Saturday, August 14, 2010

Texture and pattern

It's high summer here at Longview Ranch and the MulchMaid is trying objectively to see the garden's successes and failures. While analyzing vistas from windows and comfortable garden seats is important for planning, some plant features deserve recognition for the small rewards revealed by a closer look.

Three Eucomis 'Pole-evansii' I planted in spring have failed to produce flower heads, but have done nicely in the foliage department. Their beautiful ruffled edges are a surprise on long, smooth, green leaves.

Zantedeschia 'Flame' has great spotted leaves in completely irregular patterns.

This summer, the three-year-old Eucalyptus pauciflora is starting to show characteristic patterning of its bark. I love this rewarding garden resident in all seasons.

The texture of summer-blooming heathers is lovely. It looks like miniature cedar branches.

The pattern of radiating leaves on sempervivums is endlessly fascinating. Although it's fun when they bloom, I wouldn't mind if they never had flowers.

The texture created by multiple succulent heads makes you want to touch them. Almost everyone who sees this tiny family group explores its surface with their finger.

Pointed leaves on sedums seem to create texture and curved leaves seem to create more of a pattern.

The filaments on this sedum are so cool. It invites touching, but I don't dare because the web looks so fragile.

I love the patterning on the outside of some agave leaves.

This one is Agave Americana, and above it is A. parryii.

Other agaves create patterns in their leaf structure, like this Agave bracteosa.

Pinus contorta, the shore pines, have beautiful brushy texture.

Eryngium varifolium has beautifully marked veins creating pattern on its leaves.

These patterned veins on an Asian eggplant leaf are a gorgeous purple.

This stiff little Rhododendron impeditum has great glaucous texture. I lost two others this year, but this one is a success, probably because it gets a bit more sun in winter.

The exuberant vein patterns on this canna leaf say high summer to me.

What's your favorite pattern or texture in your garden this summer?


  1. Oh gosh I wouldn't be able to pick a single pattern or texture I love them all! Your Eucalyptus pauciflora is drop-dead gorgeous! And the three agaves, love them! That A. Americana wouldn't happen to be the one from my Arizona brother would it? If so it's HUGE! (and if the AZ one didn't make it through the winter never mind...). Oh and go ahead and touch the filaments on the Sempervivum, I'm not as restrained as you and have touched them many times....they are tougher than they look! Beautiful

  2. Favorite? Wouldn't that be like playing favorites with your children? But I do love looking at these patterns you have gathered into a great post.

  3. What exquisite views -hooray for texture and pattern;sometimes one just does not need flowers for fulfillment y'know ?

  4. Your photos are really up to the challenge of showing off these great plants. And what a cool eucomis.

  5. Hi Jane, I'm glad to see your garden is doing so well and you survived the heatwave. The closeups of your shapes and patterns are just dazzling. I don't really have a favorite but I am sure enjoying the linear aspects of my Ensete Maurellii. And I'm praying for a mild winter as I watch the thing grow in size almost hourly. ;)

  6. Loree - that IS the a. Americana you gave me. It's doing really well! I'm chicken to plant it out yet, so it still lives in a pot and comes inside in winter.

    ricki - I guess I don't have a favorite either. Some definitely speak to me at certain moments, though!

    ks - thanks for visiting. I don't have a lot of flowers, so I get my thrills where I can!

    Denise - that's very kind about the photos - especially coming from you. And the eucomis was a complete surprise - maybe they aren't always like that?

    Grace - having lots of heat lovers helps when the temps soar like they did last week. And I join you in your prayers for a milder winter: I'll settle for what used to be "normal" here before the past two!


Thank you in advance for jumping through the annoying but necessary word verification hoop to leave your thoughts!