Following the Feng Shui Garden Path
For those uninitiated individuals, Feng shui (pronounced "Fung-shway") does not refer to some weird new cult with otherworldly practices. Instead, what it actually alludes to is the simple practice of an ancient Chinese art and science. Translated feng means "wind" and shui means "water," both of which are linked to the energy of life in China. So it was that good feng shui became identified with and was said to signify good fortune and well-being.
Opting for feng shui when selecting the landscape design of your garden ultimately means creating a tranquil and relaxing place where the soothing aura enables the chi to flow freely. According to the Chinese chi energy is the life force of all matter. Thus the purpose of a feng shui garden is to reach a balance in all of earth's elements: water, fire, wood, metal, and earth. This is done by attracting good energy and harnessing it so that you can make the most of it, and minimizing the bad energy.
Make Room for Chi
While planning your feng shui garden it is essential to ensure that there will be gently curving pathways in order for the chi to glide about easily. Most people don't think about this, but nature seldom presents us with straight lines. Chi requires a way to float smoothly so that it can provide the calm and balance to your life that you are seeking.
Actually, by turning your garden into a feng shui garden, you want to raise the level of chi present and to aid it in moving unencumbered throughout the garden space. This means removing barriers to chi and using feng shui fixes, also known as cures to elevate the chi in places where it may become trapped and stagnate.
Furthermore, cures can be used for the opposite effect, solving the difficulties that come about when chi travels too fast through your garden. Chi zipping along among your plants and decore isn't helpful to you or your garden in any way, and can even make for a disagreeable environment that's disquieting and unsettling instead of harmonious.
Applying Feng Shui in the Garden
If possible, one of the first things you should do when incorporating feng shui into your garden is to redo the entrance, which would naturally be straight and instead make it off center and gently curved.
Don't be disheartened if your garden is small. In feng shui garden design it is not necessary to have a large garden for the principles to work. Of course all of us gardening enthusiasts would like to see our efforts come to fruition in a large, beautiful garden but for many of us, this is just not possible Well, don't worry. Even if you only have a small area to work with, there is still a great deal of untapped feng shui potential there just waiting for you to take advantage of it.
Now we get down to work. The main tools you need to create an attractive, effective, and inviting fung shui design for your garden are the exact same tools which are used in making your home fung shui operable. You will need to familiarize yourself with the bagua, or energy map of both your home and your garden because the garden bagua is an extension of your home bagua. Furthermore, you will need to develop an understanding and appreciation of the five natural elements of feng shui.
Including the Five Elements in Your Feng Shui Garden
For a feng shui garden to be successful in its purpose it is a must to include at least the three feng shui main elements of mountains, water, and greenery. Not literally, but symbolically. For example: Rocks and raised flowerbeds can pass for mountains, a water feature such as a pond, fountain, or even a birdbath can supply the element of water, and plants, shrubs, or trees can supply the greenery.
Here are some suggestions as to how you can incorporate the five elements of feng shui into your garden:
. Earth -- simple dirt, rocks, and boulders, terra cotta or clay flowerpots
. Water -- pond, fountains, birdbaths
. Wood -- bench, arbor, planting boxes
. Fire -- lanterns, lights, fire pit
. Metal -- planters, wind chimes, arbor, bells
Wind chimes can be a fantastic addition to every garden, but they should have a gentle, soothing ring because this sound will send healing feng shui vibrations into the air. While there is a wide array of wind chimes available, ranging from metal and plastic to bamboo, with varying styles and colors, keep in mind that each element of the wind chime design matters, the sound of the chime is ultimately the most important.
Colors of Feng Shui
Colors also have a significant purpose in a feng shui garden beyond the aesthetic. Yes, they should be pretty to look at, but they also need to reflect back to you a harmonious and healing energy. Our emotional state is affected by various colors as they all have their own energy levels which can alter our moods. Purples and white are considered cool colors and have a tranquil effect while reds and brilliant yellows are hot colors that raise your energy level. A feng shui garden is enhanced by both kinds of colors, but it is important not to mix them together or locate them in the same area.
In feng shui yin colors are soothing and provide healing. These include:
The elements of fire and wood are embodied by the yang colors. They give stimulation, zeal and emit positive energy so that you have the strength necessary to do whatever you must. These colors are:
It is essential that you keep your feng shui garden clutter-free so that the chi has a clear and unblocked path to follow. Your garden needs to have order, with a place for everything and everything in its place. Remember that every plant, tree, or object is there to help balance the five feng shui elements. This also means that you should not allow for things like dried leaves, rotting plants or fallen tree branches, but get rid of them the moment you notice them. Otherwise, their presence will interfere with the flow of chi and lower the energy level.
Doorways and Passageways
The last thing you need to do for the perfect feng shui garden is to add doorways or passageways throughout so that you will come upon them as you move about. An excellent suggestion is to install a moon gate, a rounded passageway that is frequently found in feng shui gardens.
Above all remember that you should enjoy designing, observing, and maintaining your feng shui garden. The more enthusiasm and energy you put into your garden, the greater will be the joyful and healing energy the garden will send back to you.