Landscape Design Strategy: Control the Focal Points

A smart makeover focuses attention on the landscape's assets and hides its weaknesses.

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Before: The bright white garage is a focal point — not exactly what you want when it comes to curb appeal. The steps and bare lawn accentuate the tilting retaining wall.

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After: A smart paint job refocuses the attention on the front door. Showy shrubs and an attractive planting bed soften the walkway, camouflaging the tilt of the retaining wall, and also cut down on hillside mowing.

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Before: The house sits unframed on a barely landscaped hill.

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After: A collection of shrubs including white butterfly bush, cherry laurel, ninebark, falsecypress and Shasta viburnum provide form, texture and color. A redbud and a red maple give a bit of welcome enclosure for the house.

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