Texture in the Garden

Different textures make for an interesting visual experience in the garden.

One such plant plant to incorporate for this goal is, Rosemary Willow- Salix elaeagnos- S. rosamrinifolia. I have six of these beauties and they have grown so quickly that the oldest has now reached a height of 8’ feet tall by 12’-15’ feet wide in the space of 4 years. These willows love sun or partial shade, but not deep shade and are hardy to zone 4. The grey- green leaves really do resemble rosemary, hence the name, and add the most beautiful willowy texture to the garden especially when contrasted with the dark green upright Rhamnus ‘Fineline’- hedge.

Rosemary Willow looks terrific on its own or in a border with perennials. I have planted several in an avenue. Just be sure to give them plenty of room!  I saw an older specimen in a garden and it had taken on a tree- like quality with the gnarly lower trunk exposed with pruning, which looked great. Some people cut them down to the ground every couple of years to control the size, but I have let mine do its thing, because I wanted the height and mass in my young garden ASAP. This really is one of the finest willows/plants you can grow.

Free standing Rosemary Willow- not pruned

Rosemary Willow in a border, flag irises, cornus silver & gold, petasites varigatus, rhamnus fineline

Echinacea white swan and artichoke foreground, Rosemary Willow in distance

Another great texture is  Rhamnus ‘Fineline.’ In my garden I have enclosed several garden ‘rooms’ using this plant as a hedge. I would have chosen a more classical hedging plant like Taxus-yew to enclose these areas if they were not the favorite snack of the deer around here. I decided to choose a deciduous shrub to make my hedge, because in my experience deer graze less on the plants whose leaves have fallen.  A fairly new introduction to the plant market, this shrub has a formal upright habit and loose willow- like leaves that are mid to dark green in color.

Detail: Rhamnus ‘Fineline’ used as a hedge

About Don Statham

Garden Designer shares tips
Gallery | This entry was posted in Shrubs and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Texture in the Garden

  1. Pingback: Garden Designer’s Roundtable: Ideas for Adding Texture to Your Landscape « Personal Garden Coach

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