See-through plants to catch the afternoon sun

Liatris spicata Alba (White Blazing Star) catching the light
in a meadow garden

See-through flowers add texture to the garden

Tall, wispy, cloud-like, see-through plants add wavy movement, texture and light to your garden, especially when backlit by the late afternoon summer sun. The curtain like blooms and fine texture serve to highlight larger, coarser specimens, and invite the viewer to look beyond to further parts of the garden.

Tall Verbena, Cleome 'Rose Queen' and Verbena Superbena® Burgundy
Not all effective see-through plants need be wispy, however. Tall vertical plants spaced somewhat apart lend the same effect, and sparsely branched architectural plants work well too. Experiment with this exciting design tool this year - you'll wish summer could always be here!

Our favorites for see-through garden design

  • Tall Verbena - Verbena bonariensis 
  • Cleome
  • Feather Grass - Stipa tenuissima
  • Ridolfia 'Goldspray'
  • Sea Holly - Eryngium
  • Nicotiana paniculata and Nicotiana langsdorfii
  • Blazing Star - Liatris spicata
  • Clary Sage - Salvia sclarea var. turkestanica

Eryngium in blue and silver mixed with Stipa tenuissima

Celosia thompsonii behind Ridolfia 'Goldspray' and tall verbena. Nicotiana paniculata in the background. Photo by Winter Caplanson.

Nicotiana paniculata is an architectural masterpiece. Photo by Winter Caplanson.

Denizen of age-old cottage gardens, Salvia sclarea var. turkestanica.


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