Feng Shui, that mysterious design element that brings positive energy and light to many homes. It might surprise you to learn that Feng Shui can be employed for the outdoors, too! With backyard Feng Shui, each area of the exterior will have a balanced flow of natural elements, making the whole space tranquil and positive. Furthermore, this design approach will also make for an attractive landscaped garden. To reach this harmony, the five elements – earth, metal, water, wood, and fire – must be artfully incorporated and balanced.
The same principles used to design indoor spaces can be applied to outdoor spaces as well. Qi flow is just as important in outdoor settings. Utilize the five elements to aid in garden design; wood for green trees and plants, fire for a firepit, earth through boulders and stone hardscaping, metal with round wind chimes or white flowering plants, and water for a water feature or patio furniture.
One key element of outdoor Feng Shui is to have a meandering path. This is because when you arrive home after a long and difficult day, the curved path allows you to take in the beauty of the surrounding foliage and relax a bit before going inside. A winding path helps break away from the linearity and create movement and flexibility in the garden. Additionally, practice originates from Chinese mythology which states that ghosts have very stiff bodies and can only move in a straight line. As a result, by having a curved path, the ghosts aren’t able to follow you!
In order to select plants for your garden in accordance with Feng Shui, create a balanced mix of vegetation. This includes utilizing hardscaping elements like retaining walls, pathways, boulders and patio stones to help guide the flow of qi. Furthermore, rounded or curved garden beds will also contribute to a smoother flow of qi. It is important for qi to be able to move freely both indoors and outdoors. To achieve a harmonious space, diversify the types of plants in your garden with different textures, sizes and groupings, while avoiding straight lines, sharp corners, and repeating patterns.
The word ‘feng’ in Feng Shui means wind, and ‘shui’ means water. To incorporate the wind element, you should choose chimes that are moving and not stationary. Wind chimes within the garden may do the trick, so pick one that you like the sound of. It’s also a great sound to block out urban noises such as neighbors or traffic. Other wind element representations include windmills, pinwheels, creeping willows, and daffodils, which all move with the breeze.
Citrus plants in a terrace or courtyard garden symbolize abundance and good fortune. Roses, peonies, orchids, chrysanthemums, and marigolds represent love, wealth, fertility, joy, and positive energy, respectively. The “money plant,” or jade, attracts prosperity to a household. Be sure to select plants which are suitable for your garden’s location, taking into account the amount of sunlight and water they require. Your Feng Shui garden will be better balanced by selecting plants which stimulate the five senses and attract birds, bees, and butterflies to the garden.
Incorporating a water feature such as a fountain or stream is a great way to promote the free flow of qi in a Feng Shui garden. Water is a significant element in Feng Shui, and a water feature can aid in circulating energy and bring a feeling of peace to the garden. However, it is important to keep the water feature clean and in proper maintenance, as still or dirty water may bring negative energy to the garden. Additionally, the water feature must be correctly placed as per the rules of Feng Shui, as water can amplify energy, both positive and negative. Stagnant water can hinder the flow of qi. A qualified Feng Shui master can help with correct placement in the garden.
To make sure that your porch, backyard, or terrace garden is peaceful and inviting, keep it free from clutter and obstacles. Theis can be anything from overgrown plants to poorly placed features, like walls or fences. Be practical with what can be managed, and treat the outdoor space as an extension of your home. Clutter outside can serve as a literal barrier, blocking the qi from entering your space and leading to feelings of malaise and a lack of resources.
Incorporate Feng Shui into your modern garden by introducing outdoor lighting. Suggestions include brightening up a water feature, seating, or the garden path. Lighting is a great way to enhance the flow and energy of your garden. This can be done by hanging string lights, pointing lights up trees, placing solar lights along walkways, adding lanterns and candles to seating or utilizing objects that reflect and cast light around the area.
There certain plants you should avoid for your outdoor garden as they will both disrupt the look of the garden and the flow of energy. Examples of such plants are those with spiky or sharp leaves like yucca. These plants can be detrimental to the flow of positive energy. Another type of plant that should be avoided is the bonsai. These trees, usually grown in containers with stunted, unnatural growth, can bring negative energy and are not recommended for indoors either.
When creating a garden, there needs to be a balance between yin and yang, which are opposing elements found in nature. Yin stands for the gentler components like plants and curves, while yang is associated with the harder elements like rocks, water features, and straight lines. To achieve this, combine the hard lines of walkways and other features with the softness of greenery. Additionally, mixing tall and short plants like trees and undergrowth can also help achieve a sense of harmony in a garden.