What Is a Feng Shui Garden?
Feng shui (pronounced “fung shway”) is the art of bringing order into an unruly space to create a more comfortable, relaxing, and soothing environment. The practice originated with the ancient Taoist belief that humans, animals, and even the earth possess the same life-giving energy known as Qi (pronounced “chee”).
Feng shui strives to create balance and improve the flow of Qi by strategically using colors, objects, and features that represent each of the five elements: water, fire, earth, metal, and wood. It also establishes the nine zones that must be filled appropriately if you wish to bring wealth, fame, partnership, family, energy, children, knowledge, career, and friends into your life. Each zone corresponds with one of the five elements, which helps you establish a garden layout with the best Qi.
Some people believe you can change your luck, feel happier, and even live longer by creating a home and garden that follows the principles of feng shui. Whether you put your faith in the promises of this ancient art or not, a feng shui landscape is a stunning design style that could complement your San Diego home perfectly.
Elements of a Feng Shui Landscape
Every good feng shui gardener strives to incorporate each of the five elements to instill a feeling of balance. Here are some features you can include that touch on each aspect of feng shui.
- Water fosters clarity of mind, gentleness, and renewal. A water feature in your feng shui garden creates an instant calming effect. The water should always be flowing—preferably toward the center of your garden rather than away from it—to demonstrate the continuation of life and energy. A pond with a fountain or waterfall is an effective way to incorporate this element.
- Fire is the element of charisma, love, leadership, and socializing. Include a fire pit or fireplace, along with torches and candles, to add these characteristics to your feng shui landscape. Place these items near the water feature in your garden to encourage the contrasting elements to work together.
- Earth is stable, trusting, patient, and agreeable. Your garden is obviously full of earth, but to accentuate the grounding effect of this element, plan to incorporate hardscapes.Any stone pathways you install should meander rather than run completely straight. This encourages those walking on the path to do so slowly, soaking in the sights and sounds around them, much the way life should be lived. Terracotta pots and stone statues are also effective methods for incorporating the earth element into your garden.
- Metal is the element that rules the powers of the mind. It increases intelligence, logic, and mental clarity. Include metal lanterns, patio furniture, and a wrought iron fence or other metal structure to help hold up plants and vines. Just be certain that the metal features of your landscape are smooth and rounded to make the space more inviting.
- Wood is the most obvious element in any garden because it represents plants, trees, and bushes. Wood inspires growth, creativity, spontaneity, and achievement. Plant a feng shui garden full of oriental-inspired plants that are native to Southern California. These include Japanese boxwood, pittosporum, Indian hawthorn, Japanese maples, hydrangeas, and dwarf mondo grass.
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