09 Aug A Feng Shui garden and a surprise around the corner
There are nine features that a traditional Feng Shui garden should have. A water element is one obvious feature, a fence, a curving path, just to name a few. My gardener husband has made sure that his magnificent expression of flowers and herbs follows those Feng Shui garden directives as closely as possible. Last year, he expanded the path idea by creating an additional one that connects our steep back hill with the rest of the garden. Now we take a few steps up to the mid-point of the hill and can easily and comfortably meander the full width of our yard, giving us a new perspective on our home and our property. (Also, our garden is often the topic of discussion in our Feng Shui classes so it’s important in both my personal life and my professional one!)
Another Feng Shui element is that there should be a “surprise” in the garden. The Feng Shui garden should not tell its whole story on first glance, but rather reveal itself little by little. This means you might tuck a little troll behind a tree, seen only when someone walks up close to the tree. There might be a small chair or bench located under a lilac bush that isn’t noticed until you get to the lilacs. A garden ornament could delight someone unexpectedly when they come around some tall irises.
The prime force behind a Feng Shui garden that relies on these elements is the intention of the garden. What are some possible intentions for a garden?
Some people want a garden in which their children can play or in which they can entertain. Others want a garden where people can swim and barbecue. And others want a garden that provides them food. We, however, were looking for sanctuary. Living in the middle of the city and under a flight path from the airport, we wanted to offset the noise and traffic. Despite what may be going on outside our garden, walking our new path is a remedy for bad days, headaches, and anxiety. All it takes is one stroll through the flowers and my perspective makes a 180 degrees turn about.
A couple weeks ago we went to a local art fair. Just as we were leaving, my husband caught sight of a booth that was selling what looked like rocks. They were indeed rocks but were called Gnome Homes. A hole had been drilled in the middle of each rock; a teeny little door had been installed on the front of the opening; and, sure enough, any gnome or fairy would be happy to call that home. Without too much coaxing, my husband bought one.
We took our new treasure up onto our hillside path. We found a gentle turn by a lush hydrangea and determined it was a perfect spot for our Gnome Home. It sits there in an unassuming way, nearly invisible from other parts of the garden. Only when you walk the path can you get the full experience and charm of what this rock truly is. We’ve put little treasures in our Gnome Home with special intention—-crystals, rose petals, bread. It not only meets the requirement of being a surprise but it is completely in tune with helping to create a sanctuary in our backyard.
We are both drawn to walk the path more often now, just to visit our new purchase. Besides we might come across one of those gnomes peeking inside the little door to see what gifts might have been left for him!