Outdoor Feng Shui for Your Backyard (That You Can Afford)

Wednesday, June 15, 2016, AM | Leave Comment

Feng Shui, which literally means “wind and water,” is the ancient Chinese art of designing or transforming a space so that positive energy can flow through it.

This positive energy or life force, referred to as chi, is important because it is believed to contribute to greater health, wealth, and happiness in life.

Put it another way, it is the study of the relationships between the environment and human life, where making particular changes to your environment is believed to bring about specific improvements in your life.

There are multiple ways to approach Feng Shui, and ultimately a full description of the fundamentals of Feng Shui would run beyond the scope of this blog post.

But in general, Feng Shui involves designing the space around you in such a way that it mimics the same universal principles of energy flow by which wind and water flow, planets spin in their orbits, and galaxies wheel through space.

You may be familiar with some of the Feng Shui techniques used to maximize chi in a home—not having a mirror or staircase directly across from the front door, adding chairs or artwork to a room in pairs to create the energy of partnership, moving some furniture away from the walls to stimulate conversation, bringing plants indoors, etc.

But did you know that you can apply fundamental Feng Shui principles to your outdoors as well? In fact, if the exterior of your home doesn’t promote positive energy, it will be very difficult to promote positive energy on the interior of your home. Here are some tips for using Feng Shui principles in your very own backyard.

    Feng Shui Beautiful Landscaping

  • Understand your backyard’s bagua

    Bagua is a type of energy map used in Feng Shui to analyze the energy of a particular space, be it a home, office, or garden.

    It organizes space octagonally into eight different spaces, each representing a particular aspect in your life (such as relationships, fortune, career, etc.) Eight of these eight spaces, plus the center, will ideally feature some type of decor that maximizes energy in that particular spaces.

    It helps to look at a bagua map like this one to visualize how each space is paired with a decor feature.

    In general, if you are standing at the entrance from your home into your backyard, your backyard will be organized clockwise as such, starting at the entrance:

    • Life journey (water feature);

    • Knowledge and skill building (rock garden or place of meditation);

    • New beginnings, growth, and family (wood columns, tall plants, wooden furniture);

    • Wealth and prosperity (purple flowers, lush plant life, water feature);

    • Fame and reputation (good lighting, fire pit or barbecue);

    • Marriage and relationship (seating for two, paired decor pieces);

    • Children, joy, and the future (metal wind chimes); and

    • Travel and helpful friend (conversation area).

    • The center area represents unity or health and should feature open space and earth-derived decor like ceramics and brick.

  • Feng Shui table and chairs

  • Fill it with vibrant plant life

    Vibrant life forces such as plants and flowers go a long way in bringing chi to your backyard space, so you should aim to fill your backyard with plant life that speaks to you.

    • Plum blossoms, magnolia trees, bamboo, jade plants, and chrysanthemums are some of the most frequently used plants in Feng Shui because of their auspicious connotations.

    • You can also opt for common Feng Shui flowers with meanings that represent the things you aspire for in life.

    • White flowers, for example, represent healing;

    • Orchids bring opportunity and success;

    • Peonies represent romance; and

    • The lotus represents good fortune and enlightenment. When in doubt, opt for a combination of plants and flowers that gives you a variety of color.

  • A few tips as you add plant life to your landscape

    • Avoid clutter around the door leading into your home.

    • Prune away any dead plants and flowers regularly.

    • Choose plants and flowers according to sunlight requirements and what your backyard can offer;

    • You want your plant life to thrive as naturally as possible.

    • Don’t let plant life grow unkempt. Trim and prune regularly to give your landscape a clean look. You should especially ensure that no trees or shrubs are touching the house.

  • Just add water

    Water is a highly regarded natural element in Feng Shui (remember: “Shui” means “water”) for its ability to sustain life, circulate everywhere on Earth, influence climate, and more.

    It, along with wind, is considered a direct carrier of chi because of its natural flowing quality. This means that bringing water into your backyard is a great way bring more positive energy into that space.

    This article lists out multiple ways that you can do this.

    Fountains, in particular, are considered to be wealth adjustments in Feng Shui because they are believed to stimulate prosperity and energy, and they symbolize money.

  • Feng Shui Silver and wood wind chimes

  • Add motion

    Decor pieces like wind chimes, a wind sock, or flags help increase the flow of chi in a space, making your backyard space a more comfortable and welcoming space for guests.

  • Install curved pathways

    A curved pathway leading into your home is believed to make for more positive energy flow than a straight one, so consider creating only pathways in your backyard that feature natural curves. Keep these pathways clean and free of overgrown grass to maximize positive energy flow.

  • Use a round patio table

    A round patio table is the most comfortable and welcoming type of table for guests because it helps guests feel at one with one another. Everyone will be able to see each other at the table, and the roundness of the table will encourage conversation.

This article is written by Maurine Anderson

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