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Focal points in a garden; why they're so crucial

Updated: Sep 13, 2021

Sculptures, urns, plants and other ornaments provide garden spaces with vital focal points that direct the eye from inside the home to outside. Certain focal points offer an attractive visual entry point, middle ground or completion within a garden. Focal points are strategically placed to capture a visual for viewers to be directed to a certain position within a space.

Positioning and segmentation of focal points/features are crucial. Focal points can be lined up with the centre of doors leading out into a courtyard or centred within a dominate window in the home, creating an ambience from inside the house to outside. Framing the feature as a focal point will draw more attention to it which can create depth, contrast and texture.

Why do we use them? - Provide fulfilment within a space

- To storytell

- Create order and purpose within a space

- Intensify backgrounds

- Provide inspiration and imagination for its audience

- Attract attention

- Enhance the garden

- To create vertical or lineal height that creates depth and dimension

Where ALG begin with focal points;

Once the garden axis has been determined, we divide the garden into sections and decide on the areas of emphasis. Think your garden as a story, divide it into chapters. Certain chapters have heightened drama, others create context and ambience for the remainder of the story. To not reveal the "ending of the story" on the first page is poetically the same in garden spaces, to not reveal the entire garden at first glance.

Selecting the focal point - objects vs plants. Deciding between either or combinations will depend solely on each garden and the vision and purpose. In addition, focal points correct balance, harmony and blend with the scale of the garden whilst highlighting itself.

Featured Image; sculpture and urn, balanced with vertical height either side.

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