APPLICATIONS – Garden Feng Shui
Feng Shui philosophy says all things around us are possessed of a vital energy that moves inside our living space, and influences our lives.
Since plants have a strong energy field, they too are intrinsic to the five elements, and they influence the well-being of people in their surroundings according to the element plants belong to. When buying plants, it’s a good idea to go with our gut feel and simply choose the ones we like. This is the only way we can obtain the balance we need.
As for the Yin/Yang Taoist symbol of the universe, which is comprised of two similar teardrops united inside a circle, this symbol represents two opposites that could never exist one without the other. Eastern philosophy accedes that night, darkness, and woman could not exist without day, light, and man – these two forces/energies are complementary.
Gardens that are designed according to Feng Shui principles are more similar to English gardens, which impose no special requirements, or to rockeries, rather than to formal, European style gardens, which are heavy-laden and artificial and showcase some less natural-looking elements such as very sharp corners, angles and straight lines.
When beginning to design your garden, you should keep in mind the three ground rules of Feng Shui.
1. energy flow (wavy and curvy shapes are beneficial, while straight lines are harmful)
2. the balance of Yin (dark, soft, passive) and Yang (light, hard, active)
3. the positive or destructive relationships between the five elements of Feng Shui – wood, fire, earth, metal, and water.
Plants can have various effects according to their general shape, the shape of their leaves and flowers, and their colour. E.g. Plants with sharp leaves such as the Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum) are rather Yang, and they help accelerate chi energy movement. Thorny plants such as cacti attract Fire energy, while creepers such as Selaginella produce Earth energy. Plants with small, round leaves attract Metal energy, while hanging plants such as ivy attract Water energy. A typical Yang plant is Dracaena marginata, which can be placed in a corner of the room to enhance the chi energy. Due to its straight shape and long, sharp-tipped leaves, this plant combines the two elements of Wood and Fire.
- The Monstera deliciosa plant is considered to be Yin. Thus it is a perfect species for those areas where you need calmness and peace to be restored, especially if these areas are the South, Southeast, and Northeast.
- The spider plant (Chlorophytum comosum) is best for the North sectors.
Flowers That Enhance Chi Energy
Depending on their shape and colour, flowers will increase the amount of chi energy in some particular areas.
o Tulips – they bear Metal energy; red tulips create a romantic atmosphere, while pink tulips bring pleasure.
o Irises – these are associated with vitality, passion, and free energy.
o Sunflowers – these are possessed of the Fire energy and of a great power to stabilize the energies.
o Carnations – pink and red ones enhance romance and pleasure, while white carnations induce a sense of dignity and serenity.
o Anemones – these are associated with Metal energy. When placed in a South-facing bathroom, the red varieties help preserve the chi energy.
o Jonquil or poet’s narcissus – these white flowers bring tranquillity if placed facing North, dignity if placed facing the Northwest, and motivation & willpower if facing Northeast.
o Mimosas – with their abundance of small, globe-shaped flowers, mimosas enhance the chi energy if you place them in the centre of the home.
o Lilies – these flowers have the ends of their petals facing downwards, which gives a feeling of stability. They can be used to bring tranquillity in an area of the house that’s too agitated.
o Roses – red roses enhance the chi energy for romance and personality, especially if placed in the West corner of the home.
Feng Shui Garden Guide
o NORTH: creativity, personal development, new ideas, inspiration, career, music, art. Use water features. A good place for: the pond, the swimming pool, the jacuzzi, or a shed for metallic gardening tools. Shapes: wavy and curved. Avoid: features made of stone, clay, or earth materials.
o NORTHEAST: knowledge; wisdom; meditation/reading; inner, spiritual, and intellectual development; nature. Use earth features. A good place for: stone benches; a rockery; a shed for maintenance equipment; rocks or stones; statues; brick; any object that’s made of an earth material. Shapes: low and levelled surfaces. Avoid: plants and trees.
o EAST: new life, new plants, rebirth and rejuvenation, harmony, good health, family life, nutrition, overcoming illness. Use wooden features. A good place for: planting fruiters and other types of trees, as well as herbal medicine; arranging playgrounds; saunas; doing tai chi. Shapes: columns, cylinders. Avoid: metallic accessories, tools, and furniture; white flowers.
o SOUTHEAST: wealth, abundance, material possessions, communication. You must use: wooden features. A good place for: growing green plants and flowers, or fish. Shapes: cylinders, pillars, columns, or colonnades. Avoid: metallic accessories, tools, and furniture; white flowers.
o SOUTH: opportunities, dreams, aspirations, awards, fame, recognition, achievements, happiness, longevity, festivities. Use fire features. A good place for: barbecues, fire, burning dry leaves, planting trees and flowers. Shapes: sharp, triangular. Avoid: water features such as ponds, waterfalls, or fountains.
o SOUTHWEST: marriage, love, motherhood, romance, relationships, partnership. Use earth features. A good place for: setting up a place where you can have dinner; sports courts/fields. Shapes: low, levelled surfaces. Avoid: wooden patio furniture; gazebos; gates and fences; the colour green.
o WEST: children, creativity, harvest, socializing, and fun. Use metal features. A good place for: setting up a recreational space; a bar; a children’s playground; resting; convalescing persons; a beach. Shapes: circles and circular arcs. Avoid: barbecues, pyramids, red flowers.
o NORTHWEST: commerce, interests outside the home, international travel, fatherhood, mentors and benefactors, helpful people, supporters. Use metallic features. A good place for: statues of deities, angels, cherubs, animals, or bell hangings. Shapes: circles and circular arcs. Avoid: barbecues, pyramids, red flowers.