Foliage – with its myriad contributions that enhance, brighten, and add movement and structure to the landscape – should play a starring role in designing a garden. It is the fundamental element that brings the design together. The contrast of foliage in the garden adds interest and sophistication to the landscape. In shady beds, light colors and variegated foliage brighten dark areas with a pop of light. Foliage with different or unusual textures also provides dimension to the garden. Pairing a broad range of plant textures creates contrast. Coarse textures with large irregular leaves, thick veins, rough bark, medium textures with mid-size leaves, smoother shape and simple lines, and fine textures with small or thin, strappy leaves like grasses, wispy and lacy foliage can all make striking combinations.