Feng Shui in the garden: creating that perfect retreat.
Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese art which can help us to live harmoniously with our environment. Feng Shui principles are usually applied to our home but it is advisable to also apply it to your garden, patio, balcony or back yard to revitalise your space in a natural way and bring harmony and happiness into your life.
Your garden can be a perfect retreat in the stressful times we live in and although you can have the perfect Feng Shui house, if it is not balanced with your garden your efforts will be wasted. The reason for this is because with an untidy garden you will not get free flowing Chi and it will stagnate and this stagnant Chi will end up in your home.
Feng Shui is about manipulating and balancing the flow of Chi so it moves freely. Chi is an invisible life force or energy that flows through all things. It is an energy that is more subtle than electric, magnetic and thermo-nuclear energies.
Clutter is the biggest obstacle to a smooth flow of Chi because it creates a blockage that prevents it from maneuvering. If your house or garden are cluttered the Chi will circulate sluggishly around. The stagnation will, in turn affect the occupants making them feel confused, sick or stuck in a rut.
In the autumn you will find heaps of dead leaves in your borders and corners of the garden, broken flower pots and of course the usual collection of weeds. These all need to be cleared, broken flower pots replaced, lawns tidied, weeds pulled and a general tidy up.
Don’t forget the junk pile behind the shed or garage and all those old bits of wood and metal that you thought might come in handy one day. Also the broken child’s bike you were going to fix. If you have not fixed it by now its time to let it go. Get rid of all that junk or at least tidy it up, the same rules apply to your garden as they do your home.
A pond or water feature can bring good energy into a garden as long as it is moving and not stagnant. Water is associated with wealth and Chi loves water as it encourages it to move more smoothly. As Feng Shui means ‘wind’ and ‘water’, sound is also important and the addition of wind chimes will also aid the flow of Chi. Always make sure the water is kept clean and if you have a leak fix it immediately as this will be a major drain on your finances.
There should be a place to eat and relax along with areas for intrigue and surprise. If you have a compost heap try and disguise it and hide from view. Mirrors can be used to disguise an unpleasant view and can make the garden seem bigger.
Create as many curves as you can and try to introduce the shape of a circle into the garden. Round flowers, a pond in a circular shape or a circular flower bed would all work well.
Try to light up any dark areas by pruning back bushes or adding out door lighting and mirrors.
The presence of Geopathic Stress – a negative earth energy, can have an impact on the flow of Chi in the house and garden. A Feng Shui practitioner can dowse your living environment to locate problem areas but there are many natural environmental signs that can give you clues as to whether your garden has Geopathic Stress lines.
Trees with cancerous growths on their trunks are indicative and fruit trees that fail to set fruit may also signal stress. Privet bushes with a bare area about 4 – 6 feet wide, overgrowth of ivy on a house wall and also high growth of nettles and dock leaves is also a sign. There may also be an abundance of snails, slugs, ant nests and sometimes the odd wasp nest. There are many other signs and Geopathic Stress does have health implications if it is present in your home. If you feel you do have a problem with Geopathic Stress and would like help with this problem be sure to employ an accredited Feng Shui consultant trained in detecting and removing Geopathic Stress.
Before creating a Feng Shui garden it is necessary to find out the compass directions around the site to determine where your life areas are and the positions of the five elements. Once you have done this you can focus on specific areas of your life.
NORTH – ELEMENT WATER - CAREER
This is the career sector. A pond, bird bath or water feature would be good in this area bringing the water element into your garden. Ornaments and flower colours should be black or dark blue.
SOUTH – ELEMENT FIRE – FAME & RECOGNITION
This area is about fame, success and public recognition. In this area the fire element can be introduced in the form of red, orange and bright yellow flowers particularly sunflowers. This area should be well lit. Red wooden ornaments are also useful in this sector.
EAST – ELEMENT WOOD - HEALTH
This sector is for health longevity and the family. The colour green, or wooden ornaments representing the element wood should dominate this part of the garden.
WEST – ELEMENT METAL - CREATIVITY
This area represents creativity, children, new projects, hobbies and pleasure. Flowers of white, gold and silver are best which will introduce the metal element. Wind chimes or metal ornaments would go well in this area.
NORTH EAST - ELEMENT EARTH – QUIET CONTEMPLATION
This area is about spirituality, knowledge, education and self growth. You should use yellows and earthly colours in this area. Terracotta pots, ornaments and Buddha’s are all good.
SOUTH WEST – ELEMENT EARTH - RELATIONSHIPS
This area represents your relationships, harmony and marriage. Earthly colours such as pinks, oranges and yellows will work well. Ceramic and terracotta pots will introduce the element earth. Ornaments placed in pairs would also be good. Light the corner with Japanese lanterns, place pebbles and stones within this area. It should look oriental and warm, attracting good chi energy.
NORTH WEST – ELEMENT METAL – HELPFUL FRIENDS
An area for new beginnings, mentors, and helpful friends and influential people. Introduce metallic colours such as white and silver. Use six tube wind chimes in this location as well as stone and metal sculptures.
SOUTH EAST – ELEMENT WOOD – GOOD FORTUNE
This is your wealth sector, not only money, but wealth in terms of a full and happy life. Use greens here and upward growing plants to bring in the wood element this represents growth and money. A small water feature in this sector is very lucky as are wooden ornaments. Frogs, fishes and toads are prosperous creatures in this part of the garden.
By making small changes to certain areas you can create your own special place. Focus on an area you wish to change. Ensure the area is clear of clutter and any negative energies. You can then introduce flowers, plants or ornaments symbolic to the element of that area.
Each garden is individual and will of course have its own shape and characteristics. Listed above are only a few of the many ideas that can be introduced into a garden but even the smallest changes can improve the balance of energy and make significant changes to your life.
Jackie Tyrrell, accredited Feng Shui consultant
Feng Shui Pathway