Why you need a Focal Point in Garden Design

Every garden should have a focal point. A focal point is something that draws the eye and provides a sense of destination or a place where the eye can rest. Focal points can be any type of object or plant. A tree in the center of a garden or a fountain for instance. If your garden is lacking a focal point, read on.

If you’re not a fan of fountains or statuary, use an accent plant as a focal point. A bright Golden toned Evergreen, like Verdoni Cypress, planted at an entrance among subtle foliage plants like Holly or Boxwood, will serve as a focal point. It draws people to your door or path.

accent point


A brightly colored ceramic pot can serve as a focal point. At Willow Ridge Garden Center in Oak Ridge, TN, we have over a thousand pots to choose from and they are our favorite things to use as a focal point. A large potted plant container placed in the garden will add pizazz to a lack luster pathway, directing your guests to the party on the patio. A large shapely urn left unplanted could act as a piece of statuary and provide much needed interest to a sea of flowers or Hosta. The size, scale, and color will add contrast and that’s what draws the eye.

Focal Point


For obvious reasons, fountains are great focal points. They have the added feature of providing the soothing sound of water. We often think of them as being used in formal, symmetrical gardens where they are the focal point in a calming bed of green clipped Boxwood. Fountains can be used informally as well on a patio or in a natural perennial garden.

(Fountain Picture)

Arbors & Trellis

Garden structures such as an arbor or trellis will create vertical focal points.   They help guide people to and through the garden. Adding architectural interest, they are a strong garden element that helps create outdoor rooms in which your family and guests will feel more comfortable. Arbors create a little quiet getaway spot and an arched pathway trellis the door to the patio party!


Benches make a focal point and are often placed where one may sit and enjoy the fruits of their labor. Share one with a friend and discuss the finer things in life or watch a visiting butterfly, which is pretty fine!  Benches may sit on the edge of a mulched flower bed.  They also make a strong statement on a small destination patio.

Garden Art

Garden art in various forms reflects the homeowner’s style. Focal points such as gazing globes, wind spinners, bottle trees, or birdhouse condo’s all add a whimsical sense to the garden, giving the observer’s eye a place to rest. Often they spark a smile and give the garden its personality.

Focal Point

Take a long look at your garden. Does it need a strong element to draw the eye or direct people through it? Remember, these focal points add much needed structure to the space and will be interesting all year long.  Start searching your local garden center (us!) today for your new beautiful garden focal point.

Landscape Repetition Creates Harmony