Feng shui is the ancient Chinese art of creating harmony and attracting luck by working with the environment.
This is one of a number of articles that look into how you might bring peace, happiness and harmony into your home through feng shui. This article focuses on the garden.
Because just as there are basic rules to follow to help the flow of ch’i or energy in the home, this same kind of advice goes for the garden too.
Ornaments, Trees and Flowers Feng Shui Style
The main aim when feng shuing the garden is to direct the flow of energy in the garden so that it will benefit those who live in the house. What you should be looking for, is balance.
If, for instance, you have a rectangular garden and the general outline follows this pattern, try to introduce more curves and ornamental features. Tall trees and flowers should be balanced by smaller shrubs.
Also, where there are too many straight edges, such as other buildings backing onto your garden, you might use walls, fences, screens or bushes to block the negative energy they are throwing towards your home. Aim to allow ch’i (energy) to flow freely and not to get trapped in closed-in areas.
Garden Pathways and Feng Shui
Straight paths and staircases are not good feng shui but again, there are ways around this. Paths, if possible, should be winding and attractive to the eye. If there are steps, think about placing pots with bushy plants on them as this will help disperse the flow of positive ch’i.
Similarly, straight paths can have their edges softened with creeping edging plants such as lavender. Also, think about where paths in your garden actually lead to. It is not good, for instance, if a path takes you straight into a garden fence. Instead, consider adding an ornamental feature that is pleasing to the eye; a garden seat or even a pond.
Garden Ponds and Feng Shui
Ponds that can be seen from the back of the house should have large bushy plants in front of them and water should always be moving. Never allow water to stand still or stagnate as this is thought to be very bad feng shui.
Ideally, ponds should be at the front of the house as it is not good to have running water behind you. It’s a good idea too, if you want to help improve the general health of your family, to place a sculpture of a pair of cranes in the East of your garden.
Pine trees are also recommended for the feng shui garden as these will help bring good health to all the occupants of the house.
When gardening, be sure to get rid of dead or rotting plants, flowers and grass cuttings. And don’t be tempted to leave these in an unsightly pile as negative energy builds up around them.
Other Feng Shui Tips for the Garden
Remember too, that ivy and creeping plants will help to soften sharp edges of tall, unsightly structures.
And finally, there should be some flat empty space in front of your house to allow positive ch’i to settle and accumulate ready to enter, once the door is opened.
Shurety Sarah, Feng Shui for Your Home: An Illustrated Guide to Creating a Harmonious, Happy and Prosperous Living (Rider & Co. (1997))