While composing this article and trying to keep my suggestions as simple as possible, I came to realize that sometimes it just isn't very simple. My hope is that you will glean some useful information and employ it in your planning. Feel free to contact me with simple (but confusing) questions. I'm also willing to do a mini consult with you - see the coupon below. In any event get out, work with your soil, and have fun making outdoor "rooms" using Feng Shui principles just like you make your inside rooms.
Spring is definitely here, and each new
blade of grass and brilliant daffodil reminds us that now is the time take a
good look at our landscaping,
review our garden design and add new plantings to carry forward our plans. As we implement them, why not
employ the same principles of feng shui we use inside our homes to add balance
and harmony to our exterior spaces?
Below are some basic guidelines for
laying out your garden. For those already familiar with BaGua mapping, it's
pretty simple until we get to the Five Elements cycle and their relationship to
the BaGua sectors - then you may need professional help to tweak the design.
Start by drawing an outline of your
land, placing the house and any existing garden features (such as patios, hot
tub, gazebos, fountains, sculptures) on your plot map; then outline the
driveway, the street, and any streams or other water flowing through your
property. Now lay the BaGua over the drawing, stretching it to fit the shape of
In general, the front yard is Yang energy, or male. It is the home of active public space, with your front door being the entrance of Chi to the home. Your driveway is the entrance of Chi to your lot. Yang energy colors are expansive - reds, yellows, and bright whites. Imagine using such colors and you can already begin to feel how your home will become more inviting and welcoming to friends and family. Your backyard is just the opposite. The backyard is Yin energy or receptive and introspective - tending toward darker and cooler colors - blue, purple, and green. But remember the tai chi - there is a bit of Yin showing up in the Yang area and a bit of Yang showing up in the in the Yin area. So include some bright color in the backyard and a bit of cool color in the front yard.
Referring back to the BaGua map you created earlier, you can now identify the areas where various outdoor activities can be accommodated in the most harmonious manner. For instance, putting the children's play yard in the center right area would support cooperative and energetic play. The children's portion of the BaGua is reinforced by the element metal. Swing sets, and other playground equipment are often made of metal, which will enhance this area.
If the lot does not allow such placement, you might look to the middle left sector, the area of family, as the next best location for a play area. Now, however, things get a bit trickier with regards to the five elements. In the family area the supporting element is wood and the color is green, but the element of the children's area is metal - wood's destructive force. There are ways to balance the counteracting elements, but at this point you you will probably want to consult a professional.
Other outdoor living enhancements you may wish to consider could include the creation of an intimate space for you and your partner to enjoy in the rear right corner of the lot; or you may want to create a quiet contemplative space for yourself in the front left. There are a myriad of possibilities, and if your idea doesn't fit perfectly according to the BaGua, worry not! There is always a Feng Shui way to harmonize the desirable with the possible. More than anything, make whatever you do beautiful. Beauty is always good feng shui.
Everyone has heard that water features are fortuitous. Used correctly, that's true; so a quick revie
w of how to use water features is in line. Flowing water gathers energy, still water tends to hold energy. Water that's still too long [as in a seldom used hot tub] is stagnant. Not good. If you have a hot tub that is only occasionally used, consider draining it until the season when you really do use it.
There is an example of an improperly designed, and therefore unfortunate use of a water feature: a developer, building a spec house close to the home of a client of mine, thought he would increase the curb appeal by adding a pleasant waterfall to the front yard. Yes, it was pretty, but the water flowed away from the house toward the street. I told my client to watch that house, and tell me how many times it was up for sale in the next two years
. Three times came the response. What was happening was that the good energy of the house was being carried out and dumped into the street. Cardinal Rule: water always flows toward the home. It doesn't make any difference if the water feature is in front or in back, just make sure it always flows toward the house
. Also, since this is likely to be a recycled water project (not many of us have a stream we can channel), the pump should be running at least three hours every day