One of the joys I have in my work is helping clients with their garden and landscaping spaces. I am not a horticulturist (my daughter's boyfriend is in school to be one), nor an avid gardener (my sister is), but I do enjoy a well-designed garden and have many ideas on how to be creative and bring Feng Shui into these glorious spaces!
Feng Shui can be incorporated into landscaping using 5 Element Theory – through a blend of color, shapes, and the natural elements of metal, wood, earth, fire and water. And while my own garden needs a little TLC this weekend, see the types of ideas I bring to my clients and perhaps you'll get some of your own inspiration!
Wood Wood is the obvious element when it comes to gardens. Plants, trees and shrubs all represent the Wood element. In addition, the colors of green and blue (as in a blue spruce). So literally, any plant, tree or shrub can represent Wood. Wood shapes are tall and columnar – like Cypress trees and Arborvitae. You can also add wood benches, paths made of wood chips and any other hardscapes made of wood. The wood element is uprising energy – the sprouting of spring and new beginnings. Wealth and abundance are represented by Wood. Wood is in the East and Southeast.
Fire The colors red and orange represent the Fire element, as does triangles, pyramid and star shapes. So adding plants with any of these characteristics will bring Fire into your garden. Other Fire elements could be a red brick pathway, lighting or a chiminea with a cozy seating area for enjoyment on cooler nights. Pottery in a red or orange glaze or star-shaped decorations will bring Fire in as well. The fire element is about illumination – bringing things to light and perhaps shedding your light in your career. It encompasses fame, recognition and reputation. Fire is in the South.
Earth Earth is represented by the colors of soil (sandy to peat moss) and yellow. Earth shapes are squares or low, horizontal shapes – so, think low hedges and square-shaped gardens. Stone is considered an earth element, so stone walkways, boulders, stone statues are a great addition to your garden. I often recommend a female statue for the back right corner of their yard, coupled with a nice seating area. This area is associated with female energy and romance. The earth element provides grounding, so this is great to use if you are "missing" a corner of your home (your home is not a square or rectangle). For instance, if you have an L-shaped home, a large boulder or stone statue with sufficient weight placed at the intersecting lines of the two "wings" will help anchor this spot and "fill in" the missing area. The earth element is in the Southwest and Northeast.
Metal Metal is associated with the colors of white and gray. Metal shapes are circles, arches or ovals, so any plants with leaves with these shapes are great. Metal hardscaping is very popular and can add great interest, like the arched trellis pictured here. Metal objects are a lasting addition to the garden as they age well, providing a changing patina as years go by. From benches and trellises, to folk art and sculptures, from wrought iron and steel to copper, metal brings precision to the space. Metal represents helpful people and travel, networking, clients, etc. Metal is in the West and Northwest.
Water And finally, the Water element is associated with the colors black and dark blue, as well as flowing, formless shapes. Ivy is a great representation of the water element, with it's flowing patterns. Water is a welcoming element in landscapes, either through quiet ponds or energetic waterfalls. Bird baths attract local birds and provide a great way to connect to nature in your yard. Be sure that the baths are cleaned and maintained, as they get dirty quickly and attract inauspicious chi. There is a tremendous variety of fountains; some which combine several elements of water, earth (stone) and fire (lighting). The water element is flowing energy, that can go into the depths. It also nourishes wood, and therefore is associated with wealth and abundance! Water represents your life path and career and is in the North.
Chi Flow Good Feng Shui incorporates spaces that provide refuge and intrigue – secret paths, inviting places to sit, and meditate. Be sure that any paths you create lead to a destination and a "reward." So a quiet sitting area is perfect at the end of a hidden path. I hope you enjoy bringing these ideas into your own special natural spaces and create wonderful moments of discovery and awe of nature!
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