We use cookies on this website. To use the website as intended please accept cookies.

Wednesday March 03 , 2021

Blue Daisy Blog

Blue Daisy blog written by Nicki Jackson & Jules Clark - for news, views, garden design, gardening and plant observations and thoughts.

Garden Design Quick Tip - Focal Points - Lines and Frames

Posted by on in Garden Design
  • Font size: Larger Smaller
  • Hits: 3998
  • 0 Comments
  • Subscribe to this entry
  • Print

focal point - leading lines

Focal points are brilliant tools for bringing your garden ‘into focus’ – focal points add context to a garden.  By giving a viewer something distinct to look at, it somehow manages to bring the setting around it – the wider garden – into focus too.  

Focal points work best when there is a clear line of sight to them; by clearing the way of any other distractions the viewer’s eye is inexorably drawn to the focal point at ‘the end of the line’.  The focal point can be anything – an urn, a bench, a plant, a sculpture, etc but it needs to be distinct enough from its surroundings to hold the attention of the viewer for a while once their gaze reaches it.  It’s that ‘pause’ of attention that then allows the focal point’s surroundings to then be thrown into focus too.

There are a number of ways of creating those clear lines of sight but two of the most effective methods, and most often used, are based around converging lines and frames.  

In a converging line approach you’d place your focal point at the end of two (or more, but usually two) converging lines. Whilst physically converging lines can be used in most instances the converging lines are a trick of perspective: for example if you look at a straight road in the distance both of its sides seem to converge at a single point – it is this effect that focal points can benefit from.  If you position your focal point at the ‘meeting point’ of those lines it creates much more impact.  The lines draw the eye along them right to the meeting point/focal point as can be seen in our first image (above).  This shot was taken at RHS Wisley and you can see how the lawn/border edges create converging lines leading to the luminous clump of ornamental grass at their virtual meeting point.  It is a compelling sight (added to by the direction of the lawn mowing lines too!); you can’t help but be led to the focal point and only then, once you’ve seen it, do you traverse back and take in the bigger picture.

focal points - framingFraming on the other hand is where the focal point is framed for the viewer, thereby becoming the centre of ‘the picture’.  You can ‘frame’ a focal point in any of a number of ways: pergolas, arches, branches, climbing plants, hedges, reflections, buildings, colour, etc – they can all work spectacularly well.  Our example image (left) shows how Yew hedges (Taxus baccata) have been used as a frame for the water feature beyond them but it also frames the ongoing and further focal point beyond the initial one too.  The first focal point is the pause point which once seen, then pulls the scene beyond it into focus.  The frame surrounds a perfect ‘picture’, only viewable from that particular point since the hedge blocks any unintended views.  This was taken at National Trust Hidcote Manor Gardens.

Obviously we’re not all lucky enough to have acres of land in which to create long sweeping vistas but we can still apply these techniques in smaller spaces.  Simple pathways can create a converging line effect while small trees, hedges, arches and gateways can create the perfect frame for your own personal focal point.  The possibilities are seriously endless but don’t forget to try to be restrained with the number of focal points you use in your garden.  Less is definitely more for this effect to be truly outstanding.

 

0

Comments

  • No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment

Leave your comment

Guest Wednesday, 03 March 2021

Blog Categories

Tag Cloud

snow Birmingham Library Tom Hart-Dyke August garden herbaceous borders Phyllostachys nigra Alan Titchmarsh CorTen Glasshouse Geranium structure Mrs Loudon terracota herbs Horticulture Daffodils Rachel de Thame ha ha Urban Heat Island Effect hydroponic sorbus surfaces water butt Monty Don November garden water house plants edible garden show Moss Bank Park roof gardens July garden watering May garden winner vertical garden bulbs Chris Beardshaw Nicki Jackson elm gardening on tv Alys Fowler John Massey Lawrence Johnston Stone Lane Gardens garden room Narcissus traditional style Joseph Banks women and work award Blue Daisy National Gardening Week New York Highline Matt James Trees ornamental grasses hosepipe Cosmos astrosanguineus Absorb pollution RHS Malvern Bamboo Wildflowers Carol Klein Garden Planning rococo heatwave movement in the garden Kew Gardens twitter Euphorbia Toby Buckland HTA Greenhouse show gardens Berginia Malvern Spring Show Levens Hall Decking December garden Taxus Cut flowers colour in your garden alpines pests April garden garden focal points BBC repetition planning your garden summer garden spring garden Charlie Dimmock pond Laurel Sophie Raworth Gardeners World cottage garden HNC Acuba Cambridge botanical garden GYO timber Snowdrops basil Cloches Perennial winter garden reclaimed materials composting lawn care topiary Echinacea roof garden stonemarket birch Berberis February garden Shrubs bees scented shrubs grey water National Trust February garden advice at home Briza maxima Kensington Roof Garden unity Achillea RHS Chelsea Joe Swift James Wong wildlife Seed sowing Jekka McVicar recycled materials autumn garden Malvern Hills watering can RHS Hampton Court courtyard plant pots wild flowers form pollinating insects Highgrove Urban Heat Island ash water feature paving garden Prince Harry October garden doddington hall sweat peas Selfridges Roof Garden hard landscaping contemporary Fleece garden design trends gravel RHS Tatton Park career in horticulture Ashwood Nurseries drought September garden cottage gardens Stoneleigh RHS Kelmarsh Hall plants cyclamen legacy gift acer January garden front garden build garden design tip Horticultural deer pollinators Floating Paradise Gardens of London Winter shrubs sunflowers eco-friendly Buxus Hidcote CorTen steel Coastal plants bulb display Herb Events & Shows green spaces Wisley Chelsea Physic Garden London March garden blue rosemary Chelsea Flower Show grow your own patio sound in the garden Horticulturalist Crocus spring bulbs productive garden rock gardens Ilex Capability Brown water conservation Great British Garden Revival June garden poppies kerb-side appeal rainwater harvesting Futurescape Lantra Joanna Lumley kitchen garden Hosta garden design Spring shrubs Herb garden NSALG saving water

Welcome to Blue Daisy Blog



Our Promise

promiseWe work hard to keep our customers happy.  We work to a voluntary customer charter.

Peace of Mind

simplybusinessWe take our responsibilities seriously so we're insured through Simply Business.

Click on the logo for our Garden Design insurance details. For Gardening details see our gardening services page.

Proud Members Of...

landscapejuicen... The Landscape Juice Network where we interact with other professional gardeners, designers and landscapers.