The Importance of Focal Points in Landscape Design

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The landscape design industry covers a wide range of options to create a functional and beautiful environment for your home or business. We at John Madison Landscape believe that one of the most important elements in creating an attention-grabbing landscape is a ‘focal point.’ A focal point can occur naturally, be a purposely placed feature, or be any object that will attract attention to a specific place in your yard. These points are used to bring a certain area into focus or a place for your eyes to rest naturally.

Focal points can be something as simple as a boulder, shrub, or a tree. The most common focal points are statues, water features, and pergolas. One way that you can choose to create a focal point is to use a certain type of tree or a grouping of a type of plant. Differences in size, shape and texture of the foliage are the keys to bringing this group to life visually. A particularly tall tree surrounded by a small grouping of plants will stand out more than if the tree simply stood alone.

A focal point does not have to be strictly visual. Consider your sense of sound. A bubbling pot or serene fountain can create a sense of calm in your yard that will attract others. Water features are one of the most common items homeowners ask us about to help in the transformation of their backyard. They can be used to help turn your landscape into something special, providing both a point of interest and attracting wildlife (if you wish).

Focal points can be an asset to your landscape, but it can be possible to over-do it; causing your  yard to be distracting. A common mistake homeowners can make is to have too many focal points, which can be visually confusing, and also take away from the importance of having one single area of interest. It can only have a positive effect on your landscape if done in moderation. While you do want a focal point to pop out at you, you don’t want it to dominate your entire yard.

A focal point should be something special that draws your attention when you glance at your landscape, but it may already be in your landscape. You can frame a particular view in your yard that stands out to you, or surround an area that already has it’s own natural beauty, such as a small lake or pond. A landscape design like the one that John Madison Landscape provides will give you a step-by-step process that considers the environmental conditions of your yard, your desires, and the elements and principles of design. Our goal is to coordinate both the natural and man-made features in your yard into an aesthetic, functional, and environmentally sustainable landscape. To get your free estimate, click here or call us at 407-935-9151.