Stonework - Main Garden Feature Blog Post -Clarenbridge Online Garden Centre Ireland

Main Garden Feature

Main Garden Feature

I think there is a lot to be said about having a main garden feature.

Bird Bath 250 - Main Garden Feature Blog Post - Clarenbridge Online Garden Centre Ireland
Bird bath

Be it a tree, a shrub, fountain, bird bath or a boulder.

No matter what you decide to dedicate as your “point of interest” it will play a very important role within your garden.This main garden feature will enhance the space, add a personal touch, and be a testimony of your creativity.

In addition, it will pull all the focus towards itself and draw attention away from less attractive spaces.

Let’s be honest, there always is a raw concrete wall, an electricity pole, a side of an old shed or an obstacle proving difficult to get rid of. Inspiration comes in all sorts of magical instruments like ornamental trees, sculptures, amazing pots and so on.

My Challenge

I will tell you about my front door problem because I like to keep it as real as I can. There is a real possibility of turning it into a fantastic spot ready to be shown and boasted about next season. All thanks to my tree ferns and a pair of stunning abstract head sculpture pots I found in the garden centre that offers you something different 🙂

Let me start by saying that my front door and the front garden are really a hidden side entrance.  One that still has to be used regardless of the lack of another entryway visible from the outside. The space itself is shady, boxed in by house walls from two sides with wire fencing separating it from the back. Honestly, it is a very tough place to beautify.However, I am always one up for a challenge even when it takes me a good while to come up with a solution.

My Solution –  “Alien Heads”

The solution presented itself when I laid my eyes on a very strange-looking “alien” heads as I call them. They are so quirky and different that they match me perfectly and so they have made their way down to the house. And even though they are made as planters with drainage and all I have decided to leave them be. Two heads however will not make it all on their own and so recently 2 lovely tree ferns were acquired to add a bit of mystery to the lot.

It has all started coming together nicely. Once I get a few old-looking boulders and some ferns in, my front will be fit for purpose. What I needed to achieve was hiding that dreadful mesh fencing and focusing all my interest on my chosen art pieces. So you see, it doesn’t have to be elaborate or expensive. Creativity and personal preference are key.

Olive Trees & Colourful Underplants – First Option 

One more example will come in a form of a tree today. I haven’t yet heard which tree is this going to be, so let me tell you about both. What we are working with is a rectangular piece of a garden coming out straight from the patio.

saxifraga white pixie 250 - Main Garden Feature blog post - Clarenbridge Online Garden Centre Ireland
Saxifraga White Pixie

My brief was to make it colourful, pollinator-friendly and exciting. This is an addition to a mature garden, therefore, we have to match it well. My advice was to use an olive tree as the main feature in that rectangular space.  Then underplant it with blue and white flowering plants.

Olive trees do extremely well here in Ireland. They are evergreen and add a touch of Mediterranean feel to a garden. The stumpy, slightly gnarly trunk will fit in well within the mature surroundings.

The underplanting selection would include: Nepeta Pursian Blue, Salvia Caradonna, Gaura Whirling Butterfly, Saxifraga White Pixie.

Add in  a hefty amount of white Crocus bulbs for spring.


Amelanchier – Second Option

amelanchier 250 - Main Garden Feature Blog Post - Clarenbridge Online Garden Centre Ireland

My second option is an Amelanchier lamarckii multistem.

A delicate structure with white blooms in the spring and a great autumn display could just be the winner.

I will plant a selection of Leucanthemums, Salvias, Coreopsis, Persicaria, Alstromeria and Phlox for a true colour festivity. All in all, this is what the summer months are about.

I shall be happy with whichever option speaks better to the owners.

We might even sneak in a little bird bath into one corner, just for fun!



By adding a specific feature with a designated role we can transform any space into an exciting new venture. All it will take is a bit of will and a mind full of ideas. And winter is coming soon, the best time to be having ALL those exciting ideas!

Thank you,

Magda O’ Byrne






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