What Unexpected Elements Can Become Focal Points in Garden Design?


    What Unexpected Elements Can Become Focal Points in Garden Design?

    In the realm of garden design, sometimes the most unexpected elements can become stunning focal points. We've gathered insights from gardening experts and arborists to reveal six unique additions that transformed their green spaces. From repurposing a birdbath into a succulent display to turning a vintage birdcage into a hanging planter, discover how these professionals seamlessly integrated these elements into their designs.

    • Repurpose Birdbath into Succulent Display
    • Wine Barrel as Rainwater Collector
    • Teak Bench Encircles Garden Sculpture
    • Handcrafted Trellis Arch Adds Refinement
    • Stacked Planters Create Vertical Herb Garden
    • Vintage Birdcage Transformed into Hanging Planter

    Repurpose Birdbath into Succulent Display

    In one of my garden designs, I decided to repurpose an old birdbath, turning it not into its intended function but into a succulent garden display. Initially, this birdbath was just a piece that the homeowner wanted to get rid of, but I saw potential in its structure. I filled it with soil and arranged a variety of succulents within it—different textures, heights, and colors came together. It became an immediate talking point for visitors.

    The circular shape provided a natural arrangement template, and placing it in a location where a statue might typically stand gave it prominence. Integrating this upcycled feature required assessing light conditions suitable for succulent growth and ensuring the birdbath had adequate drainage. This feature proved that unexpected items could breathe life and creativity into a garden, embodying the idea that imagination is instrumental in garden design.

    Lindsey Hyland
    Lindsey HylandGardening expert, Founder Urban Organic Yield, Urban Organic Yield

    Wine Barrel as Rainwater Collector

    In a recent garden design, I introduced an old, repurposed wine barrel as a rainwater collector, which unexpectedly became the garden's focal point. Situated beneath a downspout at the corner of a patio, the barrel was not only functional, collecting rainwater for irrigation, but also aesthetically pleasing, adding a rustic charm to the setting. Surrounding the barrel, I planted a variety of moisture-loving plants and flowers, creating a lush, green backdrop that highlighted the barrel's wooden texture and rich patina. This setup not only conserved water but also drew attention to sustainable gardening practices. Integrating this element into the garden design demonstrated how everyday objects, when thoughtfully repurposed, can enhance a garden's beauty while emphasizing eco-friendly principles.

    Dylan Heath
    Dylan HeathArborist, Apex Arborists

    Teak Bench Encircles Garden Sculpture

    From my experiences navigating the intricate world of teak outdoor furniture at Goldenteak.com since 1996, I've discovered that sometimes, the most unexpected elements can breathe new life into a garden design. One standout example was the integration of a Teak Curved Bench around a unique garden sculpture, transforming it into both a statement piece and a functional communal area. This project was particularly memorable because it beautifully illustrated how furniture could merge with the landscape to create a cohesive and inviting outdoor space.

    The Teak Curved Bench wasn't initially designed as a focal point; it was chosen for its quality and durability. However, its placement around the sculpture, serving as seating for an unconventional outdoor table, showcased the versatility and unexpected potential of integrating high-quality furniture into landscape design. This choice elevated the entire patio area without overshadowing the natural beauty of the surrounding garden. It emphasized that the right piece of furniture, when thoughtfully placed, doesn't just complement the environment—it enhances it, molding into both a practical and picturesque element of the garden.

    Elsa Rao
    Elsa RaoPresident, GoldenTeak

    Handcrafted Trellis Arch Adds Refinement

    I knew my garden was missing something when I looked in my backyard, and it just seemed off. It's a feeling that many understand, yet few know how to fix. I decided that my garden was missing a central focal point, and I wanted that focal point to be a trellis arch—something I could make with my own hands, of course.

    I enjoy the look of a garden arch because it brings refinement to an otherwise natural space. I love the simplicity and wildness of an outdoor garden, but the contrast between something natural and unnatural, untamed and handmade, is beautiful to me, so I went with an arch you could place vining plants on.

    I purchased a standard second-hand arch from a thrift store and some trellis from my local hardware store, sanded and painted the trellis a tan/brown color, fastened it to the arch, polished the arch, and introduced my plants to it. Now, we have a gorgeous weathered arch with flowering plants and vines in our garden, which certainly enhances the space.

    Forrest Mccall
    Forrest MccallCo-Owner, Mama Needs A Project

    Stacked Planters Create Vertical Herb Garden

    In a small urban garden, the surprise element was a vertical herb garden. Utilizing a series of stacked planters on a sunlit wall, it offered both functionality and visual appeal. The variety of herbs, in different shades of green with occasional flowers, provided a striking contrast against the brick backdrop. This practical feature also became a central talking point for its innovative use of limited space and contribution to sustainable living.

    Gil Clark Jr.
    Gil Clark Jr.CEO, GH Clark

    Vintage Birdcage Transformed into Hanging Planter

    Finding a vintage, oversized birdcage at a flea market sparked an unconventional idea for a garden space. Rather than using it for its original purpose, I transformed it into a hanging planter, suspended from a sturdy branch of a solitary maple tree. Filled with cascading blooms and trailing vines, it brought an unexpected vertical dimension to the garden. This whimsical feature not only attracted curious glances but also birds and butterflies, creating a lively hub of activity. It's a testament to how reimagined objects can introduce a unique narrative into garden design.

    Jonathan Ayala
    Jonathan AyalaFounder, Hudson Condos