Flower Garden Design – Bedding Plants That Have A Fine Leaf Texture

When designing a flower garden, color maybe the single most important consideration, but need not be the only one. Bedding or herbaceous plants have form, size, and shape. Their leaves also possess a definite, visual texture. An excellent way of achieving a satisfying and harmonious composition in the flowerbed is to group together plants whose leaves are finely cut, serrated, or toothed. By so doing, the variety that is attained by contrasting colors is balanced by the unity achieved by the common leaf texture.

Examples of such bedding plants to name a few, would include, Achillea, (Yarrow) Brachycome, Bidens, Felicia, and Chrysanthemum frutescens. While all the above belong to the same botanical family, (Asteraceae) plants belonging to other families can also be found to possess similar leaf shapes. Verbena and Linum, (Flax) are cases that spring to mind.

Such plants, combine beautifully with many herb species such as Thyme, Artemisia and Rosemary, as well as with flowering plants whose leaves are not finely-cut, but nonetheless, narrow and delicate. Examples are some carnations, (Dianthus) Armeria, and small, grass, or grass-like plants like Festuca and Liriope. If you think in terms of shapes and textures, you’ll get far better results than by focusing on color alone.

Thought should also be given as to how the flowering plants in the bed associate with the other plant-types in the garden, such as the ground covers, shrubs, and trees. An incredible sense of unity arises when these “speak the same language” both with each other and with the plants in the flowerbed.

For instance, ground covers can form a transition area between the lawn, and the herbaceous border. When choosing a ground cover, why not use a fine-textured species like Myoporum parvifolium. Similarly, shrubs with feathery leaves like some species of Melaleuca, Calliandra or coniferous shrubs like Juniper, accentuate and strengthen the design motif. A group of ornamental grasses, especially when they sport tall blooms, would be another example of a subtle association between the flowerbed and a different section of the garden.

The connection does not have to stop there. A criterion for choosing the trees in the garden, albeit not the only one, can definitely be their leaf texture. Trees that have very large, course leaves, are liable to seem incongruous with the fine textures of the rest of the garden plants. While on the other hand, feathery-leaved trees like Albizzia julibrissen, or Gleditsia triacanthos, would associate and combine appropriately with them.

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