Friday, August 03, 2007


I wanted to revisit these pictures that I posted about last year and share some thoughts. These are photos of my front yard and they perfectly display some design techniques that learned in college many years ago. I've shared several times of the importance of mixing contrasting textures and colours in the garden beds. As you can see, needle like foliage is paired with succulent leaves, grasses paired with larger leafed plants. One plant contrast next to another.
In the foliage colours, gray-greens next to dark greens, burgundy next to pine green next to bronze. Switching it up helps define each plants space and individual characteristic.
Even growth forms are varied. Upright plants next to mounding, spiky next to arching. Mixing all these components helps make each plant stand out. All the plants are located in grouping or drifts. As I have often said in the past while teaching design "there is strength in numbers". Planting in groups well helps solidify a yard and gives it weight and structure.

I hope some of these ideas while inspire and would love to hear what has worked well for you in your garden.


KC MO Garden Guy said...

I am starting to pay more attention to what I plant where thanks to your blog. One question I have is when you plant in groups do you suggest 3 of the same plant or 3 with a similar color or texture then pair them with a contracting color or texture? I have always just planted according to height and left it at that so it will take a while to correct my beds.

As always thanks for sharing your experience. I am glad I can tap into your wealth of knowledge and it is great you give it so freely!

Bob said...

Cliff, thats a great question. It's best to plant in groups by type of plant ie; 4 blue fountain delphiniums, 3 goldstrum ruddibeckia, etc. It doesn't have to be in three or any odd number. I judge how many to plant together by how large they will get. The only exception to this rule is when using a specimem plant or when one plant will fill up the area when it matures.
Hope this help. I always enjoy questions and appreciate you dropping by. all the best,

Layanee said...

Bob: Found you from Lost Roses! You have mastered the texture techniques perfectly! What lovely plant combinations!

KC MO Garden Guy said...

Bob - That is kind of what I was thinking. I just wanted a professional option!!
Thanks, Cliff