I don’t do this much with photos at all, but occasionally, I see other bloggers texturizing images. I am guessing most buy or get free scripts to apply to images or go find apps online to do it easily for them. The only drawback to these methods is that all the images are treated exactly the same way. Read on for tips, and see how we use the layering of texture in garden design.

It really is rather simple to do this yourself with textures you photograph, create or find on your own. Using textures takes a really poor shot and makes it a work of art. Not that a poor shot is what you should use, like my very underexposed base image above, but at least I had a way of using it creatively. The lighthouse image has four textures applied to give a unique, weathered look to the image.

Sometime I will do a tutorial on Green Apples to show you this process in Photoshop for those that might want to learn. It is not difficult, but does take some patience and a little experience with the application.

For you!

Here are some textures below with a downloadable pdf I included. You might want to keep them for the tutorial on Green Apples.  The file has 28 different textures to use, some of garden plants, some building materials, and some, natural finds. I have maybe 300 textures I photographed over the years, but these I took this morning for this post. Seven of the twenty-eight are pictured below. You combine these with images by overlaying the texture. They will look nothing like the saturated texture images below in the completed art. But, I will save my how-to for Green Apples.

Here is a downloadable pdf. The file has 28 garden textures in a 4.5 MB file, found in the link below. Feel free to use them on images or in your posts. For those of you that know how to do this, they are at 72 ppi resolution, so you need to make your original the same. Click those above, they get rather large.


How Design Disciplines Relate

What is something to learn about all design disciplines is that almost all of them transfer many of the same basic principles, whether two-dimensional or three-dimensional. And texture and layering is across all; photography, painting, landscaping, architecture and more.  All are made better by layering of textures. Try it in your garden today.

Let’s Garden With Texture and Layering

All the garden images have no applied textures or were any Photoshopped. Note the layering of the plantings. All have a distinct texture and tone. The colors are artfully combined. But take a look at the scale and massing if you are familiar with these design terms. This space is NOT big, but reads big and that has everything to do with planting big.

Here is more layering in early Fall. Many of the Summer flowers have succumbed to the shorter days, but it gives a clear picture why the trees and shrubs play an integral part to a successful garden for ALL seasons.

Massing in plantings is usually referred to as how many plants make up a grouping. In architecture massing refers to the weight and volume of an element. It works the same in the landscape too. A heavy mass of plants looks odd if it is not balanced by its neighbors. And a skimpy showing does not hold its own in any fashion. It is all about balance and a good weight to the design.

Scale on the other hand, is all about size. It is how one element relates to another. Like a tree is large in scale compared to a small perennial, and this relationship can create a tension if they are too disproportionate. In architecture we often refer to something being out of scale. Buildings must ‘fit’ within their environments and not overwhelm their neighbors. It is the same with plantings. Layering helps solve this as plants graduate in size in garden beds.

Good massing, well-balanced as the design steps back in scale and mass in the beds, and all weave nicely.

This post was not even going to be a post as there are three others in the hopper waiting a turn. Weird, huh, how things turn out? I did the Lighthouse image yesterday, and decided maybe you should see it. That led to photographing textures to share, then that led to how design is similar through all disciplines. Then off to gardens we go and how layering fits into scale and massing. Funny how it all comes about. All in less than an hour too, from photographing to publish. The Lighthouse took me an hour or so to complete yesterday. When using textures on photos, you find what you think will be good to use is not always the case. It is balance there too.

Next post is my Monthly Calendar in Tens noting the wacky weather in my NF garden. Not pretty images for those preferring the ‘real’ gardens, (you have to know how this bugged me with my rant on Green Apples and I am unlikely to let up on it either), but a few garden tips for those of us living in colder climates.

About Garden Walk Garden Talk

I love to photograph, paint, draw, design, garden, travel the world, and pass on a few tips and ideas that I learned through experience as a Master Gardener and architect. I am highly trained in my field and enjoy my work each and every day. I garden in Niagara Falls, NY in zone 6-B. Find me at: http://gardenwalkgardentalk.com
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17 Responses to texturize

  1. HolleyGarden says:

    Good post. There really is a lot to garden design. I appreciated hearing your thoughts and seeing the photos on texture, mass and scale. It’s always a good reminder to go out and see my garden with fresh eyes.

  2. andrea says:

    Hi Donna, i love seeing your massing, or layering as you call it with those differences in colors and height. But i will not deal on your texturising of photos as you know me, ignorant in PS, so i will just look and appreciate your products!

  3. Grace says:

    My guess is that all art has layers. As a writer, there are different layers as well. The main plot and the subplots, the linguistic nuances… Great post.

  4. I like your lighthouse, think one day Photoshop is something I will have to get. I love your garden photos of the lights and textures in the landscape. Will have to reread the Green Apples posting. Too late for me to grasp all of it now.

  5. Hi Donna, great post! texture and Layering are essential for a visually pleasing garden and is also an evolving process. Love the samples of garden photos you have posted!

  6. I have been fascinated about texture…looking forward to learning more….love the mini lesson on layering…

  7. Christine says:

    I love learning about garden design – especially from pros! Thank you. Massing and texture is something I am still learning. Not always getting it right, but I’m trying.

  8. As a visual learner, the photos and your explanations are just what I need. Thanks so much for the design lesson.

  9. b-a-g says:

    Really like the planting in the first garden.

  10. Kala says:

    Lovely texture work in the first image. I never layer my photographs, so have yet to really use any textures.

  11. Marguerite says:

    I like the explanations of texture and massing in the garden along with the explanatory photos. I didn’t even notice the dead flowers in the one picture until I read your caption. The mass of flowers in front and the structure of the trees behind capture and divert your attention.

  12. igardendaily says:

    Hi! Love your words about texture and scale in the garden and the examples. I find scale and layering difficult but am better with textures. As for textures on Photos I’m guilty of running photos taken with my iPhone through some amazingly cool aps to create what I feel is a more interesting photo. To me, having fun editing/texturizing options on your phone for pics taken with a simple camera phone is cool and intriguing. Plus, speedy. I don’t have Photoshop but have heard you can spend hours editing photos and learning to use it???

  13. Barbie says:

    Wow!! Texturing and layering is so vivid in your garden. It is breathtaking. I love what you do!

  14. Jennifer says:

    Hi Donna, It find it fun to texturize some of my images in Photoshop. Every image is different and needs its own unique approach. Texture in the garden is one of my favourite design elements. When texture is used masterfully, the result is always breathtaking.

  15. A really good and helpful post, Donna. The photos help to illustrate the design concepts you’re making.

  16. GirlSprout says:

    Thanks for sharing your tips on texture and design. I still haven’t quite figured out what will grow in masses in my arid garden. I love the effect, but still haven’t haven’t learned how to put it into practice.

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