Adding Texture to Colors When Planning A Perennial Border

Even though things may look a little drab out your window these days, are you envisioning waves of color throughout your yard next spring and summer?  If your landscape was lacking in floral touches in the past, perhaps its time to consider adding flower beds to boost the visual appeal of your yard.  One of the best ways to do that is to start with perennials.  And winter is a great time for dreaming and planning your garden changes.

When planning a perennial border, people start with gardening books, articles they have cut out, and plant catalogs. Coming up with a total plan based primarily on color is the goal of many gardeners. Other considerations in garden design are color, sound, fragrance, and texture. Another way to view this task is to look at the overall design pairing color and textures. Texture refers to the surface of the plant.  Plant texture affects the way light appears on the plant from a viewing distance. Choosing the right texture of plants is important. Too many finely textured plants can make the garden appear to be fuzzy. If there are too many plants that are broad-leaved, they can make the garden look overwhelming. A balance of  textures of plants is 1/3 fine-textured plants with 2/3 coarse and bold plants.

Picking the site for the perennial garden is a place to start. Plus choosing the style of garden that goes with the style of the house . The next step can be not only looking at the color of the plants and the bloom time, but making an additional criteria based on the foliage of the plants key. Many gardening experts focus on the repetition of color and plants being planted in groups or waves, but fail to add the additional focus on plants textures and forms. These two planting elements of form and texture trump color over and over again. If a perennial border is so coordinated that the color pops here and there, but there isn’t any texture it can become boring. Some fantastic gardens that catch and maintain viewers interest are based on texture and the form of the plants. Color can be seen as a transition part of the garden as the colors come and go as the different plants bloom. Plants like the many different grasses, and other plants such as nepata, also none as catmint, and alchemilla, also known as lady’s mantle, and June bearing strawberries offer form and texture that is more dramatic and long lasting.

If you know you want to make some garden additions to your landscape but you’re not sure where to start, consult a landscape design expert.  Architectural Landscape Design provides services in the entire Minneapolis/St. Paul metro area.