Ralph Waldo Emerson once said that "the views of nature held by any people determine all their intuitions." Early people depended upon their ability to live in balance with the natural world and their residences reflected awareness of this fact.
In today's worlds homes are often completely separated from nature. Due to cost containment concerns many dwellings are now built upon land which has been cleared of all pre-existing nature.
As a result, the human spirit has suffered.
In reality, Feng Shui begins with a healthy landscape. Ultimately Feng Shui is a study of the land and how your residence is affected by that land. Contrary to popular opinion, Feng Shui is not only the art of placement with regard to the inside of the home.
When creating a healthy Feng Shui environment always start with the outside of your house and begin with the landscape.
Garden Essentials Of Feng Shui
Follow the Garden Essentials below to incorporate Feng Shui into your landscape:
1. Make sure to surround your home with healthy vegetation. Have an expert examine the trees on your property for limbs which may need to be removed and request a general review of the trees. Get an idea of the age of the trees including an estimate of how long the various trees will live so you can plant new ones as needed. Make sure your garden is never without proper shade and protection.
2. Make sure that trees or plants are positioned so that telephone poles, water towers, or sharp pointing objects are blocked from view.
Eliminate clear vision of any large objects such as sharp edges from a neighboring roof.
3. The view from the front door should always be completely open and unblocked.
Avoid planting trees, shrubs or other objects which may block the path from the front door to the street.
4. Use vegetation to create a Feng Shui style armchair around your property.
When created properly vegetation which surround the property will guarantee privacy, protection and stability. The very best design creates an upside down U up against the house and open to the street.
5. Create clearly defined curved or wavy style walkways. This creates wood energy which is more sentimental. It creates a sweet setting.
6. Walkways should be wide on the street side, narrow in the middle. They should become slightly wider near the house.
7. Have all walkways to your residence and throughout your property to direct visitors and guests where you want them to go.
Arrange walkways so that people do not go where you don't want them.
8. Install a stable, but visually appealing, handrail for holding onto as you travel up or down any steps or elevated walkways.
9. Create a strong connection to your environment.
The outside of your home shouldn't ever be designed like the inside of your rooms since they serve completely different purposes.
Make sure your garden fulfills your emotional needs. It should make your heart ting.
10. Develop a yin and yang balance which is interwoven throughout your entire property.
Balance areas of shade and sun. Mix soft and hard textures with wet and dry. Balance formal and casual areas.
11. Amp up the harmony of your garden and outside spaces. Use indigenous materials whenever possible. Honor the four seasons appropriately. Balance areas of color with areas of green. Also mix tall with low in an appropriate and harmonious fashion.
12. Make sure you can care for your garden or have the funds to hire a gardeners who can keep your grounds well manicured.
13. Create a master garden plan which evaluates all of the following factors:
a. Sun versus shade b. Direction and location of winds c. Soil conditions d. Valid property lines to avoid encroaching on neighbor's properties e. Local building requirements f. Location of gas lines as well as for phones, electrical and similar. g. Evaluate available water pressure and meter size h. Research deed restrictions i. Analyze existing plants, trees and shrubs for health. Add new trees, shrubs or plants in order to maintain balance.
14. Back your property up with higher ground such as a hill, large boulder, berm, raised flower beds or similar.
15. Create a garden wish list which incorporates sight, smell, taste, sound and touch.
As you develop your landscape and garden make sure your spirit resonates with the following:
1. Sight: Make a list of all your favorite colors, shapes and designs. 2. Smell: Priortize your aromas. Do you prefer sweet, sharp, bitter or a combination? 3. Taste: Are edible plants a desirable option? 4. Sound: What sounds do you prefer? Wind chimes, bells or the trickle of water? 5. Touch: What type of textures do you enjoy best?
Ask yourself what flowers or plants from your garden you might also enjoy inside your home.
16. Create a garden wish list with needs and desires. Consider the following:
17. To help with the best colors try this close your eyes run through the colors of the 5 elements.
What is the first thing you think of when speaking each of the colors red, yellow, white, blue and green? If the reaction is good incorporate it into your garden plan. Below are the descriptions of the five elements in the garden.
Add the five elements:
18. Evaluate different types of gardens for appropriateness to your life, goals, wishes, dreams and environment:
a. meditation garden - design this type of garden with peaceful seating areas. Make sure the garden is very secure with appropriate back for protection. Anyone using the meditation garden should feel protected when meditating.
b. retirement garden - create a raised bed for each access. Consider whether it would be appropriate to have special ramps for wheelchairs, walkers or canes.
c. children's garden - utilize soft edges. Consider including edible plants and interesting but safe sculptures for kids to play on.
d. winter garden - look for plants which carry their seeds through the winter to attract birds to your yard
e. lover's or couple's garden - be sure to include pathways from two different directions meeting at a threshold with an entry wide enough for two into a seclude spot
f. edible garden - consider all the edibles you love best such as fruits and vegetables. Remember that herb gardens are easy to plant, grow and maintain.
19. Make a list of all the vegetation you can recall from your childhood with fondness. When possible incorporate these into your new landscape plan to build upon positive memories.
21. Any shrubs, trees or plants which are positioned on your front porch should never be more than three feet high.
22. Create a bright hall area in your front yard. This will allow energy to collect before entering your residence.
Become familiar with every nook and cranny of your property. It really helps to spend a time on your property during all types of weather including rain and shine. Evaluate the way the rain patterns fall across your year. Note where the sun rises and sets on your property. Note how shadows form. Pay close attention and take notes of all weather conditions.
This information will assist you in determining what vegetation will thrive on your property!
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- Revised Publication Date: 02/14/11