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Focal Points

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Photo of a decorative garden fountain used as a focal point.

Garden fountains can be used as focal points.

David Beaulieu
Definition:

In landscape design terminology, "focal points" force the viewer’s perspective to a particular location. The use of symmetry or balance creates the effect in a more obvious manner, while asymmetrical designs soften or even avoid focalization. As this photo showing a focal point illustrates, focalization is achieved most easily by placing an attractive garden accent on an uncluttered lawn -- there's nothing to compete with the selected ornament for attention.

With the movement and sound they provide, garden fountains (picture at right) make for excellent focal points, capturing one's attention on a number of levels. I supply other examples of the concept in my photo gallery dealing with focal points and other visual cues in landscape design.

Examples:
Their landscape plan was a jumble of plants and statuary, with no real focal point.
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