Saturday, May 31, 2014

Enhancing the Focal Point of your Garden

Now that we have our Focal Point for the garden (click here to learn about Focal Points) we need to enhance it through the use of Lines, Form, Texture and Scale. 

Garden Blueprint Segment Two


The line is the widening of the focal point and is linked to how our eyes progress. In the complete landscape, the line is implied by the adjusting of space into it's natural segments. The line is usually associated with beds, pathways and entryways.  As it were at whatever point a garden meets a pathway or a pathway meets a garden design, a line happens. In this manner by controlling, throughout the blueprint stage, where you put your lines you will focus basically where the different components will be set. One set of lines will characterize your pathways and show where your grass starts. An alternate line will characterize the division between your yard and your flower beds. 

Straight lines are compelling, organized and steady, regulating the eye to a focal point. Elliptical or free-flowing lines are smooth, elegant and tender, making a tranquil, gradual, innate feel. In landscape design the skyline is one of the most valuable naturally occurring lines. If you are in a position where you have obtained a focal point from the nearby scenery then you presumably have a noticeable and helpful skyline. This line might be utilized to influence the divisions inside your garden. In the event that you decided to do this don't essentially take after the skyline, rather permit it to inspire what you are doing in partitioning your accessible space. Basically consider line the division between ranges; between courtyard and grass, between grass and flower beds and so on. The line does not need to comprise of anything, it is essentially deduced. You can always create your own lines if you want to, by utilizing edging materials along a drive or sidewalk, timber edgings around trees or shrubs or even a slender portion of grass between diverse sorts of flower beds. 
Notice how this cured pathway directs your eyes behind the flower bed and beckons you to explore the concealed haven. In spite of the fact that it may seem counter productive, utilizing line to disguise a section of the garden, it gives the visual impression of a bigger space. A focal point or arbor found around the bend is a pleasant surprise, making the voyage there beneficial.

Garden Blueprint Segment Three


Form and line are linked together. Form  might be characterized as the outer appearance of an unmistakably detailed area, as recognized from color, structure or texture. Line is considered as the layout or edge of the component while structure is further enveloping. Line is by its tendency two dimensional, however what it characterizes will have structure which has three dimensions, stature, breadth and expanse. 

Plant form speaks to the essential shape and structure of the plant. The principle plant forms that you will come across are rounded, matting, weeping, oval, spreading, spiking, mounding and columnar. Diverse forms can make distinctive impacts inside the garden. For instance, cylindric plants make a column impact, attracting the eye upwards towards sky, a building or to high mountains in the overall scene. Oval plants with their more adjusted form are grounded and bring the eye down. They will help you to center attention on whatever is close to them. Spreading plants will help you to visually ground your blueprint, whether utilizing ground-cover or wider spreading bushes or trees. 
The most common plant forms
Structures inside the garden, such as sheds, greenhouses, arbors, trellises and even the house itself,  likewise have form and ought to be considered when you are creating your blueprint. Careful consideration should be given as to what style the building is and how it is constructed. At times the type of house will  help you to figure out what you ought to be doing in your blueprint. If you live in a townhouse that is placed neatly in rows with your neighbors, you might consider making it unique by placing a bush that reflects the stature or width of the front rise. In the event that your house is extremely tall, a  taller, more expansive tree could be an effective approach to coordinated it with the neighborhood scene. Train yourself to notice how native plants and other natural forms behave in nature and you will soon create an aptitude for seeing which structures and shapes work well together.

Garden Blueprint Segment Four


Texture in your garden blueprint depicts the surface quality that is seen or felt. Texture is divided into three classifications; course, medium and fine. Course texture makes a harsh and every so often "untidy" appearance, while fine textures gives you a clean and smooth impression. When we contemplate texture we generally consider the touchable qualities that this grants us. The feeling of touch is the first thing we think of when we consider surfaces in the garden that have distinctive textural qualities. While beyond any doubt our feeling of touch is locked in by texture, there is likewise a tremendous visual asset. For example how a generally straightforward planting scheme is orchestrated can let us know a great deal. Envision a few bushes or little trees at the back of a plan with a few herbaceous perennials in front, and an immaculate lawn in the forefront. From a visual prospective, the trees and bushes at the back will provide for you something extending from a course to medium texture. The herbaceous plantings will by and large be fine in textural terms and the turf will have a smooth texture. You can obviously go and touch any of these plants, however from a visual point of perspective the textures of these groupings increase the value of their structure in terms of how you are wanting them to preform in your garden blueprint.

