Texture is what makes a planted garden great. By implementing a planting scheme with contrasting form, foliage and texture, one can create interest and dimension within the garden.
Why three is a magic number
Whilst even numbers create symmetry, odd numbers create interest. Plants that are grouped in threes or fives tend to make your eye move around the grouping; and ultimately the garden. You’ll notice that many landscape designers utilise this rule of design.
When a pattern is not a pattern
I like to think of planting design as creating a pattern that isn’t a pattern. Using the concept of grouping plants in threes, the aim is to create a pattern of alternating contrasting textures and tones. Whilst alternating between textures from one grouping to another is a pattern, you also need to ensure the same pattern of plants is not repeated over and over again within a landscape design.
So now for some examples
Some of my favourite plants to group together to create texture in a garden design are:
Buxus Balls – round spheres with a green tone
Agave Blue Glow – compact & spikey with beautiful greeny blue tones
Crassula Blue Bird – a medium sized shrub/succulent with amazing blue foliage
Raphiolepsis Oriental Pearl – a medium sized shrubs with a compact form
Walking Iris – a strappy wide leaf plant create as a filler
Strobilanthes gossipinus – a compact shrub with a beautiful grey tone
Sanseveria trifasciata – upright blade like foliage
Salvia Santa Barbara – a prolific flowering compact shrub
Mexican Lily – a medium to large strappy plant with blue and green tones
Kalanchoe Silver Spoons – medium sized shrub/succulent with silver tones