Many people, when designing their landscape, have a vision in mind. What they want their dream back or front yard to look like. Others know they want a change but have a hard time deciding on design elements or themes for their landscape. An excellent option for building a landscape is choosing a “Hero” plant. This is basically a focal plant that gives you an attractive visual entry point to your yard or garden.
Although choosing a “Hero” plant isn’t necessarily difficult, you should keep in mind how you can support this plant with either supporting plants, hardscape and other features. Join me as we go through these elements in order to help you design a visually appealing landscape.
What is a Focal Point?
In your landscape, a focal point refers to where you want to direct the eyesight of guests visiting your yard. Any feature in your garden that you deem striking can be used as a focal point.
Unique, exotic or colorful plants can create an exciting point of interest if the supporting landscape follows more natural colors and smoother lines. Trees can give a sense of scale while providing unique textures to your garden. Dwarf shrubs or potted bonsai trees can create a bit of an optical illusion shifting the sense of scale to make your landscape seem bigger than it is. Simple sculptures or decorative potted plants and hardscapes can be used to stand out from the natural colors and shapes. Water features like a bird bath, pond or waterfall can also be used to draw both eyes and ears towards the sounds of water.
Choosing your “Hero” Plant
A hero plant is basically the focal point of your landscape. There are many options for a “hero” plant, this can be anywhere from a fancy plant that you build your landscape around to a particular plant that you are already growing, like a tree you grew from a seed.
A “hero” plant can also be a beneficial plant to your environment. Many environmentally conscious customers like the idea of having the focal point in their garden also aid with local wildlife, a plant, tree or shrub that not only looks spectacular but can also help local insects, and birds thrive. For example the California fuchsia with thin red flowers attracts hummingbirds when it blooms in summer and fall, or the California milkweed which blooms with a round cluster of small white, pink or lavender flowers and can host the iconic monarch butterfly among others.
Supporting your Focal Point
Now that you’ve selected a focal point for your landscape you need to support it. Ideally you want eyes to naturally gravitate towards the focal point. There are a few different ways to provide support. Following the rules of 3rds is a great way to get started. Imagine your landscape is a canvas, divide it into a 3×3 grid pattern. The focal point should be placed either in the left or right side of the grid but never the middle. The rule of 3rds gives your landscape more depth, and is more visually dynamic.
You can design your landscape to have walkways, hardscape, walls, or flower beds to guide your eyes towards your focal point. Don’t forget that at night, your landscape design can change depending on the amount of light available. Lighting can be used to emphasize focal points during evenings. A plant or tree can blend into the surroundings during the day, but once the sun sets can be the “hero” of your landscape.
How would you feel with a yard expressly designed to fit your unique home and personality?
Our staff is dedicated to delivering unique landscapes that 100% fit the needs of homeowners. Each yard is designed in-house by our landscape designer. Our expertise and experience in the cities of Long Beach, Lakewood, Seal Beach, Rossmoor & surrounding communities allows us to custom design the perfect landscape for you.
Your project is carefully managed by our team of experts. Whether you are looking to turn your front yard into a showpiece or creating the backyard of your dreams we are here to help. Fill out our Landscape Design request for landscape to fit your aesthetic today. Feel free to call us at (562) 225-9460 or get a free quote for the project you have in mind.