Feng Shui in Garden Design

Which style to choose: Chinese feng shui or Russian birches?

Until now, scientists are faced with phenomena that cannot be explained from the point of view of modern science. In one of his treatises, the philosopher Kant wrote: "The finite mind cannot know the infinite."

The beauty of natural nature is an infinite category, and the closer we merge with it, the wider our consciousness becomes, the more we can understand the world around us.

For many centuries, the gardens of China remained full of secrets refuge, "forbidden to barbarians and foreign wicked", so their descriptions are rare enough, scattered far in time.

What is a Chinese garden, what elements are included in it? In the modern opinion of our average summer resident, there is nothing special in this garden. Several different trees are planted, a pond, an alpine slide, flower beds, beds with medicinal and spicy herbs. If we consider any of the masterpieces of painting from the position of how many grams of paint are applied to the canvas, then hardly anything can be said about the content of the painting.

Another thing is that if an artist in the right combination applies them on a canvas, then he will get a work of art in which he will express his feelings. The Chinese Emperor Qian Long said that trees and flowers in all their diversity not only reflect human feelings, but to some extent give rise to them.

The first complete description of the Chinese garden was given by the French priest Attiva in 1749: "The garden is filled with flowers in fancifully scattered flower beds with a winding outline, strangely shaped trees and stones of amazing appearance, and is surrounded by a high wall decorated with small pictures."

A detailed description of the principles of feng shui in horticulture was published in the June 1890 issue of Gardener's Magazine by Monsieur de Céret: “This garden, which gave an overview of the tasteful Chinese style of gardening, occupied only twenty acres of land. stood in front of all useful beauties.

Heading south, you would see tiny waterfalls and hedges of roses and pomegranates; in the west was a secluded gallery, evergreen trees, a meadow, water surfaces of ponds framed by thick grass and labyrinths of stones; in the north, as if by accident, stood some structures and groves of bamboo on low hills, in which gravel paths wound; to the east there was a small plain covered with fragrant plants, medicinal herbs, shrubs, clusters of lemon and orange trees, there was also a willow alley, bridges of wood and stone, a pond, several old fir trees, and on the horizon there was a wide view of the surrounding countryside.

The arrangement of this garden, as I was told, was strictly verified with the laws of feng shui, which the Chinese have been following since ancient times and in which they have a deep faith. ”It was difficult for the Europeans to understand the strange Chinese laws of feng shui, perhaps, and we are now not so in them It is easy to understand, although in order to understand the Chinese wisdom, it is difficult to do without mysticism.

We are told by a sage named Wu Xing, who is believed to have developed this aspect of feng shui philosophy in the third century BC. e., - the elements are characterized by five basic forms of movement: outward and inward, up and down, and also in a circle. Wu Xing and his followers linked this theory with the Elements, namely, with Wood, Fire, Metal, Water and Earth, which occupies a neutral position among them.

Further, the doctrine of the movement of energy (elements) arose, and it has long played a very special role in feng shui, especially when it comes to gardening. This teaching reveals a lot in the mechanism of the vitality of our environment.

If we recall the modern theory of the structure of the atom, then the most characteristic feature of electrons is the duality of their behavior, which consists in the ability to manifest simultaneously both the properties of particles and the properties of waves. In the modern model of an atom, the state of an electron in it is determined by four parameters - quantum numbers.

The likelihood that Wu Xing was familiar with quantum theory in the third century BC BC, is very small, so we will stick to it, Wu Xing, terminology and notation in relation to gardening.

Cycle of Creation

A TREE that feeds the creative FIRE, after which EARTH remains, from which METAL is compacted, flowing like WATER, which grows a TREE - and the cycle repeats.

Cycle of Destruction (Containment)

THE FIRE, which melts the METAL, which chops the WOOD, from which the EARTH is depleted, from which WATER is polluted, which extinguishes the FIRE - and the cycle repeats.

