Feng Shui Your Garden


...elusive dreamer
Apr 5, 2009
Feng Shui Your Garden

Feng Shui (pronounced Fung Shway) is the ancient Chinese art of placement to
enhance the flow of "vital life energy" known as Qi. Practitioners believe that
rooms, buildings and all environments can be arranged and decorated in a way
that maximizes the flow of Qi and resulting in improvements to health and
happiness of those who live in that environment. Although the translation of
Feng Shui basically means "Wind and Water", its scope and breathe are much
deeper than this. We Feng Shui our homes and our office, burial grounds and
schools, the garden is another place that lends great balance to our lives.

I often like to introduce the Five Element Phase Theory into a Garden Setting.
This natural progression just seems to make so much sense. The Five Phases
(Elements) Theory, which states there are five interrelated elements: fire,
earth, metal, water and wood is one of Feng Shui's oldest and respected

The following are the ways (or cycles) in which the elements are interrelated.
These are the two balanced/physiological cycles:
"Sheng"-Generating/Nourishing (Creative) Cycle
In this cycle, one element generates/nourishes or creates the
following element. The nourished element is also known as the child
element. The nourishing element is known as the mother element. This
is an important aspect of Feng Shui and Traditional Chinese
Medicine. The pattern is:

* Fire nourishes earth
* Earth nourishes metal
* Metal nourishes water
* Water nourishes wood
* Wood nourishes fire

"Ke"-Controlling (Destructive) Cycle
Even as each element nourishes another, it also controls an element.
The controlling element is sometimes referred to as the grandmother
element. This cycle is as follows:
* Fire controls metal
* Metal controls wood
* Wood controls earth
* Earth controls water
* Water controls fire

Each element has a direction, which can help in dividing the garden into five
directions and corresponding elements. By looking at the elements that are in
the different areas, we can then see if an element is missing from a particular
direction. It is also a possibility that a controlling element is present, which
can therefore cause the element for that direction to be weakened. For example,
fire's direction is south, so a pond or fountain located in the south of the
yard would severely weaken the fire element.

Water's direction is north. Wood's directions are east and southeast. Fire's
direction is south. Earth's directions are northeast, southwest and the center.
Metal's directions are west and northwest.

Elements may be adjusted by adding the appropriate color of plant, element or
shape to the area. Therefore, water may be assisted by adding a fountain in the
north. Red flowers in the south would enhance fire. A wind chime in the west and
white flowers in the northwest would enhance the metal element. Tall, thin trees
in the east and a wooden arbor in the southeast can be used to strengthen wood.
A stone sculpture as the centerpiece of the garden with yellow flowers in the
northeast and decorative rocks in the southwest would
add the balancing touch.

Here is a good reference chart of "cures" for the elements:

The Wood Element
* All plants
* Wooden furniture, decks, fencing, and pathways
* Arbors, wooden gazebos, trellises
* Rattan and wicker
* Stripes and floral prints
* Columnar and long, thin shapes
* Blues and greens

The Fire Element
* All lighting, including oil, electrical, and candles
* Fireplaces and barbecues
* Pets and wildlife
* Statuary and garden art depicting people and animals
* Triangular and conical shapes
* Reds

The Earth Element
* Brick, tile, and adobe
* Earthenware pots and garden art
* Square and rectangular shapes
* Yellows and earth tones

The Metal Element
* Metal furniture, fencing, and statuary, sculpture
* Metal wind chimes
* Rocks, stones, and sand
* Circular, oval, and arched shapes
* White and pastels

The Water Element
* All water features: birdbaths, fountains, ponds
* Reflective surfaces, such as glass, crystal, and mirrors
* Asymmetrical, free-form shapes
* Black and dark tones

As a general fact: most gardens already tend to have an over abundance of Wood
element in them. Try to balance out this element with aspects of each of the
other elements.

If you are confused as to which items to use in each direction, I highly believe
in meditating on it. Sit in front of your garden. Cross your legs in a
comfortable nature and close your eyes. Take several deep breaths in and slowly
out through your nose. Take your time and simply visualize your perfect garden.
What feels "right " to you? At some point Listen to the sounds around you. At
some point Smell the air around you. Allow your intuition to guide you.

Breath. Take your time. 5 minutes, 7 minutes, 15 minutes. Let your mind quiet.
At your own pace, slowly open your eyes.

This is a great way to visualize what you really want. Then, when you go back
and compare it to the "cures" chart above you may be surprised as to how "right"
you have allowed your instincts to be!


At the writing of this article, 5/16/2013 on the Eastern seaboard:

-You can plant seeds or potatoes in the ground now.

-wait another week for bedding plants like tomatoes and squash.


Happy gardening!

Andrew Pacholyk, MS, LA


New member
Oct 23, 2010
Sunny, tropical, CA.
I wish I was raised with knowledge of ancient fung shui so that it would be a natural and trusted system for me but it is so odd and unnatural to believe these little details would have such a profound effect on health and energy.

I chatted briefly with a fung shui practitioner about my feet getting burned and that I felt they were taking a long time to heal and she said to take a look at the two back corners of the house, opposite of the front door. If there is anything cluttery or broken there to fix it because this is the area of the house that relates to the feet. Well, I have to admit that there are 6 plants in need of transplanting in one of the corners. So what did I do? Got my husband to transplant them for me. :D Better safe than sorry. lol

Apparently Donald Trump only invests in real estate that is properly fung shui. Hmmmmm.....