Harmonize Your Yard 8 Ways To Add Feng Shui OutdoorsHarmonize Your Yard 8 Ways To Add Feng Shui Outdoors

Gardens are increasingly becoming a center of attention for homeowners ? and more and more, gardeners are looking for ways to create beautiful and harmonious landscapes. Part of this trend is the desire to make our outdoor areas exude tranquility and peacefulness. A cornerstone in that movement is feng shui.

Feng shui, often called the Chinese ?art of placement,? offers homeowners a method for creating spaces that are both harmonious and balanced.

In feng shui, there is a place for every element, and good feng shui relies on incorporating and balancing all of the elements. In the landscape, this would include landscaping features and objects, such as timbers, stone, trees, flowers, windmills or windchimes, and even compost bins, with each having a specific place according to feng shui.

To incorporate feng shui into your landscape, it is important to include all the elements, such as water, metal, fire, wood, and stone. This creates harmony and balance outdoors -- and this is what creates that serene and comfortable feeling.

To get started, begin by sketching the layout of your yard and be sure to note where your house, large trees or other landscape features are. Next, and as much as possible, divide the sketch into nine equal squares. Using a compass, determine the four corners of the yard by direction (north, east, south, west). Then, determine the subdirections (northeast, northwest, southeast, southwest).

Now you can plan ? and place ? your landscaping features and elements as they correspond to each direction. This ensures correct placement of the element. By using feng shui this way in your landscape, you can create an outdoor environment that is an extension of your indoor environment, making you more comfortable and relaxed both indoors and out.

Enhancing Your Landscape with Feng Shui

1. Be sure to remove outdoor clutter first.
One of the central ideas of feng shui is making sure that good energy, called 'sheng chi?, can flow. If you have dead trees or plants in the yard, your landscape may be dull and lifeless. To improve this, be sure to remove dead or dying plants. This is important to do even in winter when plants die back. Remove frost-bitten and dead plants right away, rake up leaves, and remove fallen branches.

2. Install a water feature to boost outdoor relaxation.
Nothing is as soothing as water, and a water feature in the yard is a wonderful way to bring movement, sound, and visual beauty to your yard. Even a small fountain can create instant relaxation in the backyard. Better still, fountains create a calming effect and often drown out nuisance noises such as traffic or noisy pets. Water is best placed in the north, east, or southeast corners of your yard.

3. Fire up your landscape with a fireplace or barbecue area.
A wonderful place to add these is in the south sector of your garden. If this is in your back yard, all the better. If it is in the front yard, then add your ?fire? element in the form of lighting. Add landscape lighting to trees or walkways, or install a lamp post. Lighting adds instant warmth and energy to any area. Fire or lighting is perfect in the south, southwest, and northeast corners of the yard.

4. Add a touch of Asia to your garden.
Another popular design element in the garden nowadays is Asian design. Add Asian flavor by planting a clump of bamboo in the east sector of your garden or plot. Or, if you have a northeast or southwest area of your yard that needs attention, add an attractive Zen garden made of raked gravel with some strategically placed boulders. Asian design relies on the use of all the elements in a landscape and on their proper placement.

5. Give your garden some weight.
Adding boulders is a wonderful addition to any garden or landscape and helps to ?anchor? the landscape. Boulders are especially effective in the southwest, west, and northeast. In the southwest, a collection of boulders with one boulder for each resident of the house is thought to create better relationships.

6. Bring movement to your yard or garden.
Every yard needs some movement. Place a windmill or other spinning or twirling object to your yard to create movement and energy. Even outdoor flags flapping in the breeze create visual interest. Windmills and windchimes are wonderful in the west, northwest, and north corners of the yard.

7. Add sound to your outdoors.
Windchimes or bells are perfect in the landscape because of their beautiful tinkling sound. For good feng shui, be sure to hang them on a shepherd's crook rather than from a tree, where the metal energy is considered harmful to the tree. These are best when placed in the west, northwest, and north corners of the yard, where they are thought to benefit children and careers.

8. Put a touch of gold into your landscape.
Select shrubs and plants with gold accents or flowers to plant near the center of the yard or in the north, northeast, or southwest. Gold is also considered a very auspicious and wealth-attracting color. Planted in these locations, they are believed to benefit career and relationships, respectively.

by Kathryn Weber
References and Bibliography

Kathryn Weber is the publisher of the Red Lotus Letter feng shui e-zine and is dedicated to helping her readers develop successful, prosperous, and supportive environments with feng shui. To subscribe, logon to www.redlotusletter.com and receive this special report Fr*ee "16 Feng Shui Secrets for Greater Prosperity."


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