While benches, statues, bird bathes and other non-natural items may provide an alluring sense of usability and contrast in your design, another principle that can be manipulated to create a similar sense of contrast is texture. When planning for texture, you must consider what kinds of plants will be used in your design, how they will be grouped, and how they will affect the other designing principles in your landscape.
Specifically, texture refers to the shape, size, coarseness or smoothness and weight of the foliage - usually leaves or bark. While texture can be used to create the sense of contrast often used to present a focal point, it can also be used as a complementary principle away from any focal points. When used in a complementary manner, the principle of texture is often used to provide a sense of balance and symmetry, or to illustrate the diversity of plant types included in your landscape design.
Texture can also be categorized by the shade or tint of the leaf or bark's color, as well as the leaf's thickness. It is a general rule in landscape design that more plants with fine textures should be used in comparison to those with more coarse textures. Following this simple rule when selecting plants for your landscape design will ensure an aesthetically attractive appearance [source: Boulden].
When considering texture, it is easy to be hung up on the details without remembering that texture perception is dependent on how far away the observer is from the plants. To produce a truly nuanced landscaping design, it is important to reflect on how the principle of texture will be perceived from multiple vantage points [source: Morley].
Think your landscape is just green? Think again. Read on to find out about landscaping color.