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Southern Plains Regional Reports

Bold-Textured Beauties for Sun and Shade

Foliage and flowers with eye-catching textures can anchor any garden

The striking foliage of Japanese aralia will upgrade any warm shade garden. Photo: David Cavagnaro

In horticulture, plants are often described as having fine, medium, or bold (coarse) texture. Bold-textured plants have large leaves and sometimes large blossoms to match, although “bold-textured” really refers to foliage. These plants provide interest even without flowers, which makes them excellent specimens for winter gardens after the flowering season has ended. They also work well in shady spots, which typically don’t provide as much of a flower show as sunnier locations do.

Bold-textured plants provide a foil to surrounding fine-textured plants. The trick to maximizing their impact is to not crowd too many bold beauties into one space, but rather to use them more sparingly as anchors among finer-textured species. Fortunately, there are plenty of bold-textured plants to choose from for different soil moisture levels—from very moist to quite dry. That means that the long, hot summers of the Southern Plains do not prevent us from having beautiful,…

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