Accent through contrast in foliages is not the only valuable attribute of texture. It is related to scale, for texture is created by the relative size of foliage units and the way the foliage is displayed or hung on the plant. The finely divided foliage of the willow and thalictrum, the trembling aspen that constantly moves in the breeze, and holly leaves that reflect light give movement, sparkle, and gaiety to the garden scene.
To quote Louise Beebe Wilder, "There is a class of plants too light in build and too fugitive to be of great value in our color arrangements; they are the butterflies of the flower world, careless, gay, full of whimsical charm; and without their fluttering life the garden would be bereft indeed. There is room for many of these flowers of grace in even small gardens, for they will occupy little space and they will, if allowed a bit of freedom in the matter of their bestowal, redeem the garden from the stiffness which is apt to be the result of our heavier touch. It is their special mission to add a touch of laughter to the scene; to lift our thoughts from the gravity of gardening to the witchery of the garden."
Among such plants are the various poppies, flax, thalictrum, valerian, gypsophila, and columbine — all plants with fine textures or with leaves or blossoms so carried as to create a feeling of lightness, of movement, and as Mrs. Wilder said, of grace.
- Texture - Texture is created by the relative size of foliage units and the way the foliage is displayed or hung on the plant.
- Mass - Mass is a powerful means of building up to climaxes, heightening interest around terminal and other focal points, and relieving monotony or flatness.
- Line and Form - Beginning with that imaginary center line or axis, strive to develop an attractive pattern, made up at this stage entirely of lines.
- Planting in the Informal Scene - In all informal work the danger of becoming merely formless is always present. You cannot let everything just run wild, and plant your garden without any guiding plan and expect it to please.
- Some Lesser Rules - Whenever possible, attention should be given to these lesser matters, especially when you make the yearly revisions which bring your garden ever nearer to perfection.
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