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Using focal points in design

By: Garden Gate staff
A focal point is an object or area that attracts the most attention. Focal points lead visitors to a specific place in a landscape and then encourage them to experience the spaces around it.

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grab attention with focal points

A focal point is an object or area that attracts the most attention. Focal points lead visitors to a specific place in a landscape and then encourage them to experience the spaces around it.

See how the striking color of this Japanese maple attracts your gaze? Choosing and framing focal points effectively is all about using contrast. If the tree were the same green as the rest of the scene, even with its large size, it wouldn’t be as striking. Its color is the visual “hook” that demands attention and stimulates interest. Additionally, the curving line of the bed’s edge leads your eye to the tree. The colorful plants at its base give the setting even more interest.

You can create a focal point with a fountain set behind a framing arch, a brightly painted gate or a bench signaling a destination under a dramatic tree, as in this scene.

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