â€œOh what a beautiful gardenâ€ your friends say as they take a quick look outside the window of your home. They are experiencing the energy and feelings of the garden as if they were in the presence of another living being, because they are. They are feeling the auspicious feng shui of your garden.
Feng Shui, pronounced â€œfung shway,â€ translates as â€œwind water.â€ Its roots trace back thousands of years to the beginning of Chinese life when early settlers sought harmony and natural forces to survive. Their connection to the land was truly dependent on their survival. Feng Shui was also utilized to determine the most auspicious sites for tombs of ancestors and later to site palaces, important buildings and monuments. They designed their gardens around the existing landscape, such as rocks, trees and natural landforms. They built their gardens around what already existed.
Simply stated, feng shui is living in harmonic balance with nature. Feng Shui is all about living in harmony with our natural environment and tapping the goodness of nature to benefit humanity by working with the flow of energy in all areas, including the garden.
One of the most important principles of feng shui is that every person, place and thing is alive with energy. I invite you to take a minute to look and â€œseeâ€ your existing garden. How does it feel? Do you love what you see? Does it flow? Are you just planting or are you building a garden? What is your intention for the garden? Did you know that how you place things in your garden is a reflection of how you see the world? Only surround yourself with what you love, as the energy of your garden has a very powerful impact on the energy of you and your home.
Be creative in building your feng shui garden, enjoy the process and have fun. The joy is in the journey. Use nature as your guide and pay special attention to how nature puts things together in a very soothing and comforting way. Making sure your intention is pure and from the heart, nurture and co-create your garden. Embrace the experience with nature.
Remembering that everything is alive with energy and, energy is nature, Iâ€™d like to share with you a few tips that will help you create harmony in your garden using feng shui:
- Honor and preserve that which naturally thrives in your area. Here in the Midwest, it is lovely to have plants that are green all year, such as evergreens.
- Invite positive flow of energy towards your home with a birdbath or water feature. Make sure that the direction of the water flow is toward your home, as you want positive energy flowing to your home rather than away.
- Create a beautiful garden view from every window and door of your home. You will want to feel cradled by nature and its beauty.
- Choose and place garden art that has significant meaning to you. If you don’t love it, don’t place it.
- Plant flowers and shrubs that attract butterflies, birds and other friendly critters, as they add beauty and life force energy to your garden.
- Have a meandering pathway to the front door of your home. As you observe nature and its language, notice that the pattern of everything in nature is meandering. There are no straight lines.
- Be careful not to plant trees or large plants that will block your front door.
- Assure that the front of your house is well lit and your front door is easy to find and has a very warm and inviting presence.
- Store trash cans and recycling out of sight.
- Create outdoor â€œroomsâ€ or gathering areas.
- Mix shapes and sizes of plants making sure that no one plant or tree overwhelms the others. And, use plants with soft, round-shaped leaves rather than those with sharp points.
- Nature loves asymmetrical balance. Give yourself permission to play with this and resist the temptation to be symmetrical.
- Less is more. Be selective when designing and building your garden. Allow your eye to meander and then rest on the beauty of a very intentionally placed beautiful plant, garden art, rock or something special. Refrain from over planting.
- Balance your use of color. For example, if you like the warm colors such as red, orange or yellow, balance them with cool colors such as purple, blue or green. And don’t forget white, as it gives balance to either warm or cool colors.
- Enhance your senses with fragrance. Did you know that our sense of smell is one of the most powerful memory triggers? There are many fragrant plants and herbs to choose from such as lilies, basil and lavender among others. Bring back loving memories by choosing flowers and plants that have a scent.
- Beautiful musically tuned wind chimes are a delightful enhancement to any garden and they create a welcoming tone especially at the front door of your home.
- Avoid prickly plants, spiky leaves, artificially stunted plants such as bonsai, and downward plants like weeping willows.
- If you choose to work with a professional landscape designer, it is very important that you share your ideas and feelings of what you want and how you want your garden to feel. Remember, your garden is to be a reflection of you, not the landscape designer. When you are in your garden or when you rest your eyes while looking out any window or door of your home, you want to feel nurtured and replenished by the presence and beauty of nature in your garden.
As you venture out to co-create your beautiful garden this year, embrace the energies of the land and focus on building your garden rather than just planting. So when the next time your friends say, â€œOh, what a beautiful garden,â€ you will have a rich story in which to share of how you designed, built and co-created with nature, harmony in the garden with feng shui.