Friday, 15 May 2009

Focal Points

Focal points within a garden can be used to add interest, frame views, or create a reason to venture into an area that would otherwise be unused.
We're lucky in the Wanaka & Central Otago area to live within an amazing landscape with no shortage of impressive views. Therefore, in many of our gardens, it is not necessary to create a focal point within the garden itself, but to frame & emphasise vistas and views of the outer landscape. This can be achieved in a number of ways, from framing through a pergola, arch or window, to more subtle emphasis through planting of avenues and structuring planting to allow glimpses of important view shafts.
Sculpture is another way we can add charm & interest within the garden. There are a number of fantastic sculptors & environmental artists within New Zealand or, if you are feeling creative, don't be afraid to explore your own ideas to give a personal touch to your garden.
Water features can also be a powerful way to bring purpose to an area of your garden. Water features can be either very naturalistic or quite abstract depending on the style of your garden/house and your own preference. When creating a natural looking water feature (as above) it is important to get the scale right so that the pool or cascade appears realistic and doesn't become dwarfed by the surroundings. Also, an important consideration in Central Otago is what the water feature will look like in winter as pumps will need to be switched off to avoid pipes freezing.
Other focal point ideas include; outdoor fires, feature walls, pots/urns, specimen trees or even a simple seat... the possibilities are endless!

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