The gardener's eye

The Gardener's Eye

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Texture, Texture Read All About It

It is the textural elements of plants that I find most intriguing. When I am looking for plants at another garden or nursery, the foliage is very important. Grey, red/purples and chartreuse are often good colors to mix with other plants. Then I look for foliage that is thin vs thick, shiny vs flat or fuzzy, serrated vs smooth edged, round vs long. All the grass-like foliaged plants are particularly useful as are the round or paddle-like shaped leaves. When I put a composition together, I try to have a pleasing balance between contrast and harmony with both leaf color and leaf texture.


  1. Practically a primer without words on textural and color compositions. Beautiful. What is the plant in the photo third from the end. Dog fennel?

  2. Thanks, James. Yes that plant is Eupatorium capillifolium aka dogfennel. This American native, not hardy in NH, makes a wonderful textural addition to the Pavilion plantings at Depot Park. I especially like how it gently moves in the wind.

  3. Dog fennel was a common weed where I grew up in Mississippi. I was always attracted to its feathery texture and very strong fragrance (odor?). I was very surprised to see it being used as an ornamental in recent years. I wonder if it's hardy in my area. Have to look it up.

    1. I was under the impression that dog fennel was invasive in warmer zones. I think it is hardy to Zone 6. I think you could grow it. I haven't experienced the odor. Will sniff around this week!

  4. Beautiful compositions all, but the window box is an absolute stunner.

  5. Thanks, Ms. Wis. I don't think I have done that window box without Coleus "Compact Red' for a dozen years or more. It mixes well with any plant I pair it with.



Related Posts with Thumbnails