How to incorporate Feng Shui into your Garden
When you hear Feng Shui, you probably think about the interior of your home. However, Feng Shui is not limited to interiors!
The Flow of Qi
Basically, the rules of Feng Shui that apply to a home can also be applied to an outdoor area. Overall, the goal is to create a smooth and calming flow of Qi, or life force energy. I’m sure you can walk through your garden with peace of mind without feeling blocked or constrained.
Well-placed retaining walls, pathways, and taller plants can really help direct the flow of Qi by guiding you through space. It’s also a good idea to use rounded edges and wavy lines for garden beds, which will create a smoother flow of Qi. You can also use irregularly shaped stone slabs to create a winding path. This allows Qi to flow smoothly and gather in space, and is generally more beneficial than a garden full of straight paths and sharp corners.
Set the Tone and Energy
It’s important to have a focal point in your garden, which draws the eye deeper into your outdoor space and creates ease. When deciding what to include as your focal point, consider the type of energy you’d like to cultivate. A warming fire feature, for example, will bring a different kind of energy to your space than a soothing water feature, a dramatic flowering tree, or a restful sitting area. Also, additions of the metal element with metal wind chimes can bring joy into your garden.
Balance Yin and Yang to Create Harmony
Using the Feng Shui principles of yin and yang helps create a more balanced design. You can do this by balancing hard (yang) and soft (yin) landscape treatments. To bring in more yang energy, think of boulders and masonry that create structure, boundaries, and clean lines. To soften the edges and bring in yin energy for balance, add plant matter around the hardscaping. Ornamental grasses are a good example of something that embodies yin energy with its gentle, swaying movement.
Feng Shui – Colour
When designing an outdoor space, you can keep it simple in terms of Feng Shui and colour. One way of working with Feng Shui and colour is to use 5 elements colour theory to create balance. The five elements represent different types of energy that all work together, and each element is associated with a particular colour. You don’t necessarily need to have all five elements represented in your space. Instead, choose a few that have the type of energy you want to invite into your garden. Here are a few ways to bring the five elements into your outdoor space using colour, and what they represent:
You can also balance yin and yang with different types of plants. Taller plants bring in more yang energy, while lower ground covers bring in yin energy. Integrating both gives the room dimension and variety and makes it appear more harmonious.
The wood element is all about growth and vitality. This is easy to incorporate into a garden as it is associated with the colour green. Every tree, every plant or every bush contributes wood energy.
The element of fire represents warmth and friendliness. It is associated with the colour red, which you can bring in through plants like Japanese maples or red geraniums.
The earth element has a very grounding energy. Add yellow-coloured soil to your garden, like black-eyed Susan Vine or a yellow-flowered Potentilla.
The metal element has a clear and concise energy. It is associated with the colour white, so you can add metal to your garden with plants like Bridal Wreath Spirea or a Shasta daisy.
The water element cools and is quiet. Water is represented by the colour black (or very dark navy blue), which is a bit more difficult with plant matter as there aren’t many black plants. You can look for something with black fruits like a blackberry. You can also bring in the water element with a water feature instead.
Work with an intention
Feng Shui principles work very well with landscape design, and many of the principles of both practices overlap. Another part of using Feng Shui when designing an outdoor space or garden is that it allows you to set an intention for your space. You can focus on a specific type of energy, which you can do by incorporating one or more of the elements above.
Another way to work with your intention is to map your garden using a Feng Shui tool called a Bagua. This allows you to identify specific areas like wealth or partnership that you might want to improve. To place the Bagua in your garden, you need to find the main entrance on the property and then place the Bagua according to the entrance for your entire property or backyard. Using the Bagua can be tricky at times, and it’s usually a good idea to work with a professional to make sure it’s routed correctly.
When in doubt, keep it simple! When you start designing your outdoor space, set an overall intention. For example, you might want to create a calming and welcoming space. Keep that in mind and then follow the basic guidelines above.