The concept of Feng Shui is an art and science that was formalized more than 3,000 years ago in China and is becoming more and more popular in western culture. It’s based on the idea that everything in your environment has a life force or energy called “chi". Feng Shui adjustments can help you to make sure that the chi energy flow in your home is just right. According to feng shui this will bring good luck, good health, harmonious relationships, and prosperity. However, have you ever thought about using the concept of feng shui for your garden? Together with Susanna Utbult from the Nordic School of Feng Shui we’ll give you a few simple tips on how to turn your garden into a feng shui oasis.
A feng shui garden needs water to be complete. The water in the garden may be a pond, a fountain, or even just a small bird bath. Ideally the water should be moving, as stale energy is easily formed in stagnant water. Water symbolises wealth and opportunities in life, so the direction in which the water flows is important. For wealth and opportunities to come to us rather than be taken from us, the water's direction should be towards the house, and ideally it should flow towards the entrance. Another reason why it is preferable to place water at the front of the house is because it is the most unpredictable of the elements, one which you would not want to have behind you. Try using shapes on your water feature that are as soft as possible. Straight lines create sharp corners, so round, oval, or curved shapes feel more pleasant for a pond.
When planning an area of water for your garden, it is important to think about safety. If you have small children, deep water is a potential danger. It is difficult to relax and enjoy your water feature if you must always be vigilant to prevent accidents. In this case, it may be better to choose a small bird bath or perhaps a small fountain, where the water does not flow into a pond, but onto beautiful, selected stones on top of a hidden grille. It is attractive, safe, and the children can also enjoy it. Create a comfortable seating area near to the water, so it is easy to sit and enjoy it. The sound of rippling water helps a stressed soul to unwind. Bear in mind that the water should not flow too fast, nor with too much energy, or it may have the opposite effect.
Seating in a garden should be chosen with care. To be able to sit comfortably in peace and quiet, the sofa or chair needs to be placed in a power position. This is a fundamental rule within feng shui, meaning that you should have your back to a stable structure, support on both sides, and a clear view ahead. Sitting with your back to the garden's entrance can give a feeling of uncertainty. You need to be able to control who comes into the garden and you don't want to be surprised from behind. Therefore, arrange seating with its back to a wall or a hedge with shrubs, flowerpots or similar, as supports at the side.
In most cultures around the world, trees symbolise wisdom, knowledge and power. This symbolism is the same in feng shui, where respect for everything that lives and grows is fundamental. Unfortunately, we often make the mistake of planting a tree too close to the house. When the tree is small, it looks nice, but over time it grows into a giant that steals the light from the windows and blocks the view. In some cases, its dense branches grow so that they can even block the entrance to the house. The front door symbolises our career and life path, and is the house's "mouth" where all positive energy should come in. This overgrown, blocked entrance can be a major obstacle to the flow in one's own life. In such a case, there should be no hesitation in removing the tree, but there are other situations when the felling of trees should be carefully considered.
If an old tree is removed, the energy on the plot usually changes dramatically. Try to think in advance what the place would look like, without the tree. What will happen to light, shade and shelter, and how will it affect the surrounding houses? Indigenous peoples have great respect for the soul and energy of trees; therefore, they must have compelling reasons for felling a tree. Some feng shui practitioners believe that a tree must not grow higher than the house. This is an assessment that you must make yourself. If the tree has been grown to provide shade for your home, you can probably put the chainsaw back in the garage and sit down to enjoy its shadow instead. Additional info about the concept of Feng Shui is available at Nordic School of Feng shui.