Thursday, June 6, 2013

I love texture

I love color in the garden, I love fragrance, but above all, I love texture. True, mass plantings of the same species can create an elegant and tranquil effect, but for me there’s nothing like juxtaposing plants with different leaves: large vs. small, wide vs. narrow, coarse vs. fine. You get the idea. I like excitement and drama—I will admit I’m a bit of a Ganna Walska at heart—and nothing gives me a jolt of adrenaline like opposing textures.

130601_Musella-lasiocarpa

Yellow lotus banana (Musella lasiocarpa) in front of giant clumping timber bamboo (Bambusa oldhamii) and variegated Eureka lemon (Citrus limon ‘Eureka Variegated Pink’)

I was reminded of that a few days ago when I took advantage of a rare cloudy morning to take some photos in the front yard. Now that many of the herbaceous perennials have hit their stride, vignettes of rivaling textures are everywhere.

130603_Pennisetum-orientale-Karley-Rose_02

Karley Rose grass (Pennisetum orientale ‘Karley Rose’) and Hot Lips sage (Salvia microphylla ‘Hot Lips’)

130601_Salvia-Hot-Lips- -Russian-sage

Hot Lips sage (Salvia microphylla ‘Hot Lips’) and dwarf Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia ‘Little Spire’)

130601_Gaura- -Nepeta-Walker-Low

Six Hills Giant catmint (Nepeta × faassenii 'Six Hills Giant') and butterfly gaura (Gaura lindheimeri)

130601_Bambusa-oldhamii- -Miscanthus-sinensis-Gracillimus-Nana_

Giant clumping timber bamboo (Bambusa oldhamii) and dwarf maiden grass (Miscanthus sinensis ‘Gracillimus Nana’)

130601_Lavandula-Grosso__

Grosso lavender (Lavandula × intermedia ‘Grosso’) and Jerusalem sage (Phlomis fruticosa)

130601_Northern-sea-oats- -Juncus-patens

Northern sea oats (Chasmanthium latifolium) and California gray rush (Juncus patens)

130601_Canna-indica- -Salvia-involucrata 130601_Senecio-vitalis- -Agave-Red-Margin

LEFT: Roseleaf sage (Salvia involucrata) and canna lily (Canna indica)
RIGHT: Agave ‘Red Margin’ and Senecio vitalis

130601_Salvia-apiana- -Eriocephalus-africanus

LEFT: White sage (Salvia apiana)
RIGHT: African rosemary (Eriocephalus africanus)

130601_Sphaeralcea-Newleaze-Coral- -Rudbeckia-subtomentosa-Henry-Eilers 130601_Perovskia-atriplicifolia-Little-Spire- -Salvia-x-sylvestris

LEFT: Rudbeckia subtomentosa ‘Henry Eilers’ and Sphaeralcea ‘Newleaze Coral’
RIGHT: Perovskia atriplicifolia ‘Little Spire’ and Salvia × sylvestris (forgot the cultivar name)

130601_Aloe-striata-seeds

Aloe striata seeds in front of Agave desmettiana ‘Variegata’. The seeds are short-lived because I will cut down the flower stalk very soon but for now I’m enjoying the contrast every time I walked out through the front door.

4 comments:

  1. Same here Gerhard, I love the visual drama of contrasting (and complementing) foliage and flowers grouped together.

    Some very fine vignettes there!

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  2. Agreed! It's the interplay of foliage textures that really makes a garden a feast for the eyes. Color too of course, but texture is much more important I think. Love the Chasmanthium with the Juncus!

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  3. Such a good visual reminder of how important mixing textures can be. I tend toward so many of the thin strappy leaves I really need to work to incorporate other sizes and shapes.

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  4. You have some great textures there, the first and last photos especially, the Aloe beans with the Agave, love that. I wish I had more big leaves in the garden, but we have those strong winds--big leaves shred, and they also like shade, which is in short supply. Your Musella leaves look wonderful.

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