In simplest terms, “texture” pertains to an object’s sensory attraction to be touched or felt. When applied to Landscape Design, texture is what amplifies the variables of depth, color and form. Texture is what grabs the attention of our human senses and perceptions. Take for example the softscape, or plant material, such as tree foliage or flower petals. It exhibits distinct textures that are perceived by sight and touch to be coarse, medium or fine. The use of contrasting textured elements ensures a sensational landscape design.
Likewise, the contrasting marriage of the softscape and hardscape materials is an easy way to incorporate more texture in your design. The offspring of this “marriage” are stunning entranceways with beautiful gates, pavers that provide an inviting welcome to all who visit; or benches that are anchored between vibrant aromatic trees. Both examples mentioned represent the superb synthesis of engaging functionality with artistic appeal.
Along the same lines, grasses are an excellent source to use in landscape design to create texture. Grasses certainly add dramatic effect. In fact, tall grasses, such as Big Bluestem, can serve as a fence around your property, as well as provide more privacy from neighbors. In cases where unattractive views surround your property, grasses are natural screens that can eliminate those unsightly views. Certainly, grasses have not only a visually aesthetic appeal; they have a functional purpose, as well.
Here is a quick and easy activity you can partake in that will show you whether your landscaped garden or property has the right amount of texture, or not. All that is required is a camera (whether on your cell phone or a generic Polaroid). Snap a black and white photo of your garden; instantaneously you will see the depths and elements of textures that are present.
All in all, as it pertains to designing textured landscapes, hardscape material (i.e. patios, decks, and fountains) give one distinctive dimension, whereas softscape material (i.e. flowers, grasses, plants and trees) give another. Know your options concerning elements and materials. Don’t be afraid to combine the two in your landscape design—contrasting textures make for a spectacular, multi-dimensional haven.