Landscaping Quiz: 30 Landscape Design Terms You May Not of Heard of!

logo 1Test yourself to see how many of these landscape terms you are familiar with.

Keep a record of the number of terms you don’t know and find out at the end how much of an expert you are!


  • Arcade: a series of consecutive arches, including tree-lined walkways.
  • Baluster: a series of supporting vertical rail posts that form a balustrade, or the building's roofline surrounding the border of a staircase or porch.
  • Belvedere: a roofed open gallery, such as a gazebo, that commands a good view of the surrounding countryside.  
  • Cascade: water falls arranged in stages of succession, either through a rock formation or over a series of steps. . 
  • Espalier: a series of fruit trees that form a hedge in gardening landscaping.
  • Façade: the front of a building given special architectural treatment.
  • Festoon: a painted mural of leaves and ribbons that are separated between two points.
  • Folly: a garden building aimed at “fooling” the eye.
  • Glade: the open and grassy area, often surrounded by woods.
  • Grotto: an underground passage decorated with crystals, broken pieces of shells and mirror, and incorporates running water in pools and streams in order to promote a mysterious effect.
  • Guglio: an obelisk, often topped by a pyramid, which acts as a fountain.
  • Ha-ha: a sunk-in fence, or a ditch with identical sloping and vertical sides, often built into a retaining wall. The ha-ha serves as a barrier for sheep, cattle, and deer in order to allow an unbroken view of the surrounding landscape .
  • Herm: a statuesque head of a Grecian god, often placed on a square stone pillar.
  • Hermitage: a garden building intended as a hermit's living quarters. It serves to raise the appreciation for contemplation within the context of a natural setting.
  • Knot: a small, rectangular garden, created during Tudor times, which consists of intricate, geometric, knotted and sprawled out dwarf plants, including box and rosemary.
  • Loggia: an upper-level gallery and arcade located on the rooftop of a building.
  • Obelisk: an uppermost, four-sided, and tapered stone wall pillar within a pyramid, often inscribed or plain. Obelisks are located at the centre of a pool, near the crown of a hill or terrace walk.
  • Orangery: a building with multiple windows, often built with the intention of housing potted orange plants during the winter months.
  • Parapet: a protective wall or railing surrounding the edge of a walkway, embankment or rooftop.
  • Parterre: flower garden beds and paths designated to form a pattern similar to the design of an indoor Persian carpet.
  • Patte d'oie: radiating garden avenues, particularly named after a goose's foot.
  • Quincunx: the arrangement of five objects, including trees to form a rectangle. Each object is placed at the four corners with one remaining at the centre of the pattern.
  • Quoin: a series of consecutive stones laid at the exterior corns and angles of a building, and consists of contrasting material of that wall.
  • Rotunda: a circular or domed-shaped building or hall.
  • Rustication: the rough finish, either naturally or artificially created on blocks of masonry.
  • Theatre: a series of tiers or terraces along a hillside, which resembles the formation of outdoor seating in a classical theatre.
  • Tonsure: the shape of evergreen clippings.
  • Topiary: a garden trimmed and hedged into specific geometric or animistic formations.
  • Tufa: calcareous and siliceous deposits of fresh water sources, including rock composed of volcanic ash.
  • Vista: an extended view into the countryside.

How Many Didn’t you know?

More than 20: need further study

15-19: Average Knowledge

10-14: Good Landscape Knowledge

Less than 10: Expert….We’re not Worthy!

The Oxford College of Garden Design offers several short 4 week Design, Horticultural and Gardening courses as well as our Professional On-line Postgraduate Diploma Level Course