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The Blog: Let's Talk Gardening

Let's Talk Texture

We asked one of our talented Landscape Designers, Mary Ann Newton, about what is often overlooked when designing landscapes. Her answer? Texture. The texture that plant's offer is often overlooked in the landscape, but it is an integral part of any good design.

Here's what she had to say:

"Texture is an integral part of landscape design. Generally speaking, similar textures work together. A fine texture sort of gets lost next to a big, bold leaf. Dramatic, tropical looks tend to have over-sized foliage, and the bones of formal gardens tend to have smaller textured leaves. Keeping formal gardens neat and trimmed is easier this way, because electric or gas pruners can be effectively used. If you prune a bold texture with a machine, you end up with torn and shredded foliage. Prune these by hand, hiding cuts.

Not so generally speaking, contrasting foliage can give emphasis and drama to a garden design. You often see a clipped, formal garden punctuated by a Miscanthus or a Hydrangea, or even a Banana Tree. The texture of ornamental grasses can add drama to many garden styles. While the green, cascades or sprays and their plumes provide drama, the beige, dried foliage of winter sways in the breeze and whispers as it rustles. Conversely, a loose, flowing group of shrubs may need the contrast of a tight, small textured form to anchor it and provide some order.

While we all love color, most of our plants are primarily green. The art of combining textures in pleasing and interesting ways makes our gardening experience more rewarding and our gardens more beautiful."

--Mary Ann Newton, McDonald Landscape Designer

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