1. Use it as an alluring focal point
Photo/Illustration: Brandi Spade
Simply put, a focal point is an element in a composition (such as a painting or a garden area) that draws attention to itself and the area around it. It can lead your eye to a distant point and make a garden seem larger, or it can divert your attention away from an uninteresting or even unattractive feature, such as a plain mass of shrubs or a utility pole. The visual impact of a focal point is magnified when placed against a uniform color or contrasting background.
In this case, the dark, arching blades of purple fountain grass allow the chartreuse and dark orange splashes on the rounded mass of ‘Freckles’ to stand out from the rest of the bunch, creating a focal point. While the hanging clusters of blue fan flower provide an energetic color contrast, there aren’t enough of them to overwhelm the star of the show. An emerald green pot finishes off the look, its dark, even tone fading into the background and letting the plant combo pop.
In this photo:
1. ‘Freckles’ coleus
2. ‘Prince’ purple fountain grass (Pennisetum purpureum* ‘Prince’, Zones 8–11)
3. ‘Fancy’ blue fan flower (Scaevola aemula ‘Fancy’, Z 10–11)
4. ‘Flamingo’ coleus