Build on your garden’s strong bones
This time of the year is when you lament the lack of flowers in your garden. What was a kaleidoscope of colour in summer is now bare sticks or bland blobs of dull green. So it may be time to think about how you can make your winter garden as dynamic as your spring or summer one. Instead of plant colour, think of plant texture and how it can be a feature for all seasons – serving as a backdrop in summer, but holding centrestage in winter.
The structure of this garden was already there with a collection of elegant yuccas. Add flesh to the frame with a garden bed of soft, wavy, sculptural plants, such as ornamental grasses, succulents and rounded bushes, that won’t leave bare patches in your garden during winter.
Choose plants with texture
Colour, shape, height and size create interest in your garden. Add texture and you get greater diversity. Most plants have a medium texture. Adding fine and coarse textures gives a balance that ties all these elements together. Use the long, fine leaves of ornamental grasses or the fat statuesque leaves of succulents. Look for foliage that is furry, as those fine hairs will catch the light from winter’s low sun and cast a luminous glow.
Cactus spines create another dimension, as well as adding a sculptural element to your garden. The feathery leaves of a Japanese maple or the fronds of ferns soften the mood, while the native grass tree adds both architecture and art to your outdoors. Here are four great plants for most gardens.
Mix and match plants in garden beds
Textured plants work best if you contrast them with different plant shapes and vary your planting pattern. Too much of the same thing all in rows can look like a hostile army on the march. Mix Casuarina ‘Cousin It’ with coastal rosemary, succulents and ornamental grasses.
More great textured plants to try:
- Rhaphiolepis ‘Oriental Pearl’
- Kalanchoe ‘Oak Leaf’
- Casuarina ‘Cousin It’
For more gardening inspiration, pick up a copy of the latest issue of Better Homes and Gardens magazine in selected newsagents and supermarkets or buy online today!