LATERAL: The term used to describe side growths on the main stems of a tree or shrub.
LAWN: A specially cultivated piece of grassland, for ornamental or recreational purposes.
LAYERING: Pegging down a young branch or stem into the soil, so that the point which touches the soil produces roots and will eventually form a new plant. This occurs naturally sometimes if a stem touches the ground somewhere along its length.
LEAF-MOULD: The dark brown, broken-down remains of leaves, very good as a soiL-improving material. True leaf-mould differs from compost in that the latter is mainly broken down by bacteria, whereas in leaf-mould the materials are broken down by the action of fungi.
LEAVES: The part of a green plant containing most chlorophyll and therefore the main food-manufacturing part.
LEGUME: A member of the pea and bean family.
LIFT: To dig up a plant from the ground.
LIME: A blanket term used by gardeners to cover several compounds containing calcium which can be added to soil to improve the texture, sweeten it, and increase its alkalinity (see acid).
LOAM: Another word for soil, especially that of good quality.