Cultivating Energy

Once you create a peaceful oasis in your garden, you'll want to connect your own personal energy to the space. The best way to do this is by incorporating what in feng shui are called the eight enhancements: light, color, sound, movement, life, straight lines, stillness, and mechanical devices.

Anyone who's ever embarked on an ambitious garden project, or who's read an edition of The Farmer's Almanac, knows that there is a time to plant and a time to grow, but there is also a place to plant for real garden success. Certain plants (and most flowers) do better when there is more light, while others (usually bushes and thicker foliage) do just fine when not in direct sunlight. Take the time to plot out the areas of your garden that receive more light so that you can plant your flora in a place where it will absorb the energy of the sun.

Let's not forget the kids! They, too, can have an outdoor structure like a tree house or a playhouse, which will raise the levels of the fun “fire” element in your yard.

Keep in mind that light is one of the best ways to use the principles of yin-yang, too. Sunlit areas should be next to shady ones, and brightly lit corners should be near areas left in darkness. Balancing light in the garden is tricky business but can be achieved with planning and forethought.

Color and Sound

We've already discussed color in-depth, but remember that adding color emphasis to a particular area of your garden's bagua will focus more energy on that area of your life. If you want more fame and recog-nition, for example, use lots of red!

Nature is full of wonderful sounds, from trickling water to singing birds. The wind has a sound, if you are quiet enough to listen. To attract more positive nature sounds, plant bamboo in your garden. It makes a very subtle sound as you brush past it.

Movement, Life, and Stillness

Bird feeders work well to increase movement of chi by birds and small animals. Squirrels can be good movers of chi! Animals can also be a positive source of chi activation in your yard or garden. Fish tanks work, too, but are not as practical outside unless you live in a warmer climate.

Wind chimes move chi indoors, certainly, but they are especially good for enhancing a garden space. Antique water pumps will also enhance the sense of flow and movement.

You may use your garden primarily for solitude and reflection. In Zen, quiet stillness is an essential ingredient for peaceful meditation. Sculptures, stones, and other permanent fixtures can be good focal points for meditation in your garden.

Straight Lines

In other areas of feng shui practice, straight lines are not considered good for chi, since they allow the chi to flow too quickly. As you have learned, curved lines are best. The exception to that concept is in gardens, where there are already too many curves. It's a yin-yang thing, but you can definitely employ a few straight lines to an otherwise meandering garden.

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