Designing Your Garden – Focusing On Focal Points

garden focal points
Image Credits: pambaboma

Gardening time is here again! You have grandiose visions of a lush green paradise, picturesque flower beds and picture perfect tomatoes and other vegetables. You see yourself lazing in a hammock with a good book, and breezy summer nights with neighbors jealous of your good fortune. Right? Well, something like that, I’m sure.

However, the reality is that patch of dirt staring back at you is saying something altogether different. It’s reminding you of the sweat, time and planning it takes to really have a good garden. It’s also telling you to learn from the mistakes you made last year.

You don’t need to have unrealistic design abilities to have a stunning array of flora to call your own, either. Just a basic understanding of the soil, the needs of each plant, and the watering patterns in your yard.

You can begin with a basic shape for your garden. Once you have that in mind, draw it out on paper and make a rough draft of a general plan. This must include some focal points. These are very important as it draws the admirers eyes to these features of your garden. They should be proportionate in size with the rest of your garden and, if done well, can really strike a balance.

Think of whether or not you’ll be entertaining. Will there be a permanent stone BBQ? Perhaps a pond? An outdoor bar? These can be considered focal points and you must have a place for them and plant around accordingly. You want a continuous flow, not awkward broken up areas.

The makeup of your soil is important to understand. You can have your soil tested to see what it’s missing nutrient-wise. Usually all it needs is to be well worked with a hoe or a small cultivator with well rotted compost mixed in. You’ll want to ensure that all sprinklers are working and there aren’t any leaks. In ground sprinkler systems are very pricey, but if you have them, consider yourself lucky!

Now that your soil is prepared, sketch out your focal points. Will it be a stone BBQ? Or maybe a fountain-attached or free standing. A small gurgling pond will attract pleasant sounding frogs and fish are a welcome addition for a point of interest. Garden sculptures come in many beautiful varieties as well.

When choosing the surrounding plants, keep in mind that taller plants should be in the back, and smaller ones in front.

Know which ones spread significantly and these can make good groundcover and filler. Try to have different flowers blooming throughout the entire season.

It sounds like a lot of work, but if you have a genuine love of growing things, and the strong desire to have your own backyard paradise, then the payoff is truly great.

Article By Glenn Cutforth. Glenn is a writer, graphic designer and publisher of quality eBooks at

If you’re interested in getting started with your own Garden, visit his website Lawn and Garden Magic, where you’ll find a wealth of information, tips and resources.

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