Let’s Talk Texture

Gardening is an art form. This is especially true in the sense that a garden, much like a painting, is never truly finished. After you are finished planting and primping your garden, it’s helpful to take a step back and evaluate the end product as a whole.Southern Living Associate Garden Editor Rebecca Reed and myself employed this technique at theSouthern Living Idea House earlier this year. At that time, we discovered our “finished” product was not quite finished. Upon closer inspection, we realized there was an abundance of empty space on both sides of our stunning entryway. All of the different elements we had created looked lovely by themselves, but in order to unite them Rebecca and I decided to add some texture.

Thin blades of grass or soft, velvety leaves both work wonders. I like to use plants that offer a combination of both texture and blooms, which is why we went with Queen Mum™ Agapanthus.

The Queen Mum Agapanthus is a strong plant, which functions as an element of texture as well as a powerful bloom. Just as expected, she reigned supreme in the garden. We wanted the texture to be natural, as if it had been there all along, so we decided against planting in a strategic row, instead we scattered the plants randomly throughout the empty space. The blades of foliage are bold and strap-like, while the blooms are a soft white and vibrant violet. Queen Mum is a perennial for zones 8-11.

At the edge of the entryway, we planted clusters of Jubilation™ Gardenia. This plant also serves two purposes within the garden. Its dark, glossy leaves provide yearlong interest and the petite, white blooms release a wonderful fragrance throughout spring and summer. I recently planted these in my own garden and they are still blooming to perfection now.

As you make your way down the sidewalk of the Idea House, you’ll be greeted by the Early Bird™ Crapemyrtle Lavender we planted on either side. Throughout the year, it provides an array of texture fit for every season. In May, its blooms are a sweet shade of lavender, which reappear at the end of summer. Near the end of bloom season, it provides pods that work great in any and every flower arrangement. When winter arrives, you’ll be surprised with rustic twigs as its leaves say farewell.