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Mid-Atlantic Regional Reports

Fine-Textured Plants Balance Any Design

Create contrast with delicate textures that offset your standouts

A field of finely textured tall verbena is a resting spot for the eye against the boldly textured, columnar ‘Dee Runk’ boxwoods (Buxus sempervirens ‘Dee Runk’, Zones 6–8) in the background. Photo: Michelle Gervais

Texture is an element some gardeners may not pay much attention to when purchasing the new and exciting cultivars that just arrived at the garden center this season. However, noticing how plants’ characteristics work together in the garden helps to achieve a sense of unity in your planting. When designing, gardeners often rely on bold textures such as those of hostas (Hosta spp. and cvs., Zones 3–9), hydrangeas (Hydrangea spp. and cvs., Zones 4–9), or brunnera (Brunnera macrophylla, Zones 3–8), but choosing plants that only have bold textures may leave the garden looking hard and unbalanced. Selecting plants with different forms and leaf shapes adds an element of balance. Many times, plants that provide a softer, airier texture are overlooked.

Finely textured plants add a casual element to the garden. When mostly finely textured plants are used in a design, a natural, free-flowing garden is created. The following three plants are great choices…

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