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Saturday, June 1, 2013

Landscaping with Feng Shui


Feng Shui is the study of the "built" environment and while feng shui does look at the larger environment surrounding the structure, there are no hard and fast rules about the landscaping. Feng Shui is primarily focused on the Qi within a structure, as that is what has the most direct effect on the people. When it comes to the outside environment, the main points of concern is that the landscaping is beautiful and in balance with the rest of the environment. Living in a beautiful environment is much more supportive than living in an environment that is an eyesore. You can tell the Qi of a neighborhood or area by how green and glossy the trees and plants are.

Some general rules:

Pathways should flow like a meandering stream not a straight road. As to trees, they are fine as long as they are not placed in a direct line with any entrances, especially the main entrance. Try to keep a balance of yin and yang (dark and light) when thinking of the trees. Avoid trees that will completely block the light. Too much of anything is not good. Again, balance is the key.
Shrubbery is okay as long as it is kept neat and prevented from overgrowing. Trees and shrubbery can be used to block harsh Qi such as strong winds. Grass does not pose any problems. Strive for beauty.
Flowers and other colorful plants can be used as long as they fit within the environment and follow the rules of the 5 elements .
"Wood produces fire, fire produces earth, earth produces metal, metal produces water, water produces wood."  Wood is green, fire is red, earth is tans or yellows, metal is white or gold, water is blue or black. Avoid using them in a destructive combination such that "wood uproots earth, earth blocks water, water douses fire, fire melts metal, and metal chops wood".
Consider the direction the building "sits." For example if the building faces to the North and sits to the South, than this is a Li building (Li is the Fire trigram). This house would be supported by a lot of red flowers, but would not benefit from blue or black colors. A house that sits to the west and faces east (Tui is a metal trigram) would benefit from white and gold flowers. Reds and purples should be avoided. This can also apply to the color of the house trim as well. These are all general rules and while their effect can be minimal on the house itself, following the rules of balance can support the house and its occupants.
The two items that need to be looked at carefully are rocks and water. Since they are both part of the five elements and are used to remedy certain situations in the greater environment, they need to be placed very carefully.
Water in the west is not good, while in the southwest and east it can assist prosperity, during this time period. These directions should not be in front of, or behind the house or building. If they are, it takes a qualified practitioner to determine if the water will have a positive or negative effect. If you are striving for the effect of the water element, then it is better to not use an earthen container such as a fountain made of rocks since earth blocks water in the cycle of the elements. Metallic containers work well as metal strengthens water. Many people use metal troughs effectively with beautiful plants and flowers planted around it to blend it with the environment. Ponds and pools can be used if placed under the guidance of a trained Feng Shui practitioner.
The same can be said of rocks, especially large decorative rocks. Because these are used in certain situations to correct for a problem, they need to be placed under the guidance of a Feng Shui practitioner. Placed haphazardly, they could have an adverse effect on the prosperity of the building if used in front of or in back of the structure. This takes a qualified Feng Shui practitioner to determine if the placement of these elements is needed or not. Feng Shui folklore states that a building should have a mountain behind it to support it. By using rocks and earth, you can create this mountain. While this sounds good, this is not true in every case. Each building is unique and needs to be looked at on a case by case basis.
To summarize, plants and other "wood" elements are fine anywhere as long as they do not block the Qi of the building and are used in balance. Colors can be used to assist the home as long as they fall within the rules of the five elements. Water and Rocks need to be placed under the advice of a trained practitioner to avoid adversely effecting the people or the prosperity. When placed correctly, they can have a very supportive effect on the building or house. All in all, the goal of Feng Shui is to create a comfortable and beautiful environment for the people. Strive for this when landscaping.

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