In many gardens, the emphasis is mainly on the color of plants and their blossoms- especially during the Springtime, when most plants are in full bloom. While color is very important in any garden design, texture is equally important to the beauty and design of a garden. This is sometimes overlooked, but there are a lot of opportunities for creativity in using the wide range of texture that is available in plants.
Texture regarding plants is referring more to visual experience than physical touch. A plant with a 'fine' texture usually has small leaves and blossoms, and appears light and 'airy'. A 'coarse' or 'bold' plant has larger leaves and blossoms, and a more defined form. The texture of a 'fine' or 'bold' plant is also created by light, shadow, and bark, and there are many plants in between, with as much variation and diversity as any color palate.
Using artful texture in a garden space provides extra depth and interest. Fine textures draw attention to the shape and contrast of the plants around them. They also create an illusion of more space. Bold plants emphasize their own shape and pattern, and have a more dense, tropical feel. Recognizing the advantages of each plants' unique texture in the garden creates the desired effect in a design. Fine and bold plants can really compliment each other when used skillfully.
Some examples of bold textured plants are Awabuki Viburnum, Oakleaf Hydrangea, Philodendron, Cast Iron Plant, and Fatsia. Some lovely fine textured plants are Boxwood, Dwarf Holly, Walter's Viburnum, and Indian Hawthorn.
This is a picture of a Fig&Vine garden which displays an excellent use of unique textures. You can see the use of Fatsia in the back contrasting with the small, fine Liriope in front.
Here's another Fig&Vine creation. Both color and texture are working together for a beautiful and pleasing arrangement.
Texture is a very important part of any garden design. Make sure it's given the consideration and care it deserves!