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» Create a Focal Point in Your Landscape

How Did I Do It? > Home & Garden > Create a Focal Point in Your Landscape
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A focal point in your landscape can take either a natural or a humanly placed element and make it the center of attention.
This will give your garden a far more dramatic and well ordered look. Every garden needs at least one focal point, and some gardens dependent upon the size of them can deal with three or four.

The shape of a garden has a lot to do with the focal points arrangement or placement.

Many of us are able to visually pinpoint the angle where something should be, or the center of a circle and expect to see something more interesting at that area. By viewing your gardens design you can probably see where would be the proper placement for a point of focal interest andfind something that should ideally be placed there.

In our gardens, paths and flower beds are made of rectangles, arcs, half circles or squares. The brain will naturally recognize the place where something should be and not seeing it, will view that area as incomplete in some way. Taking the inside of the corner, or the center of a circle, or the deepest curve or arc will be where the interested element should be.

A test of the brains method of placing focal points is something I found on the internet on a gardening site and it has guided me to find the right placement for that perfect rock or tree or bush.

By visually moving the line in this diagram to the left or the right you can see that it doesn’t feel as natural as it does being placed in the center.

A good example of a focal point is an object or grouping that can be as simple as one large boulder, or a single tree that has been placed among many others.

For instance, what I did in our side yard, was to take a perfect view of the sky, where there was nothing behind that would interfere with the draw interest, add a row separator type garden. One birch tree and a few smaller granite rocks and some foxglove planted among them.

Adding taller plants to a group of smaller plants can make a very effect and natural looking focal point.. The taller plants will stand out drawing the eye.

Placing the taller specimens in the center of the group is interesting.. far more so actually than placing them toward the back of the bed where they might be expected to be.

Aside from the size, any really dramatic change will draw your attention such as a red plant in the center of all white ones, or a stark yellw honeysuckle bush planted among paper white narcissus, which, being white are a focal point of their own, but are sometimes overused.

One very simple way to add a focal point to your yard or garden is to use a statue, or some sort of garden ornamentation such as a small pond, gazing ball, bird bath, plate feeder or anything along those lines. It should be the centerpiece of that part of your garden, probably set in first, with the remainder of the decor in that area focused around it, so that it doesn’t look as if it was an afterthought.

Some methods of focal points use what is known as borrowed scenery. This means something that is preexisting, such as a waterfall in the yard, or a mountain that is in the distant background. Most of us won’t have one of those however if you do, make full use of it.. frame it, perhaps two birches, one to either side of the most dramatic point, or a tree that overhangs to frame the scene.

Do’nt use a single centered tree that will interfere with the natural scenery, or grow so tall as to cover its effect or you have detracted from, rather than complemented it.

Focal points can use just about anything that is natural or well placed.

If you are lucky enough to have a single large tree, leave it there and plant woods violets and perhaps some rocks beneath it, creating a small alpine forest type environment. Something such as this will be a major asset in your garden..

Placing flower beds around the base of these enhances their effect as natural focal points. Not only do they create great focal points but they create the illusion that a new garden design isn’t a new design at all.
Gazing globes, such as those from the Landscape Design Site, trellises or arbors covered in flowers, or even Topiary make great focal points. But always give it some careful thought and planning so that your design will always appear well thought out and not just a sequence of pieced together afterthoughts.

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