Feng Shui in the Garden

There may be two feet of snow on the ground but in our hearts we know warm breezes, thawing earth (mud) and bird songs are on their way. For some of us the most exciting thought is of planning this year's garden. No matter the garden size, anticipating the fun of co-creating a beautiful, nurturing outdoor space is a pure joy. Applying feng shui principles in addition to our other gardening skills gives us new tools to create a garden that is not only beautiful, but will enhance and support our lives.

A feng shui garden can be designed to enhance all areas of our lives. A garden with the intention to empower an area of our lives is created by using color, plant materials, water, and sculpture in combination with the natural environment. The activity of creating, caring for and spending time in this type of garden will draw the energy (chi) of nature to us to strengthen and build our good fortune. Feng shui wisdom can be used to correct a house that is missing an area, it can support us in creating a family or a healing space. The process of harmonizing with our natural environment will support us living more fully.

No matter what focus we want for our garden, good, lush greenery is a sign of good feng shui. When thinking in terms of feng shui many things are taken into consideration such as the plot and house shapes, colors of the house and driveway, existing gardens and the surrounding homes. The appropriately colored plant placed in the desired area can enhance that area of our lives. For example, a white garden planted in the "children area" (dwe) may increase the chances and prospects of having children. This garden can have a background of white Korean lilacs with white roses in front bordered with white sweet alyssum and accented with pink and blue colors represented by columbine, forget-me-nots or pansies.

In order to determine which areas of a plot of land or building are aligned with the various aspects of life, A simplified version of a baqua. The plantings around the front door are an example of a k'an threshold enhancement. The larger plants could be peonies and the smaller ones brightly colored annuals.a diagram called a baqua (or ba-gua) is superimposed over the property or dwelling so that k'an is aligned over the front entrance of the space. The baqua is divided into eight aspects of life: career, fame, children, family, relationships, helpful people, knowledge and wealth. Each area has a corresponding element such as earth, fire, water, metal and wood. Each area also has a corresponding color. For example, the wealth area, in the left rear corner of your property is represented by green, purple or red To enhance this area you can plant tall dark purple lilacs. A further enhancement to this area can be exterior lighting that shines upward and illuminates the area of hsun.

Feng Shui in the Garden

Another important garden is one that greets us at the threshold. This area should greet us and make us feel happy to be home. It should be clean, unobstructed and lush. If this area is the career area of our property we can enhance it by using lush plantings with colorful flowers. Never use sharp prickly plants that scratch us as we walk up the path to the threshold. Also avoid overgrown plants or bushes that block us and chi. A curved pathway is best for a gentle flow of energy towards the front door, especially if there is a busy street in front of our home. Also the path or walkway to our door should be in good repair and wide enough to take in a good amount of chi.

If you live in an apartment you can apply feng shui garden concepts by adding outdoor and indoor hanging plants, window boxes and potted plants. These container plantings should be colorful, flowering plants. If you have east or southeast windows you can add herbs to your planters for culinary use. An inside, hanging, flowering plant is very important because it has the effect of bringing the chi of Nature inside and will greatly benefit everyone living there.

No matter what type of gardening we do, it is important to show love and respect for the earth by not using chemicals. There are many available natural fertilizers and bug repellants. It has been my experience that by spending time in the garden we can identify and manage problems before they get out of control. You can receive expert advice by asking a local organic gardener or landscaper or by reading organic pest control and companion planting books.

The underlying message of feng shui is to create balance and harmony. The importance of the garden is its ability to grow and expand and offer us more life force. Gardening also gives us the ability to be creative in the ever-changing natural world. Some guidelines to follow for a feng shui garden:

  • Clean up the yard of junk, throw away, sell or give away unwanted outdoor clutter.
  • Use curved lines for pathways and garden borders.
  • Make areas of the yard private, especially if you are in an urban area.
  • Have a beautiful view from all of your windows and doors.
  • Use the five elements to balance existing colors.
  • Use a water feature if possible, ie., birdbath, fountain, small pond. Be sure to always keep the water clean.

Bonnie Girvan is a lifetime lover and student of gardens, orchards and farms, has studied landscape design and worked as a private contract gardener for over fifteen years. She is a professionally trained feng shui practitioner from the B.T.B School of Feng Shui and a Karen Kingston certified space clearing practitioner. Bonnie is available for private consultations by calling 603-355-4891 or emailing bonbon@monad.net Visit her website http://www.spaceclearing.com