FENG SHUI TIPS FOR HARMONY BALANCE
Commune With Nature Every Day
Communing with nature connects us with life force and Spirit. It's an opportunity to greet the day, to know the season's special gifts and to soothe our souls. For many of us city dwellers, time to be with nature is the first item to be dropped from our long list of urgent and often stressful daily tasks.
Start in small ways. Take just 5 seconds to smell a rose. The fragrance and velvety softness will be with you for the day. Other ways to include nature in your day: a walk in the wind or the rain, cycling to work instead of driving, eating lunch in the sun, walking under the stars after dinner, picking flowers or herbs in the garden, opening the window to hear birds, lifting the blind to feel the sunshine.
Spirit in the Home:
Gardens for the Soul
by Kerry Press
Gardens connect us with nature and the earth, awaken our senses, remind us of the changing cycles of the seasons, enliven the body, provide opportunities for peace and contemplation, and enable experiences of beauty and reverence in every day life. It can be said that a garden is a reflection of the soul, so tend both with love and reverence. Applied to a garden Feng Shui can deepen one's experience of peace, balance and beauty.
In busy urban environments of concrete, bitumen, plastic and power lines, gardens are especially important for bringing balance and beauty into our lives. Whether your garden is a planter tub on your balcony or kitchen window sill, an inner city courtyard, or a suburban backyard, having a view and daily encounter with plants and nature can be uplifting for the spirit and nourishing to the soul.
Landscaping should be sensitive to the local climate and environment as well as to the dynamics of your home and lifestyle. Applying Feng Shui principles to the design of your garden can strengthen siting and significantly enhance your experience of your home.
The Perfect Arrangement
The first rule of Feng Shui is to create symbolically the strength and stability of the mountain at your back. In garden terms this means that the back of your home should be contained and protected. This is particularly important if the rear of the site slopes away or has a road or water flowing past. Avoid disturbing the back further with moving water from a fountain, spa or pool. A tall and solid fence and high thick plants along the back perimeter can offer some protection and anchoring for your home.
The front of the house should be open, vibrant and welcoming. Generally this is where you could place a fountain.
Flow of Life Force
Where possible with fences, paths and other garden structures, avoid straight lines, angles or sharp edges. These create cutting Qi which can be uncomfortable to occupy. Feng Shui generally prefers curves in a garden to enable Qi to flow gently as nature does. Balance hard surfaces of paths and patios with shrubs that also help to channel and contain Qi. A meandering path through the garden can assist the Qi to meander like a river.
The Five Elements
For balance introduce to your garden materials that represent the qualities of the five elements of fire, earth, metal, water and wood:
For example, the flamboyant, expansive energy of fire could be expressed with flame coloured flowers, garden lanterns, a brazier and rich terracotta paving.
Earth conveys stability and nurturing. In the garden earth could be a stone wall, a sandstone statue, clay bricks and yellow flowers such as wattle.
Metal represents heaven's force and could be present in the form of a wrought iron gate, a bronze statue or sundial, a metal wind chime or round white flowers.
Water in moderation can bring qualities of depth, mood and reflection into a garden. As a fountain or a bird bath, water is life force. A fish pond can be auspicious with eight gold and one black fish to encourage prosperity. If you cannot have real water in your garden, a river of pebbles could be a wonderful water pattern.
Wood is the primary element in a garden, of course, as plants, relative to other objects, are considered to be wood. A bamboo chime could also convey the soft wood tones of the wind.
The Energy of Plants
Choose plants carefully for their energetic nature of growing. For example, the dense form of conifers can be useful for settling and containing open, exposed areas, or for a protective buffer on busy roads. However, in a small space these thicker plants can create stagnation and obstruction. In contrast the rich red flowers of the bottle brush can be a cheerful influence and attract birds.
Avoid sharp leaved, blade-like or spiky plants, especially close to paths, as these can be inhibiting and unfriendly.
Applying these principles can make a real difference to your garden as a place to nurture your wellbeing. For personalised design advice for your garden, contact Spirit of Design.
Read more about Feng Shui and gardens in our case study on Joel and Nicole's Feng Shui garden at Ocean Grove in Victoria, as seen on Channel 7's Ground Force...