Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Focal Points In Your Garden

I have been reading a great deal about focal points in the garden.  The two blogs I especially enjoyed were written at opposite ends of the country, one being Carolyn's Sweet Home and Garden Chicago and the other Rebecca's Gossip In The Garden out in California.  Both are written by professional garden designers and are excellent in that they deal with what we can do in our own yard as regular gardeners.

I read all of the Roundtable blogs and each one had specific ideas which were usable.  But Carolyn's and Rebecca's displayed multiple focal point ideas which were all usable and executable by even the amateur gardener.  Talk about turning gardeners on, something we all need to think about when we speak our gardenerese.

Even if you have a small urban type garden like Carolyn and I have, there can be many focal parts to your garden.  Those with sprawling landscapes can think of focal points in terms of several rooms to a big house.  As you move through these rooms, the focal point will change.  Some will be close up and personal and some will be down a long gently curving path and some might be way in the distance, that we see immediately, but have a journey to reach it.

I have several focal points in my very small yard, however, I am still working on the north side of my home.  It just seems to be a long stretch with a gate at the end, not a lot of interest except the plantings on the side.

I loved one comment, I think from Pam at Digging, that some focal points just need to be screened off!


Jim Groble said...

The yard looks wonderful. jim

Carolyn Gail said...

Great post and photos, Eileen. Thanks so much for your kind comments.

You have a lovely garden. A possible suggestion for your northside entrance is to place a simple tall metal arch in the ground at the end of the path and plant a beautiful climbing rose or clematis to mask part of the view of your garden, creating not only a focal point but an air of mystery as to what's beyond.

What is the small brown structure I see in the distance? Perhaps painting it a color that would blend in with the landscape would make it less obvious. And lastly, any way to plant a vine to grow up and hide the prominent electric pole?

Hope these ideas will help.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks Carolyn. that small brown structure is my garden shed. It is stained to match the pergola and the other arbor. This is such a small narrow area that I am at an impasse as to what would pop it out. I think your idea about an arch might work, kind of leading one down the path! Thsnks so much, I really enjoy your expertise!


beckie said...

Eileen, you do have several great focal points in your gardens. And thinking of the different areas as rooms is a good idea. The only suggestion I have (since you asked) for the long side of the house is to use it as an art gallery. Your fence is a great place to hang art work and include a few unusual planters. Maybe even an espalier small tree. The other side could be used for birdhouses and or sculptures.

Gatsbys Gardens said...

Thanks Jim


Cottage Garden said...

Eileen, you must be reading my mind. I have been thinking about pergolas and how my garden really needs one too! I want to be able to grow scented Old Rose climbers up and over it - very romantic - with an air of mystery of what lies beyond ..

Your garden looks lovely anyway but I think its alway a good idea to break up the space and create 'rooms'. I can see it all in my mind but trying to replicate it in real life is another matter! Thanks for those links - perhaps they will help.

I love your path bordered by bleeding hearts, leading to the gate.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Beckie, I love your idea! I do have two planters hanging, not planted yet, that I moss, but the idea of outdoor art work is great. I am not sure about the tree unless I find something that will grow in part shade.

It really is like a long gallery.


Gatsbys Gardens said...

Jeanne, I do have a post about building this pergola which I haven't published yet. Maybe I should do this next! We had such intense sun it was almost a necessity,


joey said...

With much to be thankful for, Eileen, you must be elated with your lovely garden. Now, sit back and enjoy some May wine with your sweet woodruff!

Indoor Fountains said...

I have always had the most success with veggie gardens. I don't know what it is but I really enjoy planting tomatoes. There is nothing quite like tomato sauce from your home garden