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Designing Garden Landscapes with Focal Points

One of the most effective high impact garden design devices used by professionals is the careful placement of garden elements as focal points. Creating focal points in a garden gives the eye an object to rest upon, allowing time to visually slow down and explore that portion of the garden. A focal point should be interesting enough in either size, color or shape to attract and keep the attention of the visitor while the objects blend wth the surroundings. A garden element used as a focal point can also help a visitor in navigating a garden by providing visual landmarks with which to gauge at what point a person is in the landscape.

One important garden focal point element is the garden entry, a garden entry can be as simple as a low picket fence or as dramatic as a walkthrough arbor, as refined as a brick column wall or as naturally apealing as a favorite speciman shrub. The type of garden element(s) you chose will depend on budget and your prefered garden stye, but by punctuating a garden entrance with the proper placement of a garden element and having a sensitivity to the object's scale, an entry focal point can add excitment, drama and anticipation to the garden experience.





Another important garden design focal point is to create a destination in your garden or a place to 'arrive' as you experience the garden. A destination can be as simple as a bench at the end of a garden path or maybe a pond near a patio or perhaps it's a covered arbor / gazebo with seating to relax and enjoy the views.



Other garden objects in which placement should be carefully planned are elements like pottery, large rocks, birdbaths, fountains, etc. This can make all the difference in how inviting your garden will be to you and your visitors. Objects should be placed in such a way as to make them blend into the garden, as if they have belonged in that spot forever, while carefully placing the object where a visitor can view, touch and appreciate it's place in the garden.

Designing in focal points and destinations will give your garden interest and a sense of place that is one of the design secrets in the success of many famous gardens. Focal points also help give important organization to a garden by setting up a sequence through which the garden will be experienced and viewed.
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