focal point ideas

ls8989July 13, 2012

Deviant and other talented people - I have this giant wedding party on Aug 11th and I'm trying as hard as I can to finish this project, including now reworking the darn walkway. The last thing I think I need is a focal point for the end of this side entrance to the back yard. I can't seem to figure out how to post more than one photo at a time - can someone help me with this? Here's the walkway as you enter the arbor gate and head towards the yard. This gravel path deadheads into a wide sunny area (used to shady until we removed the giant dead oak two months ago) and is currently planted with a nice, healty Oakleaf Hydrangea, Beauty Berry shrubs, Varigated Red Twig and Yellow Twig Dogwoodk bushes. I think I may need something that grabs the eye as you walk down this path. Beyond this open area on the left is my compost bin and firewood stacks, lots of shade, oaks, azaleas. I don't want to move that oakleaf but, I can move the twig dogwoods or a couple of beauty berry shrubs around if need be.

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Posting additional pics is simply doing as you did the initial one. I usually skip a line between each picture address then copy & paste the additional address. Hope that helps.

If I should be so bold as to offer my thoughts regarding your area. As a focal point and useful area, I think the bend in the path could have the few bushes transplanted to another area to make way for a small table and chairs. What a lovely, lovely place to sit. You have enough planting that another one may just be lost. I know I would want to just linger in this area just that much longer, but that's me.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 6:55PM
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The guests will be a focal point and the bride and groom THE FOCAL point. It's absolutely lovely. Relax, enjoy the wedding.

    Bookmark   July 13, 2012 at 6:55PM
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karin_mt(4 MT)

Other possibilities include a birdbath or an interesting trellis with some neat vines or a climbing rose.

The area to the left of the curve in the path seems to be the spot for a focal point. The container you have there is the right idea but being green it blends in with the other green things in the view.

You have a beautiful yard!

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 12:43AM
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molie(z6 CT)

What a beautiful and peaceful pathway into your yard! I think it's lovely and welcoming. Having experienced my daughter's wedding in our backyard, I can sympathize with not only your desire to get everything "right" but also the time constraints you're facing with the event just one month away.

Rosiew is correct --- seeing the happy couple and being there to share the day is the most important thing for guests. The pathway you've created gently leads your guests into the yard. While there are interesting suggestions to change the area into a place for sitting or to create a trellised area, I suggest that you wait until after the wedding to decide if making changes in this part of the yard would match the kind of use you want for it. Besides, any new shrubs or perennials that you plant there would not have time to become lush enough for a visual impact.

I do agree with Karin that the planter itself is too "green" and blends in with the foliage. You might want to consider replacing it (if it can't be painted/color-washed) with a taller, brighter pot. We wanted tall planters to be placed on each side of the path where my daughter was to be married, but they were so expensive! On impulse we went to Ocean State Job Lot and found tall, unglazed pots that matched the pinkish stones in our path. Filled with upright and cascading annuals, these pots were spectacular --- plus very cheap.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 7:02AM
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catkim(San Diego 10/24)

Contrast is needed for a focal point, and white will really stand out -- like a bride's dress and veil. I agree, the garden could be perfect if you were to add something, but it's completely unnecessary for the success of the wedding. Suggestions: an ornate white tuteur hung with tendrils of a flowering vine; an elaborate white bench; a column topped with an exuberantly planted bowl. A few photos of focal points, none meant to be exactly what you need, just examples of focal points in other gardens.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 4:39PM
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Would a cluster of balloons, perhaps white or the colors of the wedding tied to a log satisfy the temporary need for a 'focal point of the day'?

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 4:39PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

I may not be grasping the intent of the area, but it seems to me you need a screen, not so much a focal point. Currently, the eye goes to your utility areas at the back and one wonders what is going on there. Your shrubs will eventually block that, but while they don't, that is where one looks.

In the meantime, I would put things of interest - special plants, special rocks, small gargoyles - close to the walkway to keep people's attention there rather than meandering off to the back corner.

The curve in the path seems to me to create an inherent urgency to proceed and see what is around there. so I don't see a need for a focal point here at all.

Karin L

Here is a link that might be useful: There are gargoyles, and then there is Doug the Troll...

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 5:48PM
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karinl(BC Z8)

Actually, Ernie would be good for a wedding!

Karin L

Here is a link that might be useful: Ernie

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 5:50PM
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Karen said it - my eye goes right to and rests on the blue/green tarp which, in a sense, is the current focal point.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 6:06PM
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I would not plant anything more but I would screen my work area back there and add some subtle bright and shiny garden art that would last beyond the wedding day itself. Here is what I have in my own backyard that would likely be appropriate. I've included a photo from a listing on Etsy because I don't any good pictures of my own mirror garlands. However, they are a real favourite of mine for the way they reflect the sun. Adding fairy lights in the tree canopy could make it even more magical.

    Bookmark   July 14, 2012 at 9:11PM
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That Green tarp is my next door neighbor's on his woodpile against his side of the fence which is why my husband chose to put OUR woodpile in the same location. I wish I could screen it, but I don't think I can grow anything in three weeks! Sorry for the misunderstanding but the wedding is not at our house - its the 60 person "couples shower" which is apparently the new thing for young people getting married. Gosh, that makes me sound old. Anyway, our birdbath actually started out there but its seems lost in this area. I'll try to take better photos of the space where this focal point is needed so you can see how much space I'm dealing with. I think it needs something much larger, but I'll bow the forum's opinions.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 9:39PM
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catkim(San Diego 10/24)

Rent a peacock.

    Bookmark   July 16, 2012 at 11:02PM
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I agree with the need for a screen. I keep looking at the tarp. You could try to find some sort of fencing like bamboo (doesn't seem to go with the area), willow "wattle" I think it might be called (would go well here), small section of unfinished pickets? My compost area is behind a small picket fence (someone else's trash was my treasure).
I looked and looked at your picture and finally found the pot. So, yes, it is hard to see it. I think the idea of a few mirror or gazing balls on the ground, or a couple colorful pots, maybe all the same color or color family. They could be placed closer to the path and would draw the eye away from the tarp area.
I had my son's (small) wedding at my house and yard in June 2010. It was very stressful because I am a perfectionist for those type of things, but it turned out great. I bought new cushions for the porch furniture, new outdoor rugs (all inexpensive at Lowe's) and a few key pots and hanging baskets. It was all very lovely. I'm sure your event will be great too.

    Bookmark   July 17, 2012 at 10:16AM
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I agree about a screen - some kind of bamboo or woven wood screen might be nice. You could make a temporary screen with some of the roll up reed fencing. Then perhaps put a large urn or some kind of garden art in front of it.

    Bookmark   July 18, 2012 at 9:58AM
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