Design Element 5--Texture

The variety, contrast, and change in the textures of a garden tempt the viewer to stop and absorb the detail.

The indumentum of bureavii, the huge leaves of fictolacteum, the miniscule foliage of microlucem, all make the visual almost tactile.

The needles and gravel and leaves underfoot alter the step as well as the scene.

Textures transform with the seasons. Some are short lived, like the still bright fallen leaves of the Japanese maple or the iced over dogwoods and azaleas.

Mosses and mushrooms, bloodroot and trilium, gentian and twinflower, cover the ground in their seasons.

Throughout the winter, frameworks of trees remain. But bark, from the deeply grooved pines to the splotchy stewartia, is there to be touched all year.

Variety, contrast, and sesonal change find their way into a garden at random, but their effects can be accented by careful design. Considering these same attributes when choosing the textures of ground covers, shrubs, and trees can add a further dimension to the garden visitor's experience.

© 2001 by John and Doreen Anderson