Shirley has been a busy girl these days!
Once a month, designers from the group will be blogging about a common garden design theme on the same day!
This month's Garden Designer's Roundtable focus:
Foliage and Texture
It's a great opportunity to gain insight on how professional designers approach different elements in a landscape from a regional perspective.
Why Focus on Plant Foliage and Texture?
I'm so glad you asked.
Starting from above: spiller, Lotus berthelotii, succulent Echeveria imbricata wedged in the crevice, "explosive" Festuca glauca grass and creeping Sedum reflexum 'Angelina' below
The photo above exemplifies the appeal of a garden that relies on foliage and texture to dazzle the eye instead of flowers.
Study that photo and note how each plant contrasts and compliments the other plants.
When you consider that this plant combination performs year-round, you will also become a fan of foliage/texture plant combinations.
Plants that provide interesting foliage and texture bring "value to the garden" and look their most handsome in each other's company!
(Kind of like when a group of good looking people hang out together, even the least attractive person's appeal quotient moves up a notch!).
Let's break down why this type of plant combination works.
The silver/gray foliage of the Lotus berthlotii ('Parrot's beak") glistens throughout the seasons and sports a hot, red, orange or bright yellow flower in summer, just to prove it can go "the extra mile" in showmanship.
The truth it, I'm only "using" the Lotus for it's beautiful foliage.
The flowers are nice too, but if it didn't bloom at all, I would still plant it for the "dewy" look it contributes to the garden.
The perfectly formed Echeveria rosette retains it's sculptural shape at all times and softens crags and crevices like it's nobody's business.
Festuca ornamental grass
How about the "POW" of the spiky, yet soft, gray Festuca grass?
Festuca with it's wild blades acts as a rebellious foil to the perfectly behaved Echeveria that dares not morph out of shape- ever!
Don't you feel like patting it's fine, puffy blades?
The Sedum in this case is the "bright shadow" underneath the rock.
Relying on foliage and texture in the garden ensures that your garden looks great "most of the time" rather than the short period when flowers are in bloom.
Check out some of my gardens where foliage and texture plants dominate.
There may be no flowers on this hillside, but there is a lot of color- all the time!
Set out plants before planting in their containers and observe how the foliage interacts with the sunlight.
A well back lit ornamental grass will seem to glow in your garden.
This hillside features contrasting textures, foliage color and leaf shapes.
Three plants that look interesting together
Magnolia 'Little Gem' sports a two-tone glossy green leaf on one side and burgundy leaf on the opposite side.
The cool blue oat grass, Helictotrichon sempervirens offers a soft, unstructured understory and contrasting color.
The leaves of the lime-green fig tree look as though they have been hand-stenciled.
There is so much detail going on in this plant composition and each element compliments the next.
This is what a dynamic garden is all about!
The pond and water garden in my yard has been designed around the sun pattern.
Some of the plants are placed in the perfect spot for maximum effect from back lighting and others to benefit from front lighting.
This is my garden at sundown.
Another example of a few well chosen foliage plants that have a synergistic effect on each other.
The back lit 'Golden Goddess' bamboo sets the stage for all three plants.
So simple, yet so dramatically beautiful.
I hope you enjoyed the foray into plant foliage and texture in my gardens.
"Leaf" me a comment! ( I couldn't help myself).
Please follow the Garden Designer's Roundtable and visit all of the blogs listed here that are writing about "Foliage and Texture!"
Andrew Keys : Garden Smackdown : Boston, MA »
Christina Salwitz : Personal Garden Coach : Renton, WA »
Debbie Roberts : Garden of Possibilities : Stamford, CT »
Ivette Soler : The Germinatrix : Los Angeles, CA »
Jocelyn Chilvers : The Art Garden : Denver, CO
Pam Penick : Digging : Austin, TX »
Rebecca Sweet : Gossip in the Garden : Los Altos, CA