If you’ve experimented with interior design in your home, you’ve probably run across the principles of feng shui. By understanding the elements of wood, fire, earth, metal, and water you can attract positive energy to your home while repelling the bad. We talked about the basics in our post, Harmonize Your Home with the Principles of Feng Shui.
But you may not know that the exterior of your home can be just as important as the interior. Bad energy in your outdoor living spaces can completely cancel out the good interior vibes you’ve worked toward. Generally, the exterior needs to be neat, providing breathing room and flow essential to good chi. Keep reading for ways to improve the feng shui of your front and back yard.
1. Tap Into the Elements
Feng shui consists of appeasing the five elements – wood, fire, earth, metal, and water – in order to bring good energy and prosperity your way. When planning the exterior of your home, you’ll be focusing on water, earth, and wood in particular. In feng shui philosophy, water is a symbol of wealth, and a garden should include a pond, swimming pool, or waterfall. With the pond in the front of the home, you are inviting wealth into the household, and a waterfall signifies the continual replenishment of that wealth.
Rock garden walls represent Earth and help build a barrier around the house to ward off negative energy. Wood can be appeased by landscaping with flowers and greenery, as well as natural fencing built with trees. The fencing also adds protection from noise, wind, and pollution. Check out our post, 10 Things You Didn’t know about Feng Shui, to learn more about feng shui and the elements.
2. Harmonize Paint Colors
The color of our house can align with feng shui principles as well. The Spruce suggests choosing a home color that harmoniously blends in with the elements around it, “both natural and manmade.” This means your color should harmonize with the nearby houses and the trees or other natural features. It does, however, need to stand out enough to attract positive energy, particularly the front door. So, it’s a balance!
3. Know Your Directions
As you plan where to plant flowers and trees, consider the compass directions to guide your layout. Feng shui principles place water in the north corner of your garden. However, other strong places are the east and southeast corners since wood is nourished by water.
Wood is represented by green and is typically energized by placing tall trees as a natural barrier on the east side of your home. You can also incorporate a wood structure, such as a gazebo or trellis. Be careful not to plant large trees in front of the house or too close. A tree in front of your home is believed to pull all the positive energy into its roots (instead of into your home), and a tree too close also becomes a safety hazard!
The southwest corner of your yard represents relationships and is ruled by the Earth element. Energize this area with stepping stones, pebbles, and other rock features such as a stone fireplace! This is also a great place for a seating area to develop your relationships.
4. Make The Ever Important Front Door Count
Because the front door attracts the chi, it’s important to maintain an unobstructed, clean flow of energy into the home. Keep the door fresh with a coat of paint and repair any rusted hardware. The area leading up to the door should be free from any dead plants or old decorations.
You can also choose the color of the door based on the direction it faces. A door facing east (the wood element) could be painted green or brown. You can also choose harmonious or productive colors. For wood, the productive element is water, so the door could also be painted blue or black.
5. Bagua Your Garden
The first step to understanding the Bagua (energy map) of your garden is to understand the Bagua of your home. The exterior is an extension of the interior. Bagua is based on the compass directions, and specific areas of the home need specific attention in order to energize that area.
Gently curving pathways are critically important in your feng shui garden, as straight lines are rarely present in nature. In each area of your garden, you can use furniture or décor to represent the element or energy present in that segment. In our gardening collection, you’ll find tools and vessels to begin planting the perfect outdoor space.
6. Chimes Create Good Vibes
Wind chimes are a small element of feng shui that can make a big difference in the energy of the space. Chimes are believed to produce a healing energy, particularly if they’re placed in the zone that corresponds to their material. Bamboo chimes are known to reduce stress and with five tubes can neutralize negativity in an area. Chimes with eight tubes symbolize prosperity. When choosing chimes for your home, make sure that the material matches the energy in that area.
For example, metal chimes should only be placed in west, northwest, and north. In the west, they’ll promote luck for your children, while in the north they’ll bring career opportunities. Our selection of wind chimes can be filtered by material so you can order the right one for your home.
7. Create Natural Boundaries
In ancient China, the villages were often built in the valley between mountains, and the mountains provided that natural boundary allowing them to prosper. Your backyard should be a protected oasis from the negative energy in the world.
Boundaries and natural fencing are important to keep bad energy, noise, and pollution away from your home. A natural fence could be a row of shrubs or trees along your property line. Be careful not to plant or install a boundary across the front of your property – limiting the flow of energy into your home. If you want something more secure than trees for your boundary, you could install an artificial fence and decorate it with green plants and flowers.
While it might seem like only a large garden has room to contain all these feng shui elements, you can achieve positive energy in your home with small pieces, like chimes or an attractive front door. The guiding principle should be fresh, neat, and peaceful space, which is achievable for all homes if you take the time to properly care for the exterior of your home.