University of Florida

Layers in the Garden

Visualize a woodland forest with its canopy of tall trees, understory of woody shrubs, and smaller plants on the forest floor. These unique layers create visual interest and also serve as habitats for wildlife.

You can use layers in your own garden to achieve the same effects. A simple technique to create layers is transitioning from shorter plants to taller plants within a single bed. Experiment with plant colors, textures, and forms, and see how they play against each other.

Creating layers in the garden also helps wildlife. For example, having a taller layer near a low birdbath will give birds a safe place to fly if a predator approaches.

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