How to Use Bold Textured Plants for Outstanding Garden Design
When the flowering plants start to fade, you can use bold-textured plants as transitional plants. Plants with bold, heavily textured foliage can rival the most showy flowers. These plants are eye-catching and begging to be the center of attention in a garden. Rebecca Sweet, a garden designer, offers these expert tips.
When flowering plants fade, you can use bold-textured plants as transitional plants. Plants with bold, heavily textured foliage can rival the most showy flowers. They grab your attention and demand to be the center of the garden bed. Rebecca Sweet, a garden designer, offers these tips.
To maximize the impact of bold plants, use restraint in placing them in your garden. Only a few plants in a small space will make the garden look claustrophobic and chaotic.
Boldly textured plants create focal points.
The challenges of creating a garden in a natural environment are many. It is essential to draw the viewer away from the more immense vistas and towards the park. Plants’ bold, highly textured leaves are great for grabbing and re-directing the viewer’s attention. It is difficult to dismiss a giant Butterbur ( Petasites japonicus ) or Elephant’s Ear ( Colocasia species. ).
The impersonality of extensive gardens is often felt. To solve this problem, create intimate spaces in the park. Viburnum, rhododendron, and magnolia are large plants with coarse textures. The bold textures and larger size of these plants allow the eye to rest and stand up against the vast space around them.
Create a tropical illusion with bold plants.
Textural qualities in some plants can give the illusion of a tropical environment, even in climates that are not conducive to tropicals.
The leaves of many plants in the tropics are large, bold, and coarsely textured. Examples include the palm tree, angel’s horn, and banana plant. Use cold-hardy, similar-textured plants to recreate this effect in your garden. Plant choices include Japanese aralia (Aralia elata ‘Silver Umbrellas’; Zones 4-9), Tiger Eyes staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina ‘Bailtiger’; Zones 4-8), or sweet coltsfoot (Petasites frigidus; Zones 4-9). *
Rebecca Sweet has been a garden designer for over ten years and owns Harmony In The Garden. She has written many books and articles about garden design and is a regular contributor.