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In Barb's Garden

...feng shui
by Barb Foster
by Barb Foster


Inspired to nuture, Barb Foster took up gardening over a decade ago. She has a particular passion for this areas hardy perennials.

Barb collects her own seeds, grows seedlings in a greenhouse and has 500 sq ft of growing beds plus numerous perennial flower beds in her Zone 1b garden in Chetwynd, B.C.

Barb writes weekly for the Chetwynd Echo.

June 20, 2004

You've got 'yin' and 'yang' in your garden! The 4000 year old Chinese art of 'feng shui' suggests that the living human body has an electromagnetic energy field extending 4 inches or more from the skin, which they call 'chi' energy. This personal "chi" can be influenced by the 'yin' and 'yang' of 'chi' energy in our environment. Extreme personal 'yin' 'chi' could be indicated by cold, and lonely feelings while extreme ‘yang’ ‘chi’ energy are associated with anger and aggressive emotions. The out of balance 'chi' can brought back into balance through the use of 'yin' and 'yang' materials in the environment. The placement of 'yin' and 'yang' materials in your garden can be chosen according to your need. "Yin" influences could be achieved with curved pathways of bark mulch. Yellow or cream coloured cobble stone; gravel and brick also create varied degrees of 'yin'. 'Yang" on the other hand is created with straight pathways and edges, made of grey coloured rectangular stone or cement.

A 'yin' still water feature such as a bird bath is most effective if placed a goodly distance from the house within sight of a window. The optimum placement for any water feature would be would be south or south east of the center of the house. Keep clean fresh water in the water feature. Moving water is more energizing ('yang' 'chi' energy) than still water. To harmonize a water feature already located to the north or south of your home place 'tree chi' in the form of wooden garden furniture, tall plants or trees between the water feature and the center of the house. If the water feature is located to the south-west, west, north-west or north-east, of the center of the house, then the placement of 'metal chi' (i.e. metal furniture, metal plant containers, or a rock garden) between the house and the water feature will harmonize the 'chi'. Water flowing away from the home will diminish 'chi' energy and may have the effect of reducing wealth.

Place tall trees in the north and north west of the garden where they will not cast shadows over the garden.

Statues of stone or metal focus 'chi' energy and are best situated in the central, or east or west areas of the garden. Wood or wicker features say "lighten up", and are best placed in east, north or south areas of the garden.

In a rockery, hard rock and soft plant material are balanced against one another, the more open and clean the design the more 'yang' energy is present.

Fast moving water and straight pathways move 'chi' quickly.

Family harmony is enhanced by placing in the south-west of the garden, a low clay statue surrounded by plants having yellow flowers or foliage.

Have fun in your garden!



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