Feng shui your garden

September 7, 2012

Environment, Feng shui, Gardening

Fountains are very effective at enhancing the flow of positive chi, as water symbolizes the flow of wealth.

by John Leslie — 

Is your front door visible from the street? Do you have a walk or path that meanders from the street to your main entrance? If you answered no to either of these questions, your front yard could use a feng shui fix.

Feng shui applies not only to the interior of the house, but also to the way the house sits on the lot, its relationship to the street, the topography of the land and the elements that make up the landscaping. As chi energy ebbs and flows around a house, it is greatly influenced by how sensitive the architecture is to the site and the landscape elements around it.

The front entrance of a house is the “mouth of chi” and represents our relationship with society. Entrances, front doors, and pathways should be inviting and welcoming to attract positive chi. Entrances should be free from blockages, barriers and clutter. A hidden front door needs special enhancements to draw in the chi energy, such as lighting the path or hanging a wind chime at the entrance.

Fountains are very effective at enhancing the flow of positive chi, as water symbolizes the flow of wealth. A clear, still pond brings calmness, tranquility and clarity of thought. Fountains and waterfalls are essential elements in gardens because they bring movement, sound and positive energy to a space.

Water, as one of the “five elements” of feng shui, brings a key component to our dry desert gardens. When the other four elements of fire, earth, metal and wood complement a space, the garden is balanced and will evoke good feelings, comfort and a sense of connection to nature.

In feng shui terms, nature is balanced by the cyclical interconnections of the five elements: wood, water, fire, earth and metal. Too much of one element, or the lack of an element, can be felt energetically. For instance, too many green shrubs (wood) can be balanced with fire (red or spiky plants), as fire burns wood. Too much fire can be balanced using water (water puts out fire).

When each element is represented by either its physical form (e.g., water) or symbolically through its corresponding shape or color, a feeling of harmony will be palpable. This sense of balance makes an outdoor living environment an enjoyable experience and appealing to the eye.

When a garden is tired and neglected, it feels blah; a few feng shui cures may be all that is necessary to revive the energy flow, achieve balance between the elements and create an enjoyable space that you can call your special feng shui garden.


John Leslie has a master’s degree in landscape architecture, is a practicing landscape designer and particularly blends Eastern philosophy into his designs and creations. He is owner of JSL Designs, a landscape design and construction firm located in Scottsdale, Ariz. 480-239-8049 or john@jsllandscape.com.

Reprinted from AzNetNews, Volume 27, Number 4, August/September 2008.

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