Gardener installing turf grass

Garden Design: Understanding the Basics in Texture

The best way to pull off a garden design is to go back to the basics, the principles. More often than not, the reason people feel like there’s something off with their space is they overlooked a principle or two.

One of the often forgotten is the concept of texture. It’s not as obvious as colors and patterns; that’s why it can easily be an afterthought. Or sometimes, people just don’t know how to use texture in the design.

What Exactly Is Texture?

Texture refers to the surface quality of elements in the garden. The plants, for instance, are classified into three types: fine, medium, and bold.

Fine-textured species are those that are thin and fragile, the Queen Anne’s Lace as the classic example. Bold textures have wide, strong features, like the hostas. Medium, by its label, is neither delicate nor attention-grabbing. Most plant species fall under this.

Aside from the general look and feel of the plant, there are other factors that influence how we perceive “surface characteristic.” Shape is one. Round, oval, or heart-shaped species usually belong to the fine textures. Pointy, spiky species, on the other hand, are more striking, so they’re categorized as bold textures.

Another factor is the movement. If a plant is more fluid and graceful as the wind passes, it falls under fine. If it’s more rigid and stiff, like succulents, it leans towards the bold.

Do note that hardscaping materials play a role in the overall texture of your outdoor space, too. Pay attention to the surface qualities of pavements, dividers, like arbors and gates, even the timber or metal walls and supporting structures of your greenhouse conservatory design. These elements should complement your plant textures.

How Should You Use Texture?

Lawnmower in the garden

The best to use texture in your design is to strive for contrast. Mix different types of textures in one area of your garden to have a nice visual balance. You can apply here the 60-30-10 design rule. This means 60% of the space will have medium-textured species, 30% will have fine, and 10% will have bold, serving as accents.

If you already have an existing design, determine how you want to spruce it up. If the garden looks too stiff and hard, add fine textures in it. If it’s too boring and monotonous, maybe you need attention-grabbing bold textures.

As you mix textures, take note of the atmosphere they create, so you can also incorporate them in appropriate areas. For instance, bold textures make for a space that has a lot of drama, and sometimes formality. It’s best to use this in meditation corners in the garden or maybe, Koi ponds.

Fine textures, meanwhile, create a space that’s more casual and free-flowing. If you can surround your conversation areas or alfresco with such, that can add to the informal feel there.

Texture is an important element in garden design that you can’t afford to miss. If you’ve been planning to revamp your outdoor space for a long time now, maybe you can start with adding good textures in it.

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