Feng Shui is just as important outside of your house, as it is inside. We’re going to take a look at what it takes to achieve a Feng Shui Garden and promote positive energy. The tools you can use are the same as you would use indoors, the Bagua for example, and the same principles apply. There are, however, some guidelines that apply for the garden and it is good to keep these in mind.
Traditionally, Chinese gardens originated from an art called ‘Shan Shui’. Shan meaning Mountain, and Shui meaning Water. Pains were taken to ensure that all garden and landscape designs included both mountain and water energy. But what do they represent? We know through Feng Shui that Water Symbolises wealth. Its energy is Yin, soft and horizontal. This energy is contained in water elements such as ponds, water features and fountains. It can be replicated by pathways or rivers of stones.
Mountain might be a new element to some, it symbolises good health, harmony & stability. Its energy is Yang, hard and vertical. This energy is contained in actual mountains, higher levels of terrain and mounds & hills. This can be replicated by the positioning of large boulders, raised flower beds and tall walls.
Although we are applying feng shui to our gardens, the principles remain similar and we look at all 5 elements when designing our gardens to achieve balance.
The four main objectives for your feng shui garden are as follows:
- Heart: The focal point of your garden, defines your objectives.
- Threshold: The boundary that separates your private garden from the outside world.
- Path: The lines that draw you & energy through your garden.
- Accents: Cures and items that will promote positive feelings, higher aesthetics and encourage relaxation.
With these objectives in mind, we can move on to the next steps of achieving a harmonious garden.
Plan Your Garden
You will need to draw the layout of your garden as accurately as possible, keeping north at the top of your plan. Make your plan to scale and include everything up to the boundaries. It is highly recommended that the boundaries of your garden are physical, in the form of a wall or hedge etc. Not having these physical boundaries will make it very hard to ascertain your current level of energy as you will be losing it and unable to properly influence the direction of flow within your garden.
So first things first, if you do not have physical boundaries, this will be your first port of call. Add them to your plan. You will then divide the plan into a nine-square grid. This will represent the directions in your garden and is the reason you drew your plan to scale. Elements are tied to directions and it is essential you have this in mind from the onset.
Now that you have your plan drawn up, you need to have a more careful look at the elements and the directions they represent in your Garden. For example, if you are looking at the East of your garden, the element that represents this sector is Wood. Wood is most dominant in spring and its best shape is rectangular. Its symbols are plants and flowers, which burst into life during its main season. Spring represents youthful bursts of energy so you could also consider utilising this part of the garden as an area for children.
By looking at elements and directions in this way we can plan each quadrant of our garden to be it’s most effective. Don’t ignore one element, for any to work there needs to be a constant balance. Use the graphic below to start analysing each part of your garden.
Having well-placed furniture and patios invites a person into the garden and purposefully sets out an area to relax and enjoy surroundings in. When you have identified the place in the garden that is best suited to where you socialise in, consider how you will furnish it. Remember to place the furniture in the right direction, and not in large exposed areas. Also to include a large umbrella or canopy. This symbolises shelter and protection and will allow the people socialising to feel much more comfortable.
Always ensure that furniture and items are properly maintained. Any broken furniture can attract sickness. Replace damaged pots and containers, repair furniture, and keep it coated with the right varnishes and protective coating.
Plants and Flowers
A beautiful Feng Shui Garden features magnificent, healthy plants and stunningly vibrant. The presence of flourishing nature is the best sign of a home that is enjoying excellent feng shui garden. If your home is surrounded by such a garden, it reflects the presence of healthy energy synonymous with a prosperous and vibrant Chi.
For the best feng shui garden, you will have to invest time and effort cultivating your land to make it come alive with flowers and plants. Tend them, cut back and monitor. Do not leave plants to grow wild and unruly as this is essentially cluttering in your garden. Don’t use plants such as cacti, roses, bonsai or plants with thorns, unless they are outside your fenced property.
Use the chart below to select the most beneficial Plants, trees and Flowers for your Garden.
Plants and Trees
|1) Jade Plant||1) Peonies|
|2) Silver Crown||2) Chrysanthemums|
|3) Money Plant||3) Plum Blossom|
|4) Bamboo||4) Narcissus|
|5) Pine Tree||5) Lilies|
|6) Peach Tree||6) Magnolias|
|7) Orange Tree||7) Lotuses|
|8) Lime Plant|
Water features & fountains have long been a critical component of a feng shui garden. They represent wealth & prosperity, on top of being a beautiful focal point within the garden. The presence of an artificial pool of water lends great weight for imagination and creativity. Create your own pond, as big or as small as will fit into your garden. If someone has little space then it would be foolish using most of it on a pond.
Ensure that whatever water feature you use, it fits naturally into its environment. Having excessive water elements will turn the wealth element on it’s head and leading to the opposite result. Always remember to keep elements balanced, plan according to the space you have. There are many types of water features you can include, such as waterfalls, fountains fishponds or a natural cascade of water.
The best direction for water is the North section of your garden. If you are planning to keep fish in your pond, make sure the fish are healthy and the water is clean and clear. Add the necessary equipment to maintain it and keep it algae free. The most prosperous fish you can keep are Arowana, carps and goldfish. Turtles and terrapins are also very auspicious but not suitable outdoors for many environments. Do your research on any livestock you are hoping to keep to ensure you have time to keep them at their happiest and healthiest.
Light represents the fire element and contains a high level of life-giving yang energy. By using exterior lights in a feng shui garden. You are effectively harnessing earth luck and enhancing family and relationship luck. Light also attracts energy from the earth. This energy can be channelled upward by planting hollow rods into the ground. The best locations to situate feng shui garden lights are in the South, Northeast and Southwest.
You might like the idea of one element or aspect of your Feng Shui garden over all others. But it is essential to have a balance of everything, else the effect you seek will also end up contributing the opposite. When we are attempting our garden we must ensure that no color, element, cure or feature is used in excess over any others. It is a complicated and delicate balance, but one we must achieve in order to gain the correct flow of proper shui within the feng shui garden.