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5 Ways to Bring More Texture to Your Garden—And Why It’s Good to Do So

published Aug 23, 2019
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Planting with texture is all the rage right now, and for good reason. Bringing variance to your garden gives it depth and feeling, and gives the eye something to follow instead of falling away quickly. You can add texture to a large outdoor space as well as a simple container garden

Texture has a couple of different meanings, when it comes to what you put in your garden. For one, it’s bringing in different types of focal interest—this can be accomplished with color, different varieties of plants, and different-sized blooms. Texture also means literal texture. When you go plant shopping, don’t be afraid to get hands-on with your prospects, because sometimes the feel of a plant means just as much as how it looks.  

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Here are tips for creating a more texturally interesting garden space, plus the plants that will get you there, all of which I’ve worked and designed with in the past. No more boring gardens!

Pick exciting blooms

This first one is obvious: Go for plants that produce bombshell blossoms. Dahlias, digitalis, and gladiolus will infuse gorgeous texture. Columbine and bee balm can create additional height. 

These plants also produce dynamite blooms:

Also, consider foliage

Beautiful blooms are well and good, but what really brings a bang are plants that are there before and after the show. Look for ones with different-shaped leaves and colored foliage. 

Here are some possibilities:

Choose varying heights 

Creating depth will allow textures to shine through, so make sure your garden’s plants don’t all end up growing to the same height. Map out your garden when you’re plant shopping, arranging potential plants on the cart so you can have an idea of the height differences. Also check out the tags that will tell you their mature measurements. 

Take a look at these options for varied height:

Go for plants with pods 

Plants like poppies, nigella, and wisteria produce intriguing seed pods after they bloom. Not only are the pods more fun to look at than dead flower heads, they amp up the texture in your garden.  

These plants also generate pods:

And don’t forget about your winter garden

If you’re someone who detests drab, empty space during the colder months, try planting varieties that will give you texture, dimension, and color all year long, even after the growing season is over, such as dogwood, sedum, and sea holly.

Here are some other plants that will give you color year-round: