Generally be described as having a coarse medium or

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generally be described as having a coarse, medium, or fine texture. Coarse texture is more dominant than fine and also tends to dominate color and form, while fine texture is more subordinate to other qualities and tends to unify compositions. Coarse-textured plants attract the eye and tend to hold it because the light and dark contrasts of the shadows provide more interest. Fine texture exaggerates distance and gives the feeling of a larger, more open space. Rough texture minimizes distance—plants appear closer F I G U R E 7. Shrub and groundcover forms
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5 and the space feels smaller, or enclosed. Texture is also found in the hardscape, including on buildings, patios, walls, and walkways. Coarse texture Plant characteristics that create coarse texture include large leaves; leaves with very irregular edges; bold, deep veins; variegated colors; thick twigs and branches; leaves and twigs with spines or thorns; and bold, thick, and/ or irregular forms. Each leaf of a coarse-textured plant breaks up the outline, which gives the plant a looser form. Examples of plants with coarse texture include philodendrons, agaves, bromeliads, hollies, palms, and hydrangeas. Hardscape with coarse texture includes rough- cut stone, rough-finished brick, and unfinished wood with knots and a raised grain. Aged or old construction material that maintains a weather-beaten surface is often coarse in texture. Fine texture Characteristics that create fine texture include small foliage; thin, strappy leaves (grasses) or tall, thin stems; tiny, dense twigs and small branches; long stems (vines); and small, delicate flowers. They are often described as wispy and light or with a sprawling, vining form. Fine-textured plants sometimes have a stronger form because the small individual leaves are densely packed (e.g., boxwoods) to create a solid edge. Plants with a fine texture include grasses, ferns, Japanese maples, many vines, and junipers with fine needles. Hardscape with fine texture includes smooth stone, wood or ceramic pots, and glass ornaments. Smooth water, such as that found in a reflecting pool, or water with a very fine spray is considered fine textured. Medium texture Most plants are medium texture, in that they cannot be described as having either coarse or fine texture. They are characterized by medium-sized leaves with simple shapes and smooth edges. The average-sized branches are not densely spaced nor widely spaced, and the overall form is typically rounded or mounding. Medium-textured plants act as a background to link and unify the coarse- and fine-textured plants. Plants with medium texture include agapanthus, ardisia, camellia, euonymus, pittosporum, and viburnum. Hardscape with a medium texture includes standard flagstone pavers, broom-brushed concrete, and finished woods.
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