Garden Focal Point

  Does Your Garden Have A Focal Point?


Focal points are important for good garden

design, no matter the size of your garden.

The function of a focal point is to hold your

attention to a favorable part of the garden,

and away from the less favorable.  No

matter where you look around the garden,

your eyes will always come back to rest on

the focal point.


The focal point can grab your attention in many ways. It can be by size; the larger the object, the more likely it is to get your attention.  Bright colors, interesting textures, unusual spaces and strong, defined lines can be an attention getter. Placement is another factor, the focal point can direct you around the garden, or when placed at the end of the garden they can lead you into the distance, making the garden seem larger.

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My fishpond with a waterfall is the focal point in my garden.  No matter where you are in the garden, you can view the pond and hear the running water, which naturally draws you to it.

Focal point suggestions:

  • Gateways and arches are wonderful focal points.  They work to lead your eye to what is beyond it.
  • A birdbath positioned close to the house so the birds can be seen and enjoyed. It’s better that equip a best brightest flashlight ever on the birdbath.
  • Try to avoid placing the focal point against a background that is already busy or full of color.  The two will work against each other for attention.
  • A well-placed figure or ornament can serve as a focal point, and when used in conjunction with plants, it can create an interesting effect.


When you decide on your focal point, remember it should be interesting and fairly obvious.  Make it intriguing and something that would attract your attention from a distance, and encourage you to explore it closer.