Feng shui (fung-shoo-way) is an ancient Chinese philosophy about the changing flow of beneficial energy (qi or chi) which affects us and our families, our buildings and our gardens. Feng shui means ‘wind water’ in English.

Using feng shui principles encourages vibrant and beneficial energy, neutralises bad energy and makes places and people feel good.

It’s easy to get complicated with feng shui and some people use an adviser to help them. Here are a few basic principles which will help you in your garden.

Feng shui adviser, DKI Jakarta, Indonesia.

Feng shui adviser, DKI Jakarta, Indonesia. © Ivan Lanin and reused under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

A simple, open and welcoming space

Creating a garden that is a simple, open and welcoming space will ensure that beneficial energy can enter easily. The garden should be harmonious and peaceful, in tune with nature, and desirable – a place where people's lives will flourish.

Keep the entrances clear and unobstructed, so that the energy can flow easily into the garden and into the house, improving your life.

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, Vancouver. Feng shui

Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden, Vancouver. © Jerzystrzelecki and reused under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/

Keep energy in the garden, close to the house

Make sure that beneficial energy stays in the garden, so keep hedges, fences and walls around the sides and back of the garden in good repair. These will protect you from noise, wind and air pollution, and provide privacy.

Hold the energy near the house by keeping the middle of the front and back gardens open and low. Use small shrubs, plants and flowers so the energy can flow freely.

The front garden affects your future, particularly your income, so do not plant large trees near the front door. That’s because large trees trap energy flowing into a house and divert it to their roots.

The back garden affects your strength and your health.

What to choose

Choose rocks and plants and water.

Simple and decorative rock gardens can reflect negative energy away and protect a house and garden.

Choose plants that you like - a rounded form is the one to go for, rather than spikes. Trees and shrubs of different sizes and with different foliage will interest and please the eye. Very tall trees, though, may destroy the balance and harmony in your garden.

Choose colours that ‘feel right’. Focus on different colour palettes in different areas of the garden to balance energy flow. White flowers also help with energy flow.

Choose quiet water, like the fish ponds in traditional Chinese gardens, to attract money to your home.

Pond, Huangpu, Shanghai, China. Feng shui

Pond, Huangpu, Shanghai, China. © Ksionic and reused under https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

A harmonious and peaceful garden will benefit everyone. Try feng shui and see how it works for you.