A focal point in landscape design is where features or plants are strategically placed to draw focus to themselves. This gives the landscape a more dramatic and orderly look. All landscape designs need at least one focal point. Smaller areas may only need one focal point, while larger areas may need several focal points. |
In landscape design, curved paths and flowerbeds are used by creating arcs, circles, or segments of the two. Whether the circles are complete or not, our minds recognize them as being a part of a full circle. The deepest point inside a curve is a natural place for focal points in the landscape area.
Plants or groups of plants placed among others can create dramatic focal points. An example of this is placing a taller plant or groups of taller plants around a group of smaller plants, creating a dramatic focal point, especially in flowerbeds. Dramatic color change in plants will also attract attention. White plants always tend to draw the eye to them as a focal point, but try to avoid using too many white plants, as it would take away from the actual point of interest in the landscape.
Placing statues or décor such as ornaments, birdbaths, or bird feeders is one of the simplest ways to create focal points in the landscape design. Just make sure these are in the center of the area and fitting in with the particular theme of the area. Having a backdrop of a mountain range, skyline, river, meadow, or desert scene can create amazing focal points, but these types of “borrowed scenery” aren’t always available. If you do have any of those elements, build your landscape around it, using it as the focal point. If you have trees, they should be kept in the design whenever possible. Placing flower beds around the base of trees can create natural focal points. Focal points can also be created using gazing globes, trellises, arbors, or large decorative rocks. It is a good idea to keep them within the theme of the garden and make sure that they are strategically placed so that the landscape area doesn’t look unplanned or disorderly.
Focal points are all in the eyes of the beholder. What is aesthetically pleasing to one person may not necessarily be pleasing to another person. When creating your focal points, it’s probably a good idea to keep this in mind.
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