Personal Garden Coach

The Motivational Gardener at Large

Garden Designer’s Roundtable: Ideas for Adding Texture to Your Landscape June 26, 2012

Texture is my thing. Let me say that again LOUDER so there is no doubt in your mind. TEXTURE IS MY THING!! I adore it in the garden almost above all else. I see it everywhere, it dominates my design sensibilities in every conceivable way. The fact that I tend to see almost everything through the lens of a camera whether I’m holding one or not helps me to focus my design esthetics so that I see textural vignettes everywhere.

Bellevue Botanical Garden

Since all of us at The Garden Designer’s Roundtable are tackling this topic for June, you are sure to get some seriously great tips and techniques on the actual step by step of adding texture into your landscape. As is my way, I am not going to do the expected, but rather, I will give you a pictorial of what adding texture to your landscape means to me through a collection of photos. I feel strongly about learning visually on this topic, reading the actual variables is handy, but sometimes you have to just see it to know and understand it.

Bellevue Botanical Garden

Bellevue Botanical Garden

I am also sprinkling in some EXCELLENT links for you to go and visit as well as referring you to my fellow Lords and Ladies of the Roundtable and their collective expertise.

Bellevue Botanical Garden

Here is the first link that I stumbled onto the other day while doing a bit of research. This is one of the very best explanations of Adding Visual Texture to the Garden that I have ever read. Writer Doug Skelton, lays out the principles of adding texture expertly.

  1. Form
  2. Space
  3. Color
  4. Balance
  5. Man-Made
  6. Combinations

FORM – Bellevue Botanical Garden

SPACE- Bellevue Botanical Garden

Margaret roach explains “underplanting” here with great expertise, but even more, look at that TEXTURE!

From Margaret Roach’s Blog Post “10 Thoughts on Successful Underplanting” from http://awaytogarden.com/10-thoughts-on-successful-underplanting#more-540

This beautiful and simple post from LIVE PRONTO! shows the appreciation of taking a walk to admire the textures and breathe it in a bit after a long day at work.

BALANCE- Bellevue Botanical Garden

MAN-MADE

I love the glass ground cover in this link!

http://marpa.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/textureplay.jpg

One of the assignments I give my clients when I am Coaching is to have them take a photo of the anything in the landscape and look at it solely in black and white. This is a fabulous exercise for designing with texture in particular because it forces the eye to look at the shapes, balance and details in a completely new way.

Adding structural plants is a focus in this blog post called “Rooting For Ideas”, very well done by Designer/Blogger Don Statham in a post about “Texture in the Garden”.

Sometimes adding visual texture to a landscape can mean adding focal points that might be rare and unusual collectors plants or literal texture too!

Distinctive and Unique

I love the idea that sometimes you need a seemingly basic plant that has a high degree of textural interest simply to set a backdrop for pure drama in the garden.

Bellevue Botanical Garden

At other times the focus can be very macro on the texture of one plant in particular as blogger Matt Mattus explains in this post from his blog “Growing with Plants” about Pulsatilla and his love of the texture when they have those fluffy seed heads.

In this shot, the take-away is the literal texture and impact of the subject matter on the container and how it’s so balanced with the amount of detail on the foliage of a fairly common Caladium. Also, note the balance of the tone in colors here as well, if the pot was the same pattern in another color, this might not work at all. This combination takes both pieces to new heights.

Houzz.com is getting a lot of Buzz lately for their take on the “Idea Book” that people have fallen in love with lately- check out this post about adding lushness to the garden with layers, by Amy Renea.

And simply because I love these shots and ALL the texture they conjure, my beloved coleus cannot be ignored.

I love this post from “Not Another Gardening Blog”. This blogger does a masterful job of defining texture as it applies to the winter garden.

The many other talented Designers of the Garden Designer’s Roundtable await your visit, they have been working hard on their “Texture” posts for you to enjoy- so GO- ENJOY!! I left the links for you below:

Thomas Rainer : Grounded Design : Washington, D.C.

Rebecca Sweet : Gossip In The Garden : Los Altos, CA

Pam Penick : Digging : Austin, TX

Lesley Hegarty & Robert Webber : Hegarty Webber Partnership : Bristol, UK

Douglas Owens-Pike : Energyscapes : Minneapolis, MN

Deborah Silver : Dirt Simple : Detroit, MI

David Cristiani : The Desert Edge : Albuquerque, NM

Andrew Keys : Garden Smackdown : Boston, MA

Rochelle Greayer : Studio G : Boston, MA

 

18 Responses to “Garden Designer’s Roundtable: Ideas for Adding Texture to Your Landscape”

  1. pbmgarden Says:

    Your commentary and choice of images make this is a helpful post. I sometimes evaluate the quality of my garden photographs by viewing them in B&W, but what I realize from your post today is I should be also evaluating my actual garden combinations using this tool as well. Some of my photographs were lacking contrast, but in some cases that may be an accurate reflection of the lack of contrast in areas of the garden.

  2. I enjoyed all your “touchable” photos, Christina, and the links you provided lead to some good reading too. I’ll have to follow up with those after I get through all the Roundtable posts.

  3. [...] Christina Salwitz : Personal Garden Coach : Renton, WA [...]

  4. I was touching my screen the entire time looking at this post!

  5. [...] Christina Salwitz : Personal Garden Coach : Renton, WA [...]

  6. [...] Christina Salwitz : Personal Garden Coach : Renton, WA [...]

  7. Wow – thanks for the visual feast today, Christina! Out of all the images, I think the very first is my favorite! And I’m looking forward to reading the blogs you’ve recommended, as well. Very helpful and informative!!

  8. Planet Puget Sound is quite brilliant. Understory textures…something we really don’t explore here, since it is usually the understory to surface-rooted trees that allow nothing else. Texture there would be appreciated. But getting clients to see in black and white…great, a whole topic to explore I do not use enough.

  9. Deborah Silver Says:

    Dear Christina, there is so much to look at here, and absorb. You do so love texture-with the added caveat of contrast. Contrast in a garden can be addressed in a number of ways. Your photographs are all about texture, but with very interesting links to form, mass and color-and contrast. Thanks for this, Deborah

  10. Becky Says:

    Fantastic! Thanks for the visual tutorial.

  11. Hi Christina,

    Thanks so much for the ‘shout out’!

    I’m pretty new to the blogosphere so had never heard of the Garden Designer’s Roundtable – wow, so much to read so little time. I’ll be back.

    Sue

  12. fabulous post – I’m saving this in my pinboards so I can come back when I’m designing my new garden. Thanks for all the amazing photos!

  13. twostepsfromhome Says:

    This wonderful. How can you do this? Great job.

  14. [...] Cold FramesGardeningMaking Your Garden A Family Fun ActivityPortland Gardening Events: July 2012Garden Designer’s Roundtable: Ideas for Adding Texture to Your Landscape Related [...]

  15. [...] Douglas Owens-Pike : Energyscapes : Minneapolis, MN Deborah Silver : Dirt Simple : Detroit, MI Christina Salwitz : Personal Garden Coach : Renton, WA Andrew Keys : Garden Smackdown : Boston, MA Rochelle Greayer : Studio G : Boston, MA This entry [...]

  16. […] Christina Salwitz : Personal Garden Coach : Renton, WA […]


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