Focal point in small garden with Hydrangea ‘Limelight’

Hydrangea Limelight blooms white then turns light pink

Hydrangea ‘Limelight’ really glows, especially during dusk. The blooms shine even more when planted against a dark boxwood hedge. There, they create the most beautiful focal point.

Small gardens in particular need something that directs the eye to the furthest part of the garden: a strong focal point that adds depth. It could be a tree, or a shrub. Or perhaps some furniture, a pretty container, or some other garden decoration.

Hydrangea ‘Limelight’ glows during dusk

How to choose your focal point

Here are a few things you should think about when choosing a focal point for a small garden.

  • To not disappear into the surroundings, a focal point needs a background. It can be a hedge, a wall or a group of shrubs of the same kind. To not blend into one another, make sure the colors of the background contrast the focal point. Bright blooms against a dark background never disappoint!
  • Go for big rather than small. A good size shrub or small tree makes e a bigger impact than a few perennials. Then again, a proper group of perennials with some height makes for a beautiful focal point.
  • Make sure your focal point has a long peak period. You want it to last for the most part of the season.

Make your garden appear bigger with big-sized raised beds

Large object make the space look bigger – small objects do the opposite
It might seem odd, but one big container, shrub or tree makes an area appear bigger while many smaller objects do the opposite, especially if spread out. Use large raised beds to make a small garden appear bigger.

Wooden big raised bed with Boxwood, Heuchera ‘Obsidian’ and Creeping forget-me-not Omphalodes verna
Boxwoods being structure and create winter interest
Deschampsia cespitosa ‘Goldschleier’ (tufted hair grass) contrasts the dark Heuchera ‘Obsidian’. It’s a beautiful semi-green grass that can handle sun to part shade and grows 2-3 feet tall.
Mid spring bloomer Globeflower Trollius x cultorum ‘Cheddar’ picks up the yellow color from the Tufted hair grass. Grows 25-27 in full sun – part shade.
Columbine Aquilegia vulgaris var. stellata ‘Black Barlow’ picks up the dark colors of the Heuchera ‘Obsidian’. Can handle sun – part sun, grows 28-30 in high and can self seed.
The Creeping forget-me-not Omphalodes verna, sometime called blue-eyed Mary is a lovely ground cover that comes up early in the with fresh green leaves and tiny blue flowers. It prefers part-shade but does ok in shade as well.