5 plump plants with excellent texture

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An interesting, structured setting like this garden deserves interesting, structured plants. The following selections, which grow in prominent areas of the zig-zag bed, provide bold accents through their distinctive shapes and vibrant colors.

1. ‘Gold Mound’ Spirea (Spiraea japonica* ‘Gold Mound’)

Top of 'Goldmound' spirea
Photo: Courtesy of Warren Leach.

Zones: 3–8

Size: 2 to 3 feet tall and 3 to 4 feet wide

Conditions: full sun; Well-drained soil

Local Range: Japan

This spirea is a versatile accent, with bright foliage and a perfectly rounded growth habit. It blooms with pale pink flowers and can be pruned in mid-summer to promote fresh foliage.

2. ‘Royal Purple’ Smokebush (Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’)

Upclose 'Royal Purple' Smokebush
Photo: Courtesy of Diana Kohm.

Zones: 4-8

Size: 15 to 20 feet tall and 12 feet wide

Conditions: full sun; Evenly moist, well-drained soil

Local Range: Southern Europe, Western and Central Asia.

This shrub displays oval-shaped leaves that emerge red, turn to maroon, and then turn red again to fall. It naturally grows into a large, bushy form, but you can control its size and shape with hard pruning.

3. Russian sage (Salvia yangii syn. Perovskia atriplicifolia)

upclose Russian Sage
Photo: Courtesy of Jennifer Banner.

Zones: 5-9

Size: 3 to 5 feet tall and 2 to 4 feet wide

Conditions: full sun; Well-drained soil

Local Range: Central Asia

The delicate, airy leaves of Russian sage blend well with the sturdy wood in this garden. Its strong upright form and pale purple-blue flowers provide an undeniable contrast to nearby companions.

4. Red-petaled rose (Rosa glauca)

Close up of the red left rose.
Photo: Courtesy of Diana Kohm.

Zones: 2-8

Size: 6 to 8 feet tall and 4 to 6 feet wide

Conditions: full sun to partial shade; Well-drained soil

Local Range: Southern Europe

This rose grows in a bushy, upright form with dense, smoky purple leaves that are glossy beneath. Its shape, color, and texture make it a standout in the landscape.

5. Little Devil™ Ninebark (Physocarpus opulifolius ‘Donna May’)

Turn off the Little Devil™ Ninebark.
Image: https://millettephotomedia.com/

Zones: 3–7

Size: 3 to 4 feet tall and wide

Conditions: full sun to partial shade; Dry to medium well-drained soil

Local Range: Eastern North America

Little Devil™ is a dwarf purple leafy neobark with finely textured leaves on stick-like, upright stems. Its dark foliage is offset by its beautiful pinkish-white flowers.

From Bagicha Bazaar #210

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