1040 Rte 45, Pomona, NY 10970 | PHONE: 845-354-8500 | Email | Open 9AM-5PM Daily

The Rule of Three: Using Texture in your Garden

Flowers, Plants and Dragon Statuary

Texture is one the most basic design elements of landscape design. In gardening terms, texture is not just foliage –but also the actual flowers, blades of grasses, and bark of the plant, as well as in the plant’s overall branching pattern.

Texture generates interest and contrast within the landscape and can be used to make spaces feel larger or smaller. When used on the perimeter of a property, fine textured plants recede into the distance, making a space feel larger. Coarse textured plants attract the eye and tend to hold it, so planting them toward the front of a landscape will add depth to the bed. To make an area feel smaller and more intimate, reverse the order and plant fine-textured plants in the front with the coarser ones in the back. The eye will be drawn to the details in the coarse textures, visually pulling the space towards the viewer.

Plants that create fine texture are often described as wispy and light. Many have light-colored foliage and blooms of white or pastel colors such as Baby’s Breath and Coreopsis. Ornamental Grasses and Astilbe catch the breeze, adding movement to the garden. Ferns and vines also fall into this category.

Coarse textured plants usually have large leaves, irregular edges and thick stems or trunks. They often have bold, rich colors and can have stiff leaves with thorns or spikes. Plants with coarse textures include Hydrangeas, Hostas and Yuccas.

Of course, the vast majority of plants fall into a medium texture range with average size and shape of foliage, smooth edges and simple shapes, often rounded in shape like Euonymus,

Forsythia and Viburnum. The medium textured plants act as a background to link and unify the coarse and fine textured plants.

The old saying “All good things come in threes” certainly applies here. Texture is one of important building blocks to creating a successful garden and following the rule of three puts you on the right path for a lovely landscape.


At Down to Earth Garden Center in Rockland County, our garden center is filled with perennials, flowers, shrubs, and trees, with new arrivals coming in every week. The 10,000 square foot showroom has an incredible selection of contemporary, classic, traditional, and transitional teak, aluminum and all-weather dining and deep-seated furniture. We are a garden center near Bergen County and located at 1040 Route 45, open 9 am – 5 pm daily and can be reached at 845-354-8500.