Glossary: S-T

Saving Solutions #

Creates or saves resources.

Scarify #

Rubbing or gently scraping the outside of seeds prior to planting. Scarifying makes the seed’s outer coat slightly less impervious, allowing water and nutrients in to assist with sprouting. View video instruction.

Scrub Along The Fence (lot type) #

A Scrub Along the Fence Lot has a collection of trees growing along the lot boundary, either along a fence, or in a line where the side lot fences used to be. These trees can be short and scrubby or quite tall. Linear elements (like fences) in our urban landscapes are good for collecting seeds that later sprout into plants, even if they are not wanted. Many—but not all—of the trees growing on this lot type might be volunteer species, or plants which have planted themselves. You have the choice of what to keep and what to remove. In general, Scrub Along the Fence lots will require a bit of extra pruning, to clear back the unwanted parts of these ‘tree lineups’ if you wish to create or preserve clear viewing lines. On the upside, the extra debris from this is great to compost or to chip into mulch and use on your lot. If you decide to keep your scrub, gentle shade might be yours for the having.

Seasonal (lot design attribute on flowering) #

Blooms seasonally

Seasonal Interest #

Season of peak bloom / highest interest

Setback #

The distance that a building or landscape element is set back from a street, another building, a river, or any other place needing protection or designation. On a given residential street, you will notice a common setback, or stepping back of houses from the road.

Shade #

The absence of direct sunlight, caused by some kind of obstruction like a tree or building. Shade is a variable worth considering when you evaluate your lot. Some plants are very happy with full shade, which is two hours or less of sun light per day. Other plants prefer partial shade, or two to five hours of direct sun daily. Some plants need full sun, or the absence of shade, or more than five hours per day of sunlight. Shade makers to consider on your lot include trees, buildings, and nearby billboards.

Shade Creating #

Creates or adds shade to a lot.

Short Term (time horizon) #

One to five years

Side Lots #

These designs are best on lots with a neighboring home or business.

Single #

Singles are site designs intended for individual lots. If you are considering installing a site design from the Field Guide on a single lot, the best possible type of lot would be one with a building or with another side lot on at least one side of your lot. Detroit Future City sees opportunity in preserving larger, contiguous areas of open space for larger-scale land management strategies.

Site #

The area, assumed as a 30 x 100 lot, in which your design will be implemented.

Site Preparation #

The process of making a lot ready for installing your site design.

Soil #

The mixture of minerals, organic matter, gases, liquids, and countless organisms that together support plant life. This is the primary determinant of a plant’s ability to live. Geologists consider soil to be the uppermost layer of the earth’s surface. Soil contains minerals and organic matter. Its texture is comprised of a mix of silt, sand, and clay.

Soil Food Web #

The community of organisms who live all or parts of their lives in the soil, including nematodes, arthropods, protozoa, fungi, and even birds and other animals, like humans, whose health and vitality depend on participation in a healthy and vibrant soil food web.

Soil Friendly #

Improves the health for organisms who live in or depend on the soil.

Sowing #

The process of casting or ‘sprinkling’ handfuls of seeds over a prepared planting bed.

Special Tools or Equipment #

Upkeep of this lot design will require special, associated tools. Check the shopping list located in the downloads section for details.

Splitting #

Splitting site designs are well suited for a lot that two neighbors plan to share, or split. In addition to sharing the space through this style of lot design, you will need to approach the Wayne County Tax Assessor’s Office for assistance in legally splitting the lot into two individual parcels, or to join half of a lot with your existing lot.

Stormwater #

The water generated during a rain event or snow fall.

Stormwater (managing capabilities) #

Good: Manages 100% of stormwater that falls on-site.
Better: Manages stormwater from on-site, plus a bit more.
Best: Manages equal or greater amounts of stormwater runoff from other sites, too.

Stormwater Superstars #

Higher impact, stormwater-sensitive lot designs: a great choice for DWSD priority areas.

Structure-free #

A structure-free lot is a parcel without a building on it, that may or may not also have plants, animals, insects, and trees living on it.

Super Blooms (lot design attribute on flowering) #

Extended/Multi-season blooms

Swale #

Low areas designed to slow and capture runoff. Swales packed with special plants and soils to clean water as it filters through are called bioswales.

Time Horizons #

The time in which it take for a landscape to become established. Multiple time horizons are considered for the site designs in the Field Guide.

  • interim, is less than one year;
  • short term, or fewer than five years;
  • middle term, five to ten years;
  • long term, ten years plus; and
  • heirloom, or greater than twenty years.
Time Spenders #

Improve conditions on your lot with more time than money.

Topography #

The shape of the land, which can be described by contours.

Traditional Low-density #

Defines several of Detroit's historic neighborhoods. These areas tend to be dominated by single-family homes on larger lots. There typically is a commercial retail strip along key thoroughfares.  Future infill housing at a similar size and scale is appropriate. Small scale vacant lot reutilization also is appropriate in these areas.

Traditional Medium-density #

Typical residential areas generally with less than 30% vacancy. Retail and commercial uses are located along the periphery. These communities tend to have smaller homes and lot sizes than the Traditional Low-Density areas.

Transplant #

The moving of a plant from one place to another. In some ways plants are like people—the older they are, the more time it will take for the transplanted plant to adjust to its new home.

Transportation Intensity #

Low: Possible by bicycle or foot
Medium: Two trips or less in a car or six trips by bus
High: You will need to rent a truck to haul materials, or arrange to have everything delivered.