The centerpiece of your garden is the place where your eye is first drawn when you look at it. It’s the focus, like the main object in a painting. A centerpiece can be anything; a fountain, a statue, a rock formation, a seating area, or a flower bed, as long as it draws the viewer’s attention. To make sure that your chosen centerpiece actually functions to fulfill the role that you’ve selected for it, you need to set up some subtle (and some less-subtle) clues that will direct the attention of your viewer toward it.
The first and most important bit about your centerpiece is that it should be highly visible. That means that when designing and putting together the surrounding landscaping you should focus on removing extraneous items that might draw attention away from the item, and situating the centerpiece in a very visible spot, perhaps on a raised platform, a berm, or simply in an open space. It should not need to share the spotlight with anything else.
It does not need to be in the objective center of the garden, as the word may imply. Rather your centerpiece is the object of that subjectively determines the center of the viewer.
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Direction of Attention
Attention can be grabbed in a variety of ways that don’t actually involve the item you’re drawing done anything particularly conspicuous. The trick is to make everything else in the garden point to the object. If your garden has a walkway then that walkway goes directly to your centerpiece. If there is a formation of bushes or trees then the line of symmetry will be dictated by the centerpiece. If the sun is rising or setting it better travelling right over your centerpiece. Alright that might be pushing it, but you get the idea. All roads lead to Rome, where Rome is the focus of your garden and roads are everything else located in the garden.
Color and Symmetry
Whether your centerpiece matches its surroundings as far as color is concerned are of relatively little significance; however making sure that all of the other things in your garden match each other is imperative. Nothing should look in any way obtrusive, asymmetrical, or attention-grabbing except your centerpiece. That doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be interesting. On the contrary, often the most intricate artistic details are to be found not in the centerpiece, but rather its surroundings. The care put into these reflects positively on the focus, even when it’s not consciously absorbed. For the more watchful, these details are a delight to enjoy, but not until after the main event has had its moment, as is its place.
Like a single red flower upstaging an entire meadow of white, you can use the colors in your garden to direct focus. Your centerpiece may have many colors, but if you make it unique by giving it a color that the rest of the garden does not have, then it will stand out more.
For example, if your centerpiece is a red sandstone boulder covered in patches of blue lichen and green moss, you have a lot of colors to work with. You could match it with a decorative bird feeder, your flowers, or even a fluffy cat, without sacrificing the dominance of your centerpiece as long as you give it a monopoly on one of those colors.
So keep in mind, the centerpiece of your garden is the focal point, the axis of symmetry, and the most visible part of your garden. Everything else in it serves to help draw your attention to it. It’s a lot like fashion and make-up; it should draw attention to the wearer, not itself. In the same way the complementing décor should not draw much attention to itself, instead providing a frame that serves to accentuate the focus.
Author Bio: Ernie Allison is a bird watcher with a love of life and nature. He is passionate about wildlife conservation and writing. He writes both for pleasure and profit, currently for Bird Feeders.