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Home / DIY Fixes and Tips

How to effectively make a Feng Shui garden


Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese philosophy that literally means wind and water. Wind and water were believed to be the source of chi, which is the energy of life.

Plenty of chi, therefore, represented abundance and blessings in the home and the lives of those who live there.

To raise the level of chi in the garden, you must get rid of barriers to chi and create chi within the garden itself. Obstacles such as large trees should not be located too close to the house because they may block the sun and prevent chi from entering the house.

Chi can also be created within the garden. The easiest way to do this is to plant flowers. Although all flowers create chi in the garden, five species are particularly known to do so: peonies, chrysanthemums, white marigolds, lotuses and orchids.

Of the five, peonies is the most preferred. It stands for the abundance of wealth and love. Whenever it blooms, something really fortunate is supposed to happen to the garden’s owner.

The Bagua

The bagua is the Feng shui placement map that relates your life with your environment. It consists of nine sectors that correspond to different aspects of life. These are career, knowledge, family wealth, fame, relationships, children, helpful people and overall health and well-being (T’ai Chi).

Each of these nine sectors has a physical location in your Feng shui garden and a symbolic location in your life. If your garden is oddly shaped, for instance, one of the sectors may be “missing”, which means that the corresponding area in your life will have problems.

Each of the physical locations representing a life sector is also associated with a particular colour and material. The use of these materials and colours in the “right” sector is believed to enhance the chi in that area. For instance, black and water are associated with career.

Hence having a pond or a fountain in that sector with, say, black garden seats would add some life in your career.

Harmony and balance

An ideal Feng shui scheme would have all the five natural elements in the bagua: earth, metal, water, wood, and fire plus all the eight colours. In practice, this creates an exciting scheme with a natural look and feel.

Harmony and balance is particularly emphasised in the Feng shui scheme. It is believed that the universe is composed of these elements working together in harmony and this should be reflected in your garden.

- The writer is a landscape architect.

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