By Cheryl Oed,

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 and space.

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 force.

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 and unpredictability.

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 permission.
© copyright Cheryl Oed, Touch Alchemy™

Cheryl Oed is available for talks, workshops and private consultations.
Feng Shui Consultant, 410-599-6680


© 2017 Touch Alchemy