By Cheryl Oed, firstname.lastname@example.org
There are many kinds of gardens; herb, flower,
topiary, vegetable, a labyrinth, a meditation spot, a grill and
picnic area for entertaining friends, a pond with goldfish and
wildlife, a fountain that displays beautiful water designs or
rock garden. Most often we combine a number of these items together
depending on interests and need. Even when space is limited or
one uses the border of the grounds around the home or a balcony,
feng shui principles can be put in place no matter what the size
Everything has cosmic energy, known as chi. When
chi flows as a meandering path, this causes us to slow down and
“smell the roses” and notice the beauty. If movement
is blocked, disrupted, trapped in a dead end, funneled through
tunnel-like paths (rushing chi), or forced to cascade over obstacles,
this causes disharmony and is considered blocked flow. Chi responds
and is encouraged or deterred by light, sound, color, shape, and
movement. Using feng shui principles balance and create positive
flow while diminishing the negative, therefore enhancing life’s
The Yin/Yang Principle
comes into place creating different moods and growth depending
on light and the needs of the wildlife, plants and purpose of
the garden. Yang energy incorporates openness, light, heat, summer
and daytime. Yin energy incorporates shadows, darkness, cold,
nighttime, winter and stillness – great for meditation or
a moon garden -plants that bloom in the evening or at night. These
must be balanced or too much yin (dark) will create a heavy, sleepy
effect, whereas too much yang (bright) will create too much stimulation
Since most gardens have more than one entrance it is important
to decide which entrance is the most dominant. If your garden
is wrapped around your home then the entrance would be the same
as the front door, or perhaps the beginning of your walkway or
the driveway. If your garden is only in the backyard, then the
backdoor may be used if entering there. It is important in Feng
Shui to recognize the dominant entranceway by having two of the
same hedge, bush, plant, or statue marking both sides of the pathway.
A gate or draping trellis work well and give the garden a focal
point and welcoming feeling as we enter. The two matching elements
are considered the guardians of the garden and create a protective
feel with a warm greeting.
Many gardens are odd shapes. The easiest way to
work with this is to decide where the middle is; the Ming Tang
represented by the element Earth and considered the “heart”
of the garden. From the center divide the space into the four
directions. Putting something made of earth in the center is a
great focal point. Examples are a brick patio or courtyard, a
statue, a water fountain made with cement or ceramic tile, a group
of planters etc.
South is ruled by the Fire element and good for
an entrance. Fire element is yang, bright, lucky & happy.
Be aware of too much forceful flow if it’s too open. It
can be overpowering. It’s best to bring calm energy to this
area especially if the garden is for meditation. This can be an
ideal place for the entrance. Do not put a water element here.
North ruled by the Water element is yin nurturing
chi, caring & protective. Be aware that it doesn’t become
too heavy & sleepy. Good to bring lighter, more yang energy
to counterbalance it. This is also a good place to have metal
items like chimes, bells, mobiles, mirrors and sound. Metal nourishes
the water element.
West is ruled by the Metal element and small amounts
of west energy will pep up a stagnant garden. This is a good place
to put a swing or bench for place to draw, paint, write and journal.
Earth nourishes metal.
East is ruled by the Wood element and this energy
is kind, wise & encourages growth. It can be too productive
creating overgrowth to keep up with. Ground cover, low growth
plants and colors purple, green and blue are best. Symbols of
longevity such as peaches, a dear or turtle promote health and
long life. The Wood area is a good place to put a water element
- fish pond, fountain, bird bath, frogs. Water nourishes wood.
Remember to have fun with Feng Shui. It
need not be complicated. Consultants have earned their Feng Shui
detective glasses to spot troubled areas and recognize low energy.
Your Feng Shui purpose is to create a sanctuary where you feel
energized, relaxed and inspired. It should also have that effect
on all who visit.
Not to be reprinted in full or part without
© copyright Cheryl
Oed, Touch Alchemy™
Cheryl Oed is available for talks, workshops and
Feng Shui Consultant, 410-599-6680