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How to create a focal point in your garden

With such a great choice of plants and garden products now widely available, it’s relatively easy to make your garden look attractive. Much harder, however, is making your garden distinctively personal. One way to do this is to create a bespoke focal point – an area to which the eye is drawn and is full of detail, delight and originality. Read on for a guide to creating a great garden focal point.

Find your space

Gardens often have an unloved corner. Why not take that old shed base, overgrown compost heap or predictable run of border and turn it in to something special? The first job is to clear the space, cut back any planting that obstructs access and see what you’ve got to work with.

Define the use

Now, think about what you want to use your spot for. A reading nook? A gin and tonic terrace? A wildlife haven? Decide on the seating required and any base it might need to sit on. If you fancy a water feature, look at drainage and power supply. Remember to think about all year-round use.

Decide on a budget

Garden projects can be expensive, so be very clear from the start regarding how much you want to spend. Factor in any planting, hard surfacing, garden furniture and other structural elements and get creative. Do you have any old pieces you can repurpose or renovate? A trip to a reclaim yard might unearth an old chimney pot you can use as a planter, some cast iron furniture you can nurse back to life or a quirky sculpture.

Make your backdrop

Think like a stage set designer. You could paint a section of wall a bright colour, put up trellising for climbing plants or use willow screening to define your area. Large garden privacy screens made from wood composite come in all sorts of unusual designs and can be a cost-effective way to make a design statement. Wall art is readily available too, as are outdoor mirrors, which can be particularly effective in smaller gardens.

Remember, if you want your focal point to stand out, it needs to look different from the rest of your garden, so consider using a completely different colour palette.

Introduce character

Now comes the fun part, as you’re ready to add the finishing touches that will make this space truly special. A garden fence or wall is just like an interior wall – you can add pieces of art, wall hangings or shelves for displaying interesting items. You can use floor coverings too; there are some great waterproof outdoor rugs available that can add softness and clear definition to a space. Use planting to provide colour, texture and fragrance. Pots can be multi-coloured, oddly shaped or unusually arranged.

When planning and designing your garden’s new focal point, don’t be afraid to let your imagination run riot. It might be a tucked away arbour, a little corner patio, a mirrored wall or a colourful art installation – all that matters is that it reflects your interests and your personality.

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