Feng Shui In The Garden
Feng Shui (pronounced "fong-shway") is the ancient
Chinese art of living in harmony with your environment:
the art of placement. The principles of Feng Shui can be
applied to modern day life indoors and out to create harmony
with the earth's natural energy lines, and to stimulate
the flow of positive energy.
Good Feng Shui positioning is designed to enhance your fame,
luck, wealth, relationships, career, creativity and health.
A good Feng Shui garden is a combination of science and
art. The placement of various elements in your garden can
increase or decrease the flow of energy, and this energy
has an impact on the chi (or life force) that enters your
Your garden represents the health and vitality of the people
living in the house: if the garden is unwell, the family
may have health problems, too. Where you create an abundance
of positive energy, the family will prosper.
Everyone starts to build a house with a plan, but ironically,
few people consider planning a garden, even though the garden
is an extension of the house. Even most modern landscape
designers don't take advantage of the flow of energy present
in any garden, and this can make their creations look lifeless
and unnatural -- either too active or too passive. A good
Feng Shui garden is in harmony with nature, and it is created
to fulfill a chosen function. The basic Feng Shui principles
discussed here can be applied in all cultures and every
type of garden, whether creating a romantic garden, family
garden, flower/vegetable garden, water garden (with a pond,
fountain or stream), or a Chinese, French or English garden.
These guidelines can be used with all sizes of gardens,
from a small balcony garden to an estate garden, from a
home garden to a park.
One of the most important principles is to balance the passive
yin and active yang energies. When a garden is too yin,
it lacks vital energy and will feel static. You must connect
yin and yang in a garden through rocks, paths, plants or
water movement. Each of the 5 elements (water, wood, fire,
earth, metal) corresponds to a specific sector in a garden,
and combining the proper elements by using them (or their
color and shape) will have a major impact on your well-being.
You might have wondered why in any given family one member
seems to be vital and prosperous while another member living
in the same house is always ill and cannot hold a job. In
Feng Shui, each member of the family is represented by a
trigram, and this trigram is located in a specific part
of the house and garden. By checking these trigrams we sometimes
can find a dead tree, unhealthy plants or garbage in the
area corresponding with the unhealthy family member; by
adjusting the Feng Shui we can help to increase prosperity
and vitality for a specific member of the family.
Different plants have different sensitivities, various types
of rocks have distinct characters, and the energy they radiate
will shape the chi of a garden. All plants have different
reactions to what is called geopathic stress -- a natural
emanation of energy that radiates from the earth and is
distorted by subterranean streams, fault lines and underground
cavities. These rerouted waves of energy can become harmful
to living organisms, and some plants seek to avoid geopathic
stress -- but others actually benefit from it. Using dowsing
methods a Feng Shui expert can design a garden accordingly
to avoid choosing plants that will fare poorly, and trees
that will grow crooked or become prone to disease (mushrooms
on trunk, etc.) in that particular garden.
Adding "dry water" in the form of a zen garden
(a garden with rock "islands" and sand arranged
around them in wave-like patterns), or actual water using
a pond or fountain can greatly increase the positive chi
flow in a garden. A Feng Shui expert will use different
formulas to calculate the most beneficial placement as well
as the ideal direction of water flow. Done correctly, this
addition to your garden will help to attract wealth for
the entire household.
Locating and activating the heart of your garden will give
the impression that trees, plants and flowers are communicating
with each other, and creating a balanced, welcoming oasis
for you and your loved ones.
- Do not plant a tree in the front of a house, a tree placed
facing your front door could create heart, liver, or mouth
problems. And since the windows of a house represent the
eyes, a tree blocking your front windows could have a negative
impact on your vision, and on another level make it difficult
for you to "see" future plans clearly.
- A water garden in front of the house with the water direction
flowing towards the main door is ideal. However, if a water
garden is not possible, planting multi-colored flowers will
greatly increase the positive energy entering your house.
- It is generally not healthy for the house exterior to
have plants like ivy clinging to it, as it can compromise
the structure over time. In Feng Shui, the exterior walls
of a house are said to represent the skin of the people
living within; if plants grow on the walls of a house, this
could cause skin problems for the occupants.
- Every garden should have some evergreens, this will stimulate
the positive chi flow in a garden during the winter.
- It is best to situate a greenhouse in front of the house
or on the side; avoid putting a greenhouse centered in the
back of the house, as this could disrupt the energy flow
and cause back problems and loss of money.
- If you install a fountain or a small stream, always have
the water running towards your house.
- Do not water your plants always at the same time; they
will become too dependent on your intervention.
- Ideally, a house should have protection in the back, in
the form of trees, rocks, bushes, a fence, or a wall.
- Avoid straight or pointing garden paths; a gently roaming
path will create the most harmonious energy. The same is
true of plant/flower beds: never go for anything too straight
for too long. The shape of the plant bed can be done in
undulating forms, or in more of a circle so that a grassy
or patio area is inside the circle. Take pictures in nature
when you see a nice layout, and try to recreate it in your
- To encourage the flow of positive energy, avoid creating
a one-level garden: include different levels and layers.
- Avoid spiky plants near the entrance and pathways, these
are plants that protect themselves against their environment
by presenting their "spears" to anyone that comes
- Garbage cans & recycling bins should be covered and
kept out of sight since they emit negative energy.