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Extension > Garden > SULIS > Design > The Completed Landscape Design > Principles of Design > Emphasis

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Plants and plant groupings provide a representation of the types of plants that will occupy an area once the landscape design is completed. A plant grouping might show a shrub border between properties, or it may represent a perennial bed location.

Specimen plants can be part of a larger planting, but usually stand alone in the landscape. Specimen plants provide specific seasonal interest or color through flowers, fruit, or leaves.

Accent plants are plants of special interest that are usually part of a larger planting. Accent plants provide interest throughout the seasons through specific forms, textures, colors, etc.

Key plants are plants that are usually placed in highly visible location. They can be used alone or in groups of three or more. They are associated with screening or softening of architectural features, such as building corners, steps, fences, etc. They can provide emphasis if the chosen species provides interesting seasonal interest, form or texture.

Plant groups are plants of the same species spaced so that when mature, they just touch each other and you can still see the outline of each individual plant.

Massed plants are plants of the same species spaced so that when mature, they grow together to form a solid area of that species. You will not be able to discern individual plants in a mass.

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