Garden Design Elements - Focal Points

One of my favorite parts of a garden are the "focal points". Focal points are garden objects that draw the eye and create a feature of attention in the garden. In an earlier blog on "Entry", I wrote on how entry shows where the garden or garden rooms begin or end. The focal points are those items that we discover as we enter the garden and journey through the garden. Focal points can be statuary, planted pots, a bench, urn, bird bath, fountain and much more. The key to focal points is not to over do it. You want people to notice your garden design, plants and your hard work - not the "stuff". Have you ever seen a garden that was full of garden statuary, gnomes, fairies, gazing balls, fountains, pink flamingos, and every type of wind driven plastic bird or bug that has ever been made? Your eye was drawn to all these objects at once that it became confusing and cluttered looking. You never saw the flowers, trees and shrubs that made up the garden. With focal points "less is more". Depending on the size of your garden, choose a few good garden objects, spread them out and place them in prime spots that compliment them in the garden. They don't have to always be in view. Hide a few things in and around the garden for the garden visitor to discover as they move throughout the garden. The little garden gnome peeking out from under a shrub is more interesting that just sitting in the middle of the lawn. Garden focal points should compliment your garden style. Pick items that belong in your garden both in time period and theme. A Japanese garden would look wrong with a sun dial but correct with a Japanese lantern. Always consider the size of a garden object based on the size of your garden to keep it in proportion. Consider color and color intensity also as a focal point in the garden.

The large neutral colored urn stands out in a colorful garden.

A statue of a fishing boy standing next to a garden pond.

A little girl statue standing admidst the flowers.

A ceramic ball compliments the flowers around it.

Three pots in different sizes in an intense color at an entrance.

The fairy pond sized in proportion to the landscape.

Focal points catch and hold our attention. They define a space and give it direction. Focal points can be simple and ordinary objects. Make focal points an important part of your garden or next garden design.

Happy Gardening!

The Creative Gardener


Cathy said…
I know what you mean, being a floral designer there always has to be a focal point. Beautiful
photos! lovely gardens!
I like this post a lot. I have to slow myself down on too many things going on. I love all your example pictures, they are beautiful!
Libby Murphy said…
oh how beautiful and inspiring. . . I especially like the little faerie and fishing boy next to his pond.
Happy Twirls,
Tatyana said…
The first picture is my favorite. I can stare at it for hours... Thanks!
garden girl said…
very nice examples of focal points in the garden! The blue pots are really beautiful. I'm a sucker for cherubic statues, and I love the little girl standing amongst the flowers. The fairy pond is beautiful too. Oh heck, I like them all!
Catherine said…
Beautiful garden, pictures..& focal points! I love your informative, & gorgeous captures..very inspiring!!
So glad I found your link!
Have a beautiful weekend!