STEP ONE: DEFINE YOUR GARDEN BOUNDARIES
Draw up the site plan of your garden, making sure the shape and boundaries are accurately reflected in your plan. If your home is a standalone bungalow, your garden should include the front, side and back yards. If your home sits on large plot of farm land, you have the freedom to decide the shape and size of your garden. Regular shaped gardens are more auspicious than other shapes. Trapezium shaped gardens are acceptable, but avoid triangular patches – especially if the sharp end of the garden is pointed towards your home like a poison arrow.
Garden boundaries are essential and can be defined with the use of hedges, shrubs, fences and walls. Without physical demarcations to give you a reference point, assessing your garden’s feng shui will prove problematic. Once you have your plan, take directions at the center of your future garden and mentally divide the space into nine equal grids. An easy way to do this is to overlay your garden plan with a layer of tracing paper that contains the nine-square grid, marked with north, south, east, west, etc. Align the direction of the grids with the directions taken.
STEP TWO: USE ELEMENTS TO DRESS UP YOUR GARDEN
Now that you know all the sectors of your garden, use five element theory to design your planting plan and work out best placements for your furniture and fittings. For example, when looking at the East sector of your garden, this represents health and is ruled by the element of Wood. The number ruling the East is 3, thus having three Bamboo plants (which are excellent symbols of longevity) here is very auspicious for activating health luck. The Southeast, is the sector of wealth and is also the element of Wood. Wood is enhanced with Water, so placing a pond here activates wealth luck. The table below gives you a quick guide to all the elements, shapes and symbolisms associated with each sector. Note that your garden can also be designed to strengthen your personal luck energies. For example, the Horse’s location is South. Red-coloured plants here can greatly enhance the well-being of someone born in a Horse year. Placing images of your animal sign in their respective locations can also benefit your personal luck!
STEP THREE: PLACING GARDEN FITTINGS & FURNITURE
An outdoor patio, set against a beautifully landscaped garden creates an auspicious, relaxing atmosphere to entertain guests and family. The best sector for placing garden furniture is in the center, as this is the location that represents family harmony. Wood-fire ovens, fire places and BBQ pits are best located in the South or in Earth-element locations, as these benefit from the fire energy created. Install suitable shelter for sitting areas – such as an umbrella, hanging sail or extendable awning, as these not only provide shelter from the sun and rain, but also symbolize protection from harm. Keep your furniture and fittings well-maintained from wear and tear. Throw away damaged pots, containers and diseased plants. Broken furniture, decaying plants and rotting puddles will attract yin energy, creating illness and other yin-problems. Replace worn-out deck chairs and umbrellas. If you have a pool, keep the water constantly cycling and well-filtered. Water in your pool must NEVER be allowed to stagnate and get dirty!
Below is a guide for choosing the right type of furniture to create Yang energy in the garden:
STEP FOUR: PLANT AUSPICIOUS PLANTS & FLOWERS
A thriving and luscious garden abundant with clumps of healthy vibrant flowers and fruit is the best indication that a home is enjoying good feng shui. Invest time and effort in nurturing your garden, and your home will transform into a domestic paradise on its own. Trim your gardens often; do not let them grow wild. Keep your garden lush and green, well watered and regularly fertilized. Stay away from plants like cacti, roses, bonsai or any plants that have thorns. These create little poison arrows and should be avoided.
STEP FIVE: INSTALL A WATER FEATURE
The presence of a water feature in the garden always symbolizes wealth and prosperity. Building an artificial pool of water offers great scope for your imagination and creativity. You can construct your water feature in any way you like – a swimming pool, waterfall, fountain, fishpond or a natural cascade of water. The best place is the Southeast or the North. If you are planning to keep fish in your pond, make sure you keep it well-maintained, ensuring your fish are healthy and the water is clean.