How to Make Your Outdoor Garden Stand Out

This is a guest post.

Gardens have the ability to be places of solitude or celebration merely based on the way they’ve been designed. There are formal gardens and landscape gardens. There are gardens that run wild and gardens that are expertly manicured. The point of a garden is to be a space that helps its inhabitant get back to nature. No matter how much we may prune the tree or how many weeds we let grow between the paving stones, it’s still our own little verdant piece of the world. If you’re interested in shaping your garden to be one of splendor and enchantment, look no further; you have found the guide to help you.


Pattern Designs and Your Lawn

Woman of Style & Substance notes that many people ignore their lawn when reconfiguring the garden space. The design of the lawn can be made to be as important as the garden gnome you have sitting under your rose bushes or the lemon tree growing tall in the center of your garden. In essence, the lawn is more than just another patch of grass, it’s a blank canvas.


Woman of Style suggests that to make your garden really stand out, you should cut patterns into your lawn. By adjusting the blade height on your lawnmower, you can make as simple or as intricate a design as you want, be it wave or checkerboard-patterned. Before you pattern your lawn however, Yardcare writes that it must be healthy, and that you should never cut off more than 1/3 of the height off your grass at any one time.


Lighting Design: Making the Garden Glow

To bring attention to certain areas of your garden, (maybe you want to highlight an exotic looking birdbath or the edge of your koi pond) landscape lighting design will help you bring your garden to the next level. HGTV suggests that before you buy any lights or lighting system, ask yourself what in the garden you want to be the focal point.

Once you have decided what areas of the garden you want bathed or softly lit in light, layer your lighting sources. Layers of overhead, task and ambient light create a natural effect. HGTV recommends using path and spotlight lighting to help you navigate the garden and showcase your home.


 What is a Focal Point?

Mentioned just above, it is important to have a focal point in the garden. Focal points help to pull the viewer’s eye to specific areas in the garden. The critical rule of the focal point (and the critical rule for all design) is that less is more. Gardening Know How has observed that amateur designers will often make the mistake of overcomplicating a space in the hopes of making it pop. This doesn’t work, instead it just makes the garden look overwrought and messy.


There must also only be one or two focal points. If the eye is constantly traveling from one line of direction to another, there is no time for rest and therefore no time for absorption. The garden is supposed to be a space of reflection and meditation. If the user cannot focus, the garden has failed.


 Choosing a Focal Point: Sculpture or Plants?

Many people think that the focal point of a garden must be some type of sculpture, be it a water feature, bird bath or replica of the statue of David. The cool thing is that because it’s your garden, the focal point can be anything you want it to be. While sculptural, manmade objects do generally garner more attention than the surrounding flora and fauna, you can make a flowering tree or spiraling vine the epicenter of the garden. Because our eyes naturally follow lines, there are many cases when we land on the tree or sprouting bush first, not even noticing the medieval-looking sundial next to it. Remember, it’s the lighting that will draw the viewer’s attention. Wherever the lighting is, so too will your guests venture.


The beauty of the garden is its power to manipulate space. The way the sunlight filters through the tree branches or plays along the pathway river stones, it’s all part of the experience.



I'm a mother of 2 who likes to get involved in too much! Besides writing here I started a non-profit, I'm on the PTO board, very active in my community and volunteer in the school. I enjoy music, reading, cooking, traveling and spending time with my family. We just adopted our 3rd cat and love them all!

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