Creating a Focal Point

When people visit your garden, they will naturally scan the space and their eyes will focus on one main feature. If you don’t try to actively guide your visitor to a specific point in your garden, they could end up focusing on the weeds or worse, the bin area. When you are designing your garden, you need to think carefully about where you want people to look. 

A focal point is a feature that commands our attention - the first thing we focus on when we enter a space. This can to turn an ordinary garden into an exceptionally memorable one! Here we tell you some tips to help you create a focal point in your garden.


Guide the eyes

Our eyes enjoy following patterns - we may start in a corner, but we will naturally follow any line. Consequently, you can guide the visitor to your focal point with the design of your paths, using paving stones or a simple gravel path. You should put a lining underneath your route, preferably one that allows rainwater to flow through to the soil. The porous covering will also keep the stones and gravel in place.

If you are starting your garden from a blank sheet, sit and draw a plan. Consider how you want to control the gaze of your visitor – and what stopping off points you can have on the path.

Image credit: Colin Poole


An outdoor structure

Our next tip is not necessarily that smart – but it does work. If you have a large structure in your garden, it will naturally dominate the attention of visitors. A summer house is a beautiful centrepiece of any yard while providing a functional space to get out of the rain and to get some shade.

Rather than a shed-like summer house, you could opt for a pagoda instead. A shelter in the centre of your garden could help you create zones for visitors to meander around. If you are DIY capable, you could always construct a simple wooden pagoda out of timber lengths.

Image source: Houzz


One or more sculptures

When you are using paths to guide the eye, you then need something that the visitor stops to admire - both the track and the sculpture work together to create a centrepiece. Of course, you could buy a massive stone monument that would grab attention or, alternatively, you can find a stylish item that adds an air of class and timelessness. You can have these small moments of magic emerge out of the grass or amongst the beds.

If you want this to be a centrepiece, you need to look around for the best sculpture. If you go to reclamation yards, you can purchase some magnificent features at a reasonable price.

Image credit: Concepts In Design - Landscape


Water feature

There is nothing more special than a wildlife garden. If this is the sort of garden you want, then you should have a pond. The type of pond you select will depend on the style of the garden: you might want a pond that flows almost like a stream around the yard or have a raised bed with a pond embedded, which is then sculpted using some tailored planting.

And instead of a pond, why not having a fountain or a waterfall? These work great in a garden - will allow you to incorporate a water feature and atract wildlife, which can be a beautiful sight to admire!

Image source: iStock


Creating a focal point in a garden is a great way to re-energise a space and detract the eye from less attractive features. The key is to place the item you want to focus on front and centre, with complimentary items to the side so the eye is led to the focal point.

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Written by: Ines Tome

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