Did you realize that you can utilize the texture of a plant to manipulate the eye into believing a space is bigger or more diminutive than it really is? Let's say that you have a garden that is truly extensive it can have a tendency to look a bit overpowering as the eye has no idea where to begin. Making cozy rooms and spaces in huge gardens is somewhat of a challenge. One approach to make a feeling of closeness and cut an extensive space down in scale is to utilize a few plants with strong and coarse textures. Plants that do this well include Rhododendrons, Gunnera or Viburnum. On the other hand, if your garden is on the more modest side, with the utilization of finely textured plants you can create the deception of vastness. How? Plants with little, wispy leaves or blooms, (for example, Lavender, Maidenhair Fern, Bamboo or Wood Aster) have a light and breezy feel, and can visually fade away from plain sight. Place a plant with striking and coarse foliage in the front and presto! – your little space looks a bit bigger.

Tip: To help you get texture right take a "x-ray" of your garden. Taking a black and white photo of your garden will expose those areas where the form and texture of you plants blend together to create a shapeless blob of boring. 

In the photo above you can clearly see definition in the garden created by texture and form.

Garden Blueprint Segment Five


Scale, when utilized as a part of your garden blueprint  is closely related  to size. Size by it's own right refers to a definite measurement, the  height, width and depth of an item. Scale is the perceived size of that object as it relates to its surroundings for the most part. For example, a huge fountain would be out of scale in a little front garden of a one story house however it's suitable for a grand palace in Paris. The human scale is extremely essential and you ought to think of it when planning spaces, structures and selecting plants. This is particularly valid for separating spaces in bigger gardens. When the scale of a space is excessively huge an individual occupying it will feel lost, unbiased and uncomfortable. The same could be said for a space that is excessively little as an individual occupies it the space can feel confined and restricted. You must attempt and distinguish the mind-set that you wish to set in each space inside your blueprint and scale it appropriately; case in point intimate and cozy or vast and expansive within the encompassing landscape. 

Undoubtedly your garden will entertain people, and their existence will likewise give visual investment, color and development in the space. Whether individuals are utilizing the space for play, socializing or inactive amusement, they ought to be a included in your blueprint. In this way when you are picking plants, furniture and nooks remember this. While you are planning, attempt to have your objects, whether they be plants, fountains or enclosures, either lower or higher than the stature of a normal adult human. Things in a garden that are precisely the same stature as the human body have a tendency to be less than visually satisfying in proximity with ourselves. Scale and proportion are additionally related. You will frequently find that an element, like a planting plan, in the forefront is adjusted against an alternate element, for example, the house that is behind it. Test and see what works for you. Experiment with it till you are satisfied. 
The garden pictured above makes excellent use of proportion and scale.

Now you have a Focal Point and we have enhanced the Focal Point with Line, Form, Texture and Scale. Next we will bring it "alive" with Color.


  1. Hi Tim!

    What a helpful post. I learned a ton from reading it through and look forward to future posts. Confession, I always struggle on the flower end of things...its veggies veggies veggies with me! But every year I try to improve my perennial beds by adding 5 or 6 new perennials from roadside stands. You are right, skyline is so important. My backyard perennial bed is in desperate need of a makeover, it had no height! No focal point. So I added a black trellis I picked from the garbage, repainted it and am growing bright blue morning glories up it! Can't wait if this solves my height problem. Really like the whole bit about texture as well. I love succulents right now! But I guess they're just the "in" thing where I live. Hens and chicks in particular add definition to my garden. Also love the almost tropical feel of hostas, they make my backyard seem cooler than it really is. And I'm a sucker for any ornamental grass, think they're so beautiful!

    1. Hi Laura,

      I share your love affair with ornamental grass too. Some ornamental grasses with some hostas or succulents in front will give your space a more open feel without taking up any more space. Since I live in Southern CA I have several succulents because they grow so well here. Your on the right track with the trellis just experiment until your find what works. And hey the trellis was free so no big deal if it doesn't work out. My tip of taking a black and white photo is a trick I learned years ago and it really does help. Have you ever taken a photo of your perennials for you blog and didn't notice the few dead leaves until you posted the photo? Sometimes our eyes become so accustom to the color we see everyday in our garden that it blocks out the detail. Without the color it forces your brain to concentrate on the details. Once the details are taken care of you will be surprised of how much brighter the colors will look.


Follow by Email