Feng Shui Gardening – Creating a Balanced Landscape: Part II

budda_gardenAfter the feng shui bagua chart has been created, one must take a long, hard look at their outdoor space.  This is something that should not be shrugged off.  It is very important to take a true look at what you have, where it is located and how it is presented.

The first step in this process is to remove the clutter.  This includes empty pots, containers, hanging baskets and garden tools.  If a garden shed is available, these items can be stored there.  If a storage shed is not available, consider storing the items in a basement or on shelves.

Clutter in feng shui is not limited to items though but also includes spent flowers, dead trees and plant material along with weeds.  After all these items have been removed from the environment, it is time to really look at ones garden space.  Start this evaluation inside your home.  Ordinate your bagua chart to the direction of the front door.  If you have windows along the front of your home, look how the sunlight comes into the home.  Are there trees blocking this light?  Is there plant material blocking the front door entrance?

Next, look at the chart and determine the color, shape, and element of the area.  Does this area have the correct trigram?  Make note of your finding and continue the evaluation outside.  Once you have your evaluation complete, it is time to develop a plan of action.  To aid in this, consider the following hints for each direction on your bagua chart.

The north direction is the one associated with water.  But not just any water will do.  Stagnant water brings negative energy while gently moving water introduces positive energy.  In the trigram no pond or pools are allowed.  Instead consider adding a fountain, birdbath or stream to your landscape design.  If you are an apartment dweller, you may consider using a tabletop fountain for your water element.  The nature of moving water will also address the shape of the element, which is wavy.

The northeast contains the earth element, which beckons for a stone bench, stepping-stones or rock garden.  If you live in an apartment, consider using a square stone statue or a stone tabletop to meet this element.  Do not plant trees or any other type of plant in this area.

The east works with the wood element.  This can include a woodpile, wooden planters or a simple wooden bench.  This direction works well for shrubs and herbs, which in turn addresses the color requirement of green and brown.  Do not have any metal objects or artificial structures in this area.

The southeast has the same wood element but instead of utilizing shrubs and herbs in this space plant trees. The natural growth pattern of trees addresses the rectangular shape requirement of the space along with the color.

The south direction is the only one that is associated with fire.  This is a great place for a barbeque pit, grill or fire pit.  If you decide to plant vegetation in this area be careful.  Herbs that flower in pink, red, purple and yellow will address the color requirement along with providing a culinary touch to the area.

The southwest direction is where your outdoor seating arrangement needs to be placed.  This works perfectly especially if you are designing an outdoor kitchen space or trying to incorporate into your landscape.  A nice group of chairs around the fire pit or a rectangular dining table and chairs would fit the requirement.  When dealing with this direction, try to keep the seating area as natural as possible.  That means, using naturally made furniture.  Do not plant this type of vegetation in this area.  This includes trees, shrubs and/or flowers.  Not only does this direction require it but it also can become a fire hazard due to its proximity to the fire element.

The west direction is known for children and in doing so is a great place to put a swing set.  If you have no children or an empty nester, a planter, sculpture, or furniture arrangement made from metal can address this element.

The west and northwest directions share the same element.  This can be addressed with a metal trellis or rain chain.

Below are some additional hints that will help with the feng shui style.

  • When using plants avoid ones that are thorny and/or spiky.
  • Plan your flowerbeds so that you have blooms throughout your growing season.  Also do not fall into the habit of single color flowerbeds.  Instead incorporate a multicolored approach.
  • When possible, plant herbs in the garden space.  Feng shui principles value herbs that have medical properties.
  • Wherever possible, attract wildlife to the landscape.  They help bring balance to the environment.

Feng shui can help you develop a landscape that is inviting, stress-free and in balance for all those who explore your garden space.

Mindy McIntosh-Shetter has been an Agricultural Science educator, and is a horticulture and/or environmental blogger who earned a degree from Purdue University in Agriculture Education with a minor in biology, and natural resources. Presently she is finishing up her Masters in Environmental Education and Urban Planning for the University of Louisville while working on her own agriculture/environmental blog.

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