pattern resembling embroidery.
Pastoral This type of garden relates to the countryside and is usually considered to be pleasingly peaceful and innocent in character.
Patte d'oie This represents three radiating garden avenues that are named after a goose's foot.
Patio A partially open sided relaxation or recreation area that adjoins a dwelling, used for entertaining, outdoor dining and simply enjoying the outdoor environment
Pavilion Derives from the Latin papilio (butterfly); originally meaning a tent; in gardens refers to an light, airy building.
Pavimentum From the Latin pavire (to ram down); used to describe a pavement made from pieces of stone or ceramic hammered down to make a walking surface
Pedestal A block used as a stand for a vase, an urn or a statue
Penjing Chinese word for a tray garden, and relates to Japanese "bonsai"
Perception To experience an awareness of elements in the environment through physical sensations, thereby leading to an understanding of the landscape design concept
Perennial Gardens Perennial garden plants provide seasonal interest for a longer period of time than annual gardens and can serve as focal points in the landscape
Peristyle A group of columns surrounding a courtyard, or temple, and used to support a roof
Pergola A structure usually consisting of parallel colonnades supporting an open roof of girders and cross rafters (Merriam-Webster); also called a trellis
Perspective A representation in a drawing or painting of parallel lines as converging in order to give the illusion of depth and distance (Merriam-Webster)
Physic Garden This is a special garden used for growing medicinal plants.
Picturesque This landscape form evokes mental images that may be charming or quaint in appearance.
Pinery Usually is conservatory for growing pineapples; could be extended to outdoor growing as well
Pinetum A collection of coniferous trees
Piscina Stone basin used as a fishpond or a bathing-pond
Plan A drawing or diagram established to create an orderly arrangement of elements of the overall design and to establish a method to create a completed garden scheme
Plat This is an area (plot) of ground that can be a series on building lots or even one lot that might accommodate a structure.
Planter An ornamental container for growing plants
Plantscape Composite grouping of plants in a meaningful pattern through the landscape.
Plaza An open area usually located near urban buildings and often featuring walkways, trees and shrubs, places to sit, and sometimes shops (Merriam-Webster)
Pleaching This is the practice of bending and inter-twining plants. Pleached trees grow together to form a hedge on stilts.
Pleasance Land used for pleasure, attached to a castle or mansion, usually outside the fortifications, and could be used to describe major estate pleasure gardens today
Pomarium This is a medieval term for an apple orchard.
Portico A porch derived from an architectural design used widely by Palladio and his followers, which consists of a colonnade supporting a pedimented roof of varying depth
Potager French word for a vegetable garden
Praeneste In Rome, this was a series of great terraces linked by ramps.
Privy –Garden A private garden, usually made for the sole use of a king or queen in past days.
Promenade Design concept allowing people to walk about easily in the garden without fear of obstructions or diversions
Proportion This is a goal to design a harmonious relation of all parts to each other or to the whole while achieving a balance or symmetry through the landscape.
Prospect A view
Pilaster A rectangular column, including its base and capital, set into the face of a wall
Plinth A block or slab upon which a column, pedestal, or statue is based; also the bottom course of stones supporting a wall — the plinth course
Portico A porch derived from an architectural design used widely by Palladio and his followers, which consists of a colonnade supporting a pedimented roof of varying depth
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