I always try put more emphasis on choosing plants according to their foliage for a landscape rather than choosing plants based on their flowers. Flowers only last a short season, but foliage lasts all year round. Don’t get me wrong, I love flowers and always add flowering plants to my designs but they are not the skeleton of the design. It is the texture - size and shape of leaves - that add variety and interest.
Grasses are wonderful at adding texture with their long flowing shapes that move in the wind. So are Kniphofias, Aloes and various succulents with different leaf shapes and colours. Bulbs (Eucomis, Crinum, Crocosmia) interplanted between grasses add interest and seasonal variety. Every year that my bulbs come up I am unexpectedly delighted!
I love combining plants that have large leaves with ones that have small, fine leaves. Succulents are a great choice as they are waterwise and require little water. They also withstand harsh weather conditions and will not die easily. Certain deciduous plants (Eg: Tree - Combretum krausii) turn gold, yellow and red before losing their leaves. This also adds seasonal interest and shows the changing of time and seasons.
So next time you choose a plant for your garden, don’t think about the colour of the flower but rather the leaf shape, size and colour and how this will complement the other plants. Here are a few lovely plants for adding texture to your garden: