A Touch of Feng Shui in the Garden
From the beliefs, culture and mythology of China, Feng Shui was born.
It is an ancient belief in the art of placement. Literally translated, Feng Shui means wind and water symbolizing the two major forces of nature. Feng Shui promotes a scientific and philosophical approach to design and site of a home, public building and spaces to maintain harmony with the nature. This harmony is believed to allow light from the spiritual realm to shine upon those who believe and adopt the principles to their home and environment.
Interpretation of this belief has expanded into many directions. Over the past few years, Feng Shui has swept through the Western world/ culture according to what’s practical, adaptable and suitable.
This is the wonder of Feng Shui- it allows for differences, and innovation according to the beliefs of a particular culture. It inspires personal perspective and creativity. It fosters harmony between man and his environment.
Adapting some of the principles of Feng Shui encourages a gardener to create a place which radiates more than beauty to please the eye. It is the visual attraction of a garden that draws people to it. But be aware of unseen and subtle energies taking place in the garden. Have a garden that projects an aura of the mystical.
Today’s gardener is no longer satisfied with just having abundance of plants and an array of colors. Today, a garden is an extension of the living space of a person or a family. It offers a place to entertain, a respite from the busy and chaotic world, a private space to relax and reflect, at times, a place to seek healing.
Sans the tools, a touch of Feng Shui, can enhance and actually generate positive vibrations outdoors and into the inner sanctum of the gardener.
With intuition, common sense and dedication, simple rules of Feng Shui can be applied. It promotes a garden that is friendly to Nature and ultimately infuse creative and vibrant energy and ensures the positive flow of chi.
Balance is a very important aspect of Life. It is the Yin/Yang in practice. It is opposing yet complementary. Tidbit: public parks exhibit the yang space, a private garden shows the yin.
A garden design that incorporates a balance of plants, ornaments and furniture is appealing to look at. If it’s visually attractive, and it feels good, it is a gardener’s pride and joy. The energy must be vibrant.
The Elements in Feng Shui
A little attention to the elements in a garden provide an atmosphere of peace and harmony.
Color: red, and purple
Plants with pointed leaves
Structures/ornaments: pyramids, obelisks,lights
trellis/ support for plants
This is a powerful element, don’t let it dominate the area.
Color : green. All plants are wood element, it is the shape and color that suggest other elements.
Trees and shrubs strongly represent wood element. Structures/ ornaments: decking, planters, logs, and furniture
Color: yellow, orange, and brown
Structures/ornaments: soil, rocks, stones, walkways, fences
A walkway or fence that dominates the garden slows down the flow of chi.
Color: dark blue, black
Structure/ornaments gravel, meandering paths, water features, glass.
Color: white, silver
Structure/ornaments: bowls, domes, and hammock, lead
Working with the elements:
The natural world beckons. Gardening has ignited passion for creating a magical world of plants, colors,ornaments and design, with Nature as the canvas for the artist. A garden fills a space that would otherwise be void and saturated with stale energy.
It is with the shapes, colors, garden ornaments and structures that spell balance and a way to introduce the elements to bring out positive energy and get the chi flowing.
Ponds are popular features, Perhaps unknowingly,ponds represent the lake, rocks and pebbles stand for the mountains. Water symbolizes wealth and a good collector of chi, so long as it is not stagnant. Careful choice of ornaments can create a balance of the elements in a pond.
Take a cue from Nature- it tries to achieve balance between shape and color. Whatever feature you add, proportion is important.
There are ways to remedy existing structures. Add some pots along a straight walkway to give it a feeling of meandering. Add a splash of colors to make it look interesting.
Appeal to the senses
A visually attractive garden touches upon the sub-conscious .It leaves an impression that can impact deep into the psyche. Clutter anywhere is annoying. It hinders the flow of chi. In the garden, it is important to keep it free of debris and clutter.
Arrangement of plants, mixing plants with a variety of color and blooming periods,and giving thought of the flowering season adds balance to a garden.
No one wants to live in a noisy neighborhood.There are sounds in the garden. Bees and birds bring about welcome sound. Gurgling water can be soothing. A bamboo wind chime sends out gentle sounds resembling the rustle of leaves. Don’t rake the leaves too soon. Leave it for little while and listen as you crunch through in the fall.
The natural sweet scents from a garden is superior to the most expensive perfume. Enjoy the fragrance from your garden wafting through the air, especially with the evening breeze.
My four-year old great niece fascinates me when I see how carefully she touches things around the garden- from the little animal ornaments to the leaves, the rocks, stones and flowers. She does not pick the flowers, she tries to feel the softness with her little fingers. I have little colored stones at the bottom of a bowl that glimmers under the sun; she approaches these quietly as she timidly dips one little finger to feel them. No, nothing bites her fingers. She does this with so much concentration that anyone who watches her has to experience the sensation of “touching.”
For focus, use smaller potted plants in a group or one large pot
For abundance, fountains and water features
For illumination, lights for particular features
For stability use urns, large pots, rocks and stones
Show off your achievement or passion with art collection
Wind chimes to stir up energy and create movement
To receive gifts of the earth and the Universe, empty pots, dishes and urns.
This essay barely touches the basics of Feng Shui in the garden. But it is a start.
Reference: The Practical Encyclopedia of Feng Shui by Gill Hale
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