Annuals plants that go through their entire life cycle within one year. You may grow these from seed or purchase annuals from a local nursery. Most annuals flower for an extended period of time. These plants should be dug-up and discarded before winter.

Cultured materials a versatile man-made material that has the look and feel of the natural material. Cultured stone is available in a variety of colors, sizes and textures.

Dig Safe Dig Safe is a call center that accepts utility locate requests from excavators and notifies member companies of planned excavation work conducted in areas where they own or maintain underground facilities. By offering this service they hope to take a proactive measure in preventing dangerous and costly damage to utilities. The phone number to Dig Safe is 1-888-DIG-SAFE (344-7233). Dig Safe's website is

Drip irrigation system automatic watering system that has its hose buried beneath a layer of mulch. The hose is laid on top of the soil and around the base of each plant prior to installing mulch over the hose. The hose delivers water to the plants slowly, as drips of water that are soaked up by the plants roots.

Mass. Green Roofs, Inc. a firm that designs and installs environmentally beneficially green roofs. A green roof is a great way to conserve energy, reduce stormwater runoff and reduce the temperature around a building.

Hardscape anything you build as part of a landscape that is not made of living plant materials. Such items include a fence, trellis, patio, walkway or wall.

ICPI (Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute) an organization that was formed by the manufacturers of concrete pavers to oversee the concrete paver industry. ICPI is a national certification authority. ICPI's website is

Irrigation system automatic sprinkler system which has its pipes buried in the ground. The spray heads pop-up only when in use and are otherwise very difficult to see beneath the lawn. Most systems operate with a timer and rain sensor, to ensure water is conserved.

Lighting Designer certification achieved from Cast Lighting, a manufacturer of low voltage lighting systems, based upon inspection of a multi-faceted landscape lighting system designed and installed by Artistic Landscapes as well as educational seminars attended by Artistic Landscapes employees.

MCLP (Massachusetts Certified Landscape Professional) a designation earned after successfully passing the MCLP examination. The MCLP program is designed to test the skills and knowledge of the landscape professional and is sponsored by the Massachusetts Association of Landscapes Professionals (formerly Associated Landscape Contractors of Massachusetts, Inc.) More information about the MCLP designation is at

Micro-climates individual area within a property or region. A specific area might be exposed to a wind tunnel or might be protected almost completely and receives direct sunlight. If the area in question is on a slope, there will be a difference in temperature and humidity based on the elevation of each area.

Natural stone includes Bluestone, Flagstone, and Granite etc. Materials occur naturally, although the size of the material might have been modified with human intervention (cutting or splitting).

NCMA (National Concrete Masonry Association) an organization that was formed by the manufacturers of sustainable concrete products to oversee sustainable concrete products for structures and hardscapes. NCMA is a national certification authority. The NCMA's website is

Patio block concrete blocks that are manufactured by combining crushed stone, cement and water along with other ingredients. Sizes may vary and often have a total surface area that is greater than 100.75 square inches.

Pavers concrete pavers are manufactured by combining crushed stone, Portland cement and water along with other ingredients. The final processing of these materials allows for the product to be formed into a variety of shapes prior to curing on a pallet. The overall length of the unit divided by its thickness can not exceed four and the total surface area must be less than 100.75 square inches in order for the unit to be defined as a paver.

Perennials plants that continue to grow for more than one year. Most of these plants die down completely before winter and then grow new shoots the following spring. Bloom times and length vary depending on the plant. Bulbs are an example of a perennial.

Ruts the permanent deformation (depression) left in a material as a result of regular or heavy use. You will notice areas that are used more often will be pushed lower into the ground than the surrounding areas.

Shade garden an area that normally receives less than 2 hours of direct sun daily in the summer. The types of plants that will thrive in this setting are determined based on the amount of filtered and direct sun that reaches the ground.

Shoreline Protection Act A government act used to 'help sustain a high quality of life for all citizens by protecting and restoring the environment and public health' (per the 2002 Guidebook for Environmental Permits in New Hampshire). This act places restrictions on property modifications performed near certain bodies of water, with the goal of protecting all public waters.

Softscape the living components of a landscape. Trees, shrubs, groundcover and flowering plants are examples of softscape components.

USDA hardiness zone ratings the United States Department of Agriculture has given a zone rating to all plants (excluding annuals). The zone rating is correlated to the average annual minimum temperature that does not harm the ability of an individual plant to survive. The zone ratings are not guarantees, because each plant may react differently to the same temperature based on its own micro-climate. See the United States National Arboretum USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map.

Zone 5 or 6 most areas of Massachusetts and Southern New Hampshire are rated as one of these zones. In Zone 5, a plant is normally expected to survive a winter where the low temperature reaches -20 degrees. Based on soil type and fertility, and the amount of wind and direct sunlight, a specific area within a zone might have a slightly different rating.