every blooming thing

Courtesy photo/Cathy Wilson

Color play an important role in creating interest, direction, mood and beauty in the garden.

Focal points in the garden are essential for creating interest, direction, mood and/or beauty. They can be temporary, changing with the seasons or permanent such as in statuary. Let your imagination be your guide.

As example, in the adjacent picture, color plays the important role and you see in the forefront a deep velvety purple petunia which leads your eye beyond to the bright pink flowers of the hydrangea and the bright yellow leaves of the hakanochloa or Japanese Forest Grass.

The strong, sturdy shape of the hydrangea next to the strappy, cascading grass draws interest by itself in pleasing textural changes. So now the focal point becomes the structural differences. One fixed and firm, the other swaying in movement.

And now for the finale, all these plants become dormant in the winter. The hydrangea is pruned, the flowers gone and the grass is clipped back to the soil level. Now our focus shifts to the large bright blue pot and the contrasting rusted metal sculpture within. As you can see in just this small area a variety of focal interests have occurred over a period of time.

Another focal point in my garden is a concrete pot with whimsical bunnies. It’s a smaller pot so I keep it at eye level on a table for better visability. I have a ‘Whipcord’ arborvitae planted in it which drapes over the edges as if the bunnies are wearing camouflage. It’s a fun piece and often a topic of conversation.

Focal points can be celebratory for occasions like weddings, graduations and other kinds of parties. These are important for the day but usually are transient. Some, however, become permanent, such as creating a new garden area as I did for my son’s wedding. We bought a new trellis and I planted a charming climbing rose named ‘Collette’. Now I have a new permanent structure as well as sweet memories. This trellis welcomes us into a new garden room which surprises all who walk through since it was hidden and now has become a secret garden.

Focal points can be a beautiful bench at the end of a meandering pathway or a gorgeous fountain in the center of a formal garden. I have a friend that has beautiful large statuary woven throughout his large, magnificent gardens.

Focal points can be moving such as a fountain or stream. I have another friend who has three heavy duty whirley-gigs which move in every direction as well as up and down creating fascinating movements. I sit and watch these mesmerized by their ever-changing formations.

I encourage all of you to create your own focal points to enhance your gardens. I bet if you walk around your yards you will be surprised to discover you already have some. Happy gardening!

The Red Bluff Garden Club. Inc. is a member of the Cascade District Club, California Garden Clubs, Inc. and National Garden Clubs, Inc.

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