A lot can be said about gardens, including how they influence people, giving us an extension to our living space and providing tranquil views. When it comes to the Feng Shui guidelines for gardens, common sense prevails in such principles as:
- Have a healthy garden, with nothing perpetually dying or looking neglected.
- Have a lush garden if that pleases you, but not so overgrown that any part of the garden will make a room in your home dark because the overgrowth blocks natural sunlight.
- Use landscaping techniques to block any neighboring bad views if you can.
Misconceptions about Feng Shui Garden
Aside from these common sense principles, there are a lot of misconceptions about what constitutes a “feng shui”- correct garden.
- You are not obligated to have certain colored plants or flowers in certain directions. This piece of misguided information comes from the BTB School, where the imaginary Ba’ Gua Map is used unnecessarily as a template for outside spaces.
- You are not obligated to have a round pool, although in the most subtle way, we can say that a round or oval shaped pool could be superior to a rectangular pool if one corner of the pool is pointing toward the house (a minor poison arrow effect).
- You are not obligated to have curvy walking paths in your yard or garden, although they are very nice and conducive to meditative walks. Only if you have a walkway that is extremely long (think Taj Mahal) would it be better to have a curvy path leading up to the house, as opposed to a straight walkway.
- Cactus plants have no evil agenda to hurt you, so if you like the drought tolerant desert landscape with some cacti, go for it.
Of all the plants to consider, there are only two plants that I know which can attract ghosts: the banana tree plant and the pencil cactus. The pencil cactus is a very colorful plant, but be forewarned that it has a milky pink-white fluid inside, which can seriously burn your skin if it oozes out on you.
Basic Feng Shui Principles of Water Fountains
Over the last thirty years of consulting, I have come to find out that some people don’t like water features! Usually, this is in response to the suggestion for indoor water fountains or aquariums.
Indoor water features are a whole other topic, but for the outside, most people enjoy them until some maintenance is involved. Outdoor fountains do attract birds and other critters, so measures have to be taken to keep the attraction down to a minimum.
Outdoor fountains need to be cleaned periodically and you want one that holds enough water so that it is not constantly running dry from evaporation.
Most fountains fulfill their feng shui purpose, no matter what the style or material they are made of, if they hold a good amount of water. Even though there has been a formula circulating for how much water is needed based on square footage of the house, there really is no exact prescription for volume of water.
Since everything effects everything else, we could admit that the shape of the fountain, the volume of water, the direction of water flow and the speed of the water flow can all make a difference.
With common sense again prevailing, we can say that:
- The more water, usually the better.
- Water in a fountain should move from a higher level to a lower level basin, or at least water should flow towards a house instead of away from it.
- Water should move at a medium pace, not too fast and not too slow. This also influences the sound of the water and we always want the trickling sound of water to be easy on the ear and not sound harsh.
The Location of Outdoor Water Features
One might assume that with “shui” meaning water, that the placement of water anywhere in a garden can be a good thing. This is not true. In any given Period, there are good and bad locations for outside water.
From 2004-2024, Period 8, the best location for outside water is to the southwest. Directions, in this regard, are relative to the center of a house and with the use of an actual compass. From 2024-2044, Period 9, the very best location for outside water will be to the north. And I do mean “north” and not northeast or northwest. Use of a compass is essential.
We have 20 year Eras, or Periods, where we can rely on water being in good or bad directional zones. And yes, your neighbor’s pool or fountain could be influencing you in a positive or negative way.
We also have “house types” for homes, which have not yet surpassed their original Construction Period. Of the Four Major House Types, two of them benefit from having water in the back and two of those four house types benefit from having water in the front. To do the opposite can undermine the house type. The correct placement of water can enhance financial luck for the occupants. The incorrect placement of water can do the opposite.
What about Balcony Gardens?
For those living in apartments or condos, you may wonder if there is any benefit at all to Feng Shui principles applied to a small balcony, covered porch or patio. The short answer is yes. Each residence is unique and there could be good reasons to have plants and/or a water fountain just outside on your balcony or patio and within view from the inside. You can easily combinate Unilock pavers with your outdoor plants and decorations. Houses go through periodic Locked Phases, and being able to see or hear circulating water, even if on a balcony, could help release pent up or stagnant energy caused by the Locked Phase.
Kartar Diamond of Feng Shui Solutions® has a full-scale consultancy, including assistance with property searches, design phase and existing homes and businesses. She is the author of three books, 6 ebooks, 36 Cast Study Lessons and more to come. See the books she’s authored or browse through her online Traditional Feng Shui school.