The design term “focal point” is mentioned in nearly every article on design, but what is it?
A focal point is anything that draws your attention. In the garden, it can be a statue, art, a large container — filled or unfilled — a birdbath, a fountain, an arbor or a trellis. A focal point can also be a large shrub or small ornamental tree.
Every garden needs at least one focal point to draw the eye of the visitor where you want them to look. Focal points add balance and order to a landscape. They can also draw attention away from an eyesore.
Add a Focal Point:
- Assess your garden. Is it a formal landscape of manicured shapes? Or is it a carefree design? The type of house you live in, along with your garden style can help determine what type of focal point you’ll choose.
- Every landscape has at least one spot begging for something special. Try placing a focal point at the end of a walkway, or at the center of a long garden bed or border.
- You can have more than one focal point. These are called secondary focal points — but don’t overdo it. You can quickly make the garden appear cluttered and disordered.
- Don’t forget plants, either. A small decorative tree, especially one that blooms in spring, makes a nice focal point for the center of a landscape or at the end of a garden.
- Look from the inside out. Place a focal point where it can be seen from a window. A fountain is good for this purpose.