Tropical Texture

One of my pet peeves is seeing a nicely planted landscape bed that is uninteresting because of lack of consideration of plant textures, colors and contrasts. Before I go off on a landscape design rant about textures and contrast and why people place their plants wrong; I should post this picture I took recently because I thought it was a great representation of tropical texture finely utilized in the placement of the plants. They teach in design school it is all about texture and contrast, I think this is leaf shape, texture and flower contrast. The lowest plant is a Monstera deliciosa, the Swiss Cheese plant. Coarse textured, yes, but a uniquely tropical leaf shape, the next plant also coarse is a Heliconia caribaea, Red Flowering Lobsterclaw. Same texture, different leaf shape and a cool flower. The highest plant in this composition is a Frangipani or Plumeria. Might be a medium textured leaf, but the fragrance when in flower is worth any unattractiveness in the plant (these are naked stumps all winter) I am pretty sure the gardener here never darkened the door of design school but this is a beautiful planting design.

Tropical Texture

Tropical Texture

Here is some more tropical texture:

Bamboo Trunks

Bamboo Trunks

This is Buddha’s Belly Bamboo, Bambusa ventricosa ‘Buddha Belly” A tropical bamboo that clumps. I have not gotten over my fear of being overrun enough to try any bamboo.

This led me to think of the tropical succulents I have planted many from drier climates, but they certainly have a tropical texture: Interesting plants all but specifically the Pencil Cactus which is a Euphorbia – yes related to Poinsettias, seems so weird to me.

I think I have completed my rant, please don’t plant all the fine textures together, it freaks me out…


2 comments on “Tropical Texture

  1. mattb325 says:

    Nice combo! Personally I would ditch the monstera for a coloured foliage plant such as crotons, caladiums or stromanthe (they are better behaved in the long run) But you are right, tropical gardening is about the layering


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