Does the concept of an ancient art dedicated to increasing prosperity and health through home design intrigue you? If you answered it does, you’re not alone. A choice long popular in the West for home and landscape design, Feng Shui has its roots deep within Chinese culture. During my research, however, I found that the exact timing of its conception is widely disputed.
It is thought that the art is at least several thousand of years old, as stated on the site Circle-of-Light.com, and has likely existed in thought and practice long before the methods were ever scribed. The ideas reflected in Feng Shui (defined by reddawn.com as literally meaning “wind and water”) are balance, respect for the Earth, and a belief in the power to control one’s destiny through one’s environment.
Chi, or energy, is directed into, through, and out of your area based on orientation, colour schemes, and symbolism. In landscape design, the average homeowner can employ several of these Feng Shui techniques with relative ease. It helps to begin knowing that mountains, flowing water, and plant life are all important aspects in Feng Shui design.
Now, while you can’t create a mountain in your backyard, you can recreate the effect. Raised garden beds, large rocks, or bold shrubbery can all symbolize a mighty mountain. And running water? How about a free-standing, easily-installed water feature like a fountain or pond, or even a simple bird-bath? Whatever you choose, always keep it clean and functioning for maximum Feng Shui impact!
You can take the symbolism a step further, and lessen your maintenance burden, by leaving the water out altogether, and simply alluding to it by creating a “river of stone”. A simple, winding trench sunken in a foot and filled with crushed rock or polished stone can mimic a lazy river beautifully.
Utilize colourful flowers and lush greenery near your ‘mountains’ and ‘water’, to boost Chi and encourage prosperity and good health. Colours have meaning in Feng Shui design, and should be applied in certain areas. In the far-left corner of your garden, your ‘wealth’ area, you will want to have a splash of red, which symbolizes good luck and financial gain. Red also helps in the romance department, which is oriented in the far-right area of your garden or space. For more in-depth information on orientation and placement in Feng Shui, visit this site.
Orange represents strengthened conversation, improved purpose and organization, and thus would be perfect along pathways. Pathways which are curved help ‘contain’ the Chi provided by the colourful flowers, and allow it to linger and circulate. For a more detailed list of colour meanings, visit this site.
Employ several textures and varied heights in your Feng Shui space, as this not only adds interest, but allows better Chi to develop and linger. Use trees, shrubs, water features, rockscaping, gardens, and items such as benches, archways, and trellises. Keep it a balanced space, but incorporate as much variety as possible, and you will have a fabulous space that may even help you prosper!