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3. How to change your garden...focal points

In the last blog we explained the importance of structure; this blog explains how focal points are the 'highlights' on the structure within the garden.

While structure can lead the eye, a focal point gives the eye something to rest on and enjoy.  They can be subtle, like an arrangement of three different evergreens, or full on - in your face – like a massive colourful sculpture or feature.

Focal points can be many different things, a bit like structure, in the garden.  They can even be part of a structure.  An open gate in a wall is part of the structure, but also a focal point in that the eye travels along the wall and stops at the gate to see the view it offers.  In this image the white painted door frame helps to catch the eye at the end of the low box hedging structure, and the tree trunk beyond the gate-way is an added bonus.  Glimpsing the tree invites us further into the garden so that we can see what lies behind the wall and gateway.

Some focal points are stand-alone, and can be very obvious - like a tree or sculpture set in a lawn.  However, some 'nestle' within the garden around them and just catch the eye so that as you scan a view, your eye returns to see the focal point that just captured is before your eye 'travelled' on. In this LG Garden at the Chelsea Flower Show 2018, the screen is no doubt the focal point but is less obvious when in 'standby', giving the cushions a chance draw the eye.  The yellow and golds really pop against the green hedging and dark screen surround.

Focal points can range in size and impact, they can be plants, objects, or a break in the structure of the garden, as seen in the image above.

They really speak for themselves, so here are some of our favourites and a brief description why. 

The tree is the key focal point, but the planted boat on the left draws the eye back down
The focal point of the corten steel structure work is complemented by the tall pointy planting of lupins, salvias etc
This water feature adds structure as well as focal point​ and both lead the eye to the opening within the hedge
This magnificent arch at Chelsea in 2018, is definitely an 'in your face' focal point, but will give interest in the garden when the perennial planting has disappeared during the winter

If you would like to discuss how Consilio could design and build your garden, please click here to contact us

4. How to change your garden...repetition
2 . How to change your garden…structure

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