Let's try to translate this postulate into modern language. We know that any substance consists of atoms, atoms are built into molecules, that is, we have a kind of macrosystem in which certain changes constantly occur, in our case at the molecular level. If we are dealing with living matter, then there is also qi energy (since ancient times, the Chinese knew the natural energetic forces of the Earth, which much later were identified with the magnetic field of the planet. In these forces the Chinese saw the "breath of life" and called them qi).

Thus, there is a certain interaction within the system we have built. The doctrine of feng shui goes further, it considers the world not at the molecular level and not even at the atomic level, but at the level of the interaction of elementary particles and wave quantum mechanics.

At the present stage of the development of science, it is not possible to construct a mathematical model of such a system. At this stage, it is better to use the empirical knowledge of the sages from China, who offered a very original solution to such a model.

With regard to gardening, feng shui defines that the Five Elements (energies) can be defined in this way: if various elements of the garden, for example, the shape and color of any structural unit of the site, are in harmony with each other, then qi will flow unhindered, i.e. complex resonance system. When you build a garden in the feng shui style, you will surely have intuition, which is understandable from the point of view of wave genetics, allowing you to choose the right shape and color.

Forms, as you know, themselves affect the current of energy passing through them and spreading around them, modern location installations are built on this principle. In addition, you also need to have a little artistic taste that will tell you how best to use the conditions in the area.

I will try to outline the basic principles of feng shui in small blocks throughout the article with certain comments so that you develop your own attitude towards it. In our North-West zone, Chinese feng shui must pass a certain test and acclimatization, it has not yet been included in the State Register, this must also be borne in mind.

Unfortunately, our Northwest climatic zone is not the best place to grow bamboo, pomegranates, orchids. Petersburg dacha plots often solve the food problem; at best, we allow ourselves to make there a small lawn, an alpine slide, a tiny pond, and plant some flowers. The most interesting thing is that, in general, this is what allows us to give our site many elements of feng shui. Let's start with the tracks on the site.

Paths are an integral part of any garden, we are accustomed to a straight line and the shortest path from one place to another, feng shui sees danger here, they prefer a gently winding path that facilitates the flow of natural energy. When making sure the paths in your garden are winding, you must also consider their direction. Those coming from the west have a significant curvature, while those coming from the south wriggle more smoothly: the Chinese believe that the most life-giving qi comes from the south. According to feng shui, the ideal driveway looks almost like a horseshoe.

We will continue to adjust our site in the feng shui style, but for this we will have to again turn to feng shui symbolism.

Famous creatures of Chinese mythology play an important role in planning - as conductors of the beneficial power of the garden.

THE DRAGON. East (Wen.) Color: blue. Element: Wood.

PHOENIX. South (Feng Huang). Color: red. Element: Fire.

TIGER. West (U). White color. Element: Metal.

TURTLE. North (Yuan Wu). Black color. Element: Water.

SNAKE. Center (Yun). Brown color. Element: Earth.

The Chinese believed that buildings facing south are the best example of feng shui, since the south symbolizes warmth and goodness; the same is true of the garden facing south. Feng Shui teaches that there should not be a sharp drop in the soil from the south, otherwise it will be difficult for the Phoenix to maintain its position to create the feeling of an open area, the Phoenix side in the garden should not be densely planted with plants. It is best to plant a low shrub here and, if you wish, make beds with herbs.

Rules compatible with five animals:

PHOENIX - shrub, herb beds; DRAGON - trees, tall bush; TIGER - flowers, undersized shrub; TURTLE - small evergreens, border plants; SNAKE - lawn, small frost-resistant annual plants.

Finally, we have decided on the nature of the plants on our site, let's hope that cosmic forces will flow to us. Do not forget about harmony when choosing the color of plants for the garden in front of the house: the colors of the plants should not contrast with the scale of the building, since a harmful sha is born from disharmony. In front of the house where the turtle is located, low evergreens and border plants are recommended.

Read the next part. Lily, rose and rhododendron in your garden →

V. Stepanov, Doctor of Biological Sciences,
head of the farm "Elita"

Creeping shrubs: how to use them correctly in garden design

Creeping shrubs are called creepers, the crown of which grows mainly in the horizontal plane. How to use them in your garden design?

  • Features of creeping shrubs, rules of application and care
  • Controlling gaze with plants
  • Creeping orchard
  • Features of caring for creeping shrubs
    • Mulching plantings
  • Nine creeping shrubs
    • 1. Juniper recumbent Nana (Juniperus procumbens Nana)
    • 2. Cross-pair microbiota (Microbiota decussata)
    • 3. Norway spruce Loreley (Picea abies Loreley)
    • 4. Norway spruce Repens (Picea abies Repens)
    • 5. Canadian Hemlock Cole's Prostrate (Tsuga canadensis Cole's Prostrate)
    • 6. Cotoneaster dammeri
    • 7. Blackberry cut (Rubus laciniatus)
    • 8. Buckthorn willow (Salix rhamnifolia)
    • 9.Stefanandra incised-leaved Crispa (Stephanandra incisa Crispa)

Horizontal plants - this is not only an option for decorating the soil surface, but also a very effective tool for transferring the front tier of compositions to the plane of a lawn, water, paving, etc. Often this problem is solved by planting ground cover herbaceous perennials, but if it is a composition with easy care, it is better of course, use woody plants with creeping shoots.

Stefanandra incised in spring

A pond is a body of water that is created after a natural watercourse is closed. Sometimes he appears after the dam is erected. This is often done to block a small stream or river. A body of water in a landscape area concerns just simple areas. On them, a pond is called any stagnant water that has no watercourse and is created artificially.

Often the size of the pond varies, and sometimes very much. It all depends on the size of the site itself, so build on this factor in the future when choosing a reservoir for yourself. It is also worth considering the fact that the pond can differ in depth and shape.

What are the decorative ponds:

  1. Oval.
  2. Round.
  3. Rectangular.
  4. Square.

Also a very popular option that has a free shape. That is, they cannot be called a definite figure. The landscape design of the pond can also be complemented by various decorative elements. Flowers, water lilies, stones and much more. You need to understand the style of water bodies in order to create a really beautiful concept.

10. Lavender in the garden

For lavender, you can find a suitable place not only in the flower garden, but also in the garden. Plant it between vegetable and green beds - and the fragrant flowering grass will scare away pests and thereby help preserve the harvest.

Get creative and try to combine lavender with other plants. You will surely manage to get an attractive flower bed.

The main concept of feng shui is the cosmic energy of qi, which permeates the universe and is capable of influencing the living space and its inhabitants. It can be beneficial (sheng qi) and harmful (sha qi). Feng Shui studies the patterns of qi behavior, creates, attracts sheng qi and reflects sha qi. A garden created according to the canons of this traditional art is an intelligent transformation of the environment, the goal of which is your harmonious coexistence with the natural landscape and external energies.

Feng Shui Flowers in Your Garden

Floral decoration has always been an important element of the Chinese garden. Spectacular varieties of peonies, chrysanthemums, lilies, created by the labor of many generations of breeders, are especially respected here, because, from the point of view of the Chinese, they are an ideal creation that combines the natural principle and human creativity. It is believed that even household items and paintings with images of flowers create harmonious energies. The presence of fragrant flowers in your garden is favorable, the ability of which to positively influence the vital energy and psycho-emotional state of a person has been fully proven not only by feng shui masters, but also by materialistic scientists.

Intuition and Feng Shui

Many experts in feng shui have noticed more than once that the traditional architecture of Russia, the West and other regions of the world not familiar with Chinese culture was often built according to the laws of this science.

Carefully examining the layout of ancient Russian temples, peasant villages, old parks and estates, you can see that their creators were largely guided by the same rules as the feng shui masters. People often come to understand these rules intuitively. Try to garden during the good times in your life when the stars are good for you. At this time, your intuition is especially strong, and can make up for the lack of deep knowledge.

Elements that violate the harmony of feng shui

There are details that, from the point of view of feng shui, are incompatible with the concept of harmony. When planning and arranging a garden, you should avoid creating long, straight paths, especially towards the doors and windows of the house, or where you are going to relax with the whole family. As well as the corners of buildings, especially massive ones: they create harmful energies, called "sha" in feng shui practice. The buildings that are too bulky, not commensurate with the garden's space, overhanging those corners of the garden where you spend a lot of time, represent a symbolic threat.

It is best to start improving the energy situation in the garden by putting things in order everywhere, including far corners and utility rooms. Feng Shui masters advise boldly to get rid of unnecessary rubbish that impedes the free circulation of "qi" energy.

Interaction of elements

Depending on the year of birth, each member of your family has one or another of the five elements of feng shui.Elements interact with each other in different ways. If we arrange them in the following order: fire, earth, metal, water, wood, fire, then we get a generation cycle, where each element energizes the next one. But it may also be that two of your family members "belong" to the elements that are adjacent in another cycle, destructive: fire, metal, wood, earth, water, fire. To harmonize their influence on each other, use more accessories in the garden, symbolizing the elements that separate the antagonists in the cycle of procreation.

The heart of the garden

A secluded corner in the garden, where you like to relax with guests or alone, try to pay the most attention. Here you stay for a long time, communicating with family and friends, and let it be a place that feeds you with wholesome energy. An ideal corner for a garden "living room" will be the middle part of the eastern border of the garden or the southwest. In the east there is a health zone, and in the southwest corner there is a longevity zone, which symbolizes calmness, harmony, harmony in the family. The energy of these zones will allow you to make the most of your free time, strengthen good family relationships, and give you and your guests health and good spirits.

The health zone contributes to the favorable assimilation of food, therefore it is especially useful to place a recreation area here, which simultaneously serves you and the summer dining room. If the playground is equipped with a cooking stove, this adds extra activity to the health area. The resting place can be designed as a miniature garden in the garden, arranged according to the rules of feng shui, especially if your garden as a whole has intractable flaws, for example, an irregular shape. The seats for guests are arranged so that the guests are symbolically protected from the back, this allows them to relax and fully enjoy the harmony of the garden.

Harmony of yin and yang in your garden

Not all terms used in feng shui are close to Europeans. To understand what the yin and yang beginnings are in the world around you and in your garden, try to use your imagination. Here is a shady alley, under the canopy of which it is gloomy, damp, cool. It is saturated with yin energy, which is also called passive. At the end of the alley, an open sunny lawn begins, full of light, warmth, blooming herbs and butterflies fluttering above the flowers. Here the yang energy is concentrated. Strive for the harmony of the two principles that embody the Universe, it is better if they are equally represented in the garden, this serves to achieve energy balance and a favorable course of life in the garden.

Here are examples of opposites that represent yin and yang in a garden landscape: flat terrain - hills and hills shadow - light soft, vague plant forms - dense, upward pale, cold shades - bright, eye-catching. The vast expanse of the water mirror in a small garden is too "yin" from the point of view of feng shui. The active forms of marsh plants that carry yang energy help restore balance.

How do you greet guests

The entrance to the garden is his "mouth" according to the ancient ideas of the Chinese. It can tell guests a lot about your taste and character, and, in addition, it is the gate through which energy flows into the inner space of the house and garden. Already at an intuitive level, you can feel whether the entrance to your garden is cozy, welcoming, welcoming, or something in its appearance has a negative beginning. Has an open space in front of the entrance gate or gate. This is where the qi energy is concentrated. It is necessary to clear it of trash and debris, decorate it with lamps and flowering plants, you can install symbolic protection, for example, the figure of a lion.

It is better to choose the color of the gate or wicket and the material for their manufacture in accordance with the element that patronizes the direction in which the entrance is directed. If it is east or southeast, but for safety you had to install a metal gate, add elements of water to the design of the entrance. Blooming forbs in front of the house entrance contributes to the concentration of beneficial energies in this place in the summer. In such flower beds, it is better to remove the wilting parts of the plants before the snow falls.

Too long a straight path leading from the entrance to the house creates too fast, harmful Qi flows to the house. Spreading plants planted on the sides will help to solve the problem.

Feng Shui garden paths

Paths and paths in the garden carry the qi energy to its various zones and into the house. When designing the landscape, try to ensure that the energy flows are measured, smooth, but powerful enough. On flat straight sections, the stream "accelerates", creating "poison arrows" sha. It is especially harmful if such a section of the path is directed towards the windows of a house, a door, a gazebo or a playground. An obstacle on the path of qi is created by too sharp turns, hollows, steep elevations. Here the energy stops, not reaching the points of the garden that are most important to you. The harmonious layout implies comfortable, moderately winding walking routes that smoothly converge towards the house.

The material for covering the path usually corresponds to the earthly elements, sometimes metal and wood are used, especially in those sectors of the garden where the influence of these elements needs to be enhanced. The smooth, silky texture of the surface belongs to yin, rough, rough - to yang.

Flower beds in garden design

Chi energy rushes towards flowers like a flock of butterflies. Healthy, actively flowering plants are a powerful tool for garden energy management. Flowers are used to activate areas that match your life aspirations. In this case, it is desirable to select their tone so that it belongs to the element that controls the zone, or precedes it in the generation cycle. In addition, compositions of flowering plants are good in front of the house.

A withering, diseased plant becomes a source of harmful sha energy. Pay special attention to caring for flower beds, timely removal of dead foliage and inflorescences. If you are short on free time, do not buy capricious and labor intensive crops.

What are the arches and what to make them from

With your own hands, an arch can be made of wire, fittings, pvc pipes. you can build a garden arch from wood, twigs and branches, lay it out of stone or brick. The store often offers metal and plastic arches. Let's consider in detail what are the features, pros and cons of each design.

Wooden arch

The most accessible material. It is best to make wooden structures from larch. It is durable, does not rot over the years, but only gets better. Using this material, you will definitely create an arch for centuries. Larch is quite expensive, so many people use the wood that is available to them in the area and at the moment.

With proper care, an arch made of any tree can last about 10 years, or even more.

Wooden arch for climbing plants

Next to the arch, you can install wooden trellises, along which plants climb.

A trellis is a flat slat panel that resembles a lattice. If you install two trellises, and put a third on top of them, you get a kind of canopy.

Trellises with plants create shade and often benches are installed near them and equip resting places. So you can get a lightweight version of the gazebo - pergola. Such a design can be painted in a bright color, for example, red or yellow, so you will have a bright decoration on the site all year round.

Metal arch

Currently, arches are made from different metals. Choose metal depending on the style of your home and garden and the desired effect. A metal product, if properly used, will last for decades.

  • Metal arches look lighter and sleeker than wood arches.
  • Due to the fact that metal can be forged and create various, subtle patterns, there can be an infinite number of options for arches.
  • The most common form of metal arch is semi-oval or concave.
  • A correctly painted arch will not require re-painting for several years.

An arch made of metal is an order of magnitude lighter than that of wood. Thanks to this, such a structure is easier to install, and, for example, to move to another place. The ends of the arch can simply be dug into the ground, having previously treated the metal with an anti-corrosion agent, but it will last longer if the ends are fixed in cement mortar.

If you make an arch with your own hands, then always remember about strong winds, which can break or overturn the structure. Do everything with a margin of safety, and fasten the rods and parts of the arch themselves with bolts or welding.

How to choose a metal arch in a store?

Various types of metal arches can be found in stores. There are cheap options and there are expensive ones. Which one is better to choose?

My advice is to take it at a higher price, then you will be sure that it will last more than one year. Cheap options are made of thin metal, which often cannot withstand the weight of the plant and strong winds. They "fly" immediately in the first year. Just waste money in the literal sense of the word.

Choose forged, with thick rods and a massive base. Such arches are made