Way back in the first Oz book, we learn that there’s an area around the Emerald City that’s green in color instead of matching any of the color-coding of the quadrants surrounding it. The people wear peaked hats like the Munchkins do, except in green instead of blue. Dorothy rather confusingly refers to it as “the Land of Oz,” presumably because it’s the part of the country where Oz lives and rules. From what I can remember, later books only use “Land of Oz” to refer to the entire nation, but the other usage seems to have stuck in some places. Recall “To Oz!” from the MGM film, or “He’s the Wiz and he lives in Oz” from The Wiz. There’s never been an official name for this place, although I’ve seen Emerald County, Midland, the District of Oz, and the District of Quadumbia.
The Road to Oz mentions, “a green meadow as pretty as a well-kept lawn, and in this were neither houses nor farms to spoil the beauty of the scene,” when Wizard mentioned several houses and farms in the area, and Dorothy and her friends spent the night at one of them.
Patchwork Girl once again has travelers in the green area stop for dinner at a farmhouse. I suppose we have to take the comment about the lack of houses with a grain of salt, or perhaps it’s only true of a certain part of the territory.
It may be significant that the characters approached the place from the Munchkin County in Wizard and Patchwork Girl, but from the Winkie in Road. Patchwork also has the travelers pass through a gate that’s only real when you’re looking at it in order to reach the area.
And in Purple Prince, Kabumpo passes through a crimson arch on the crest of a hill to reach the Quadling Country from the green area. According to Road, the boundary with the Winkie Country is formed by a river.
So what’s located in this central area other than the city itself and some farms? Road speaks of feathery trees with varicolored leaves shaped like ostrich plumes lining the pathway. According to Patchwork, it’s where six-leaved clovers grow, and the road curves through a grove of tall trees.
The map of Oz shows a large lake to the south of the city, which is mentioned in the text of Lost Princess, and John R. Neill later names Lake Quad. Ozma gives Ojo and Unc Nunkie a house right outside the city wall, and Notta Bit More lives in a tent “on the outskirts of the Emerald City.” Lost King says that Pastoria and Pajuka were enchanted “in a small greenwood near where the Emerald City stands to-day.” In Scalawagons, it’s revealed that Bottle Hill with its bell tower is just north of the city, and can be accessed by means of something called the Lumbering Gate. Neill also puts Jack Pumpkinhead’s home in Pumpkin Park in this area, although L. Frank Baum and Ruth Plumly Thompson had him living in the Winkie Country just west of the green territory. David Maxine at Hungry Tiger Press suggests here that Jack might have actually have two homes. Thompson’s map also places the Fiddlestick Forest in this area, although James E. Haff and Dick Martin move it to the Munchkin Country. Their map also makes the area as a whole smaller in proportion to the rest of Oz than it is on earlier ones. Also, the map in Forbidden Forest places Beryl Mountain in the southeastern part of the country, but I’m not sure I can accept a mountain being in the area. Maybe it’s actually indicating the underground mountain of emeralds in Mark Haas’s…well, Emerald Mountain.