How important is Texture?  Texture can be more pleasing than flowers, and persist longer. In smaller gardens where every design element  is seen up close, it is of particular importance.


Here the  bold glossy leaves of  Lenten Rose (Helleborus orientalis)  stand in a mass of delicate Maidenhair fern (Adiantum capillus-veneris).

                                                                      Plants used for background need to be fine, dense and matt in order to be a suitable foil for either statuary or flowers. Above St. Fiacre against a matt evergreen Arborvitae (Thuja plicata).  On either side the coarse, shining leaves of Gardenia (Gardenia japonica) and  Banana Shrub (Michelia figo),  reflect too much light to be an effective background.

Contrasting textures apply not only to plant relationships.

                                                        Here the fine ferny foliage of Japanese Maple ( Acer palmatum) stand out in sharp contrast to the smooth Bluestone walkway.


 The best effects are achieved with simplicity.  Texture = contrast = beauty.

© All photos & text 2010


3 thoughts on “TEXTURE

  1. The Helleborus and Adiantum foliage make a great pairing. I have some Adiantum pedatum with some round, shiny-leafed Asarum Europeum, and I really like those textures together, too.

  2. What a powerful post – I love the idea of simple contrasting textures to have such visual appeal.

    “Green on green” used to be very over-done to me. When the flowers dropped of the perennials – everything looked like grass. I opted for varigation or complimentary colors. Contrasting textures starts a whole new thought process! Thanks! -Shyrlene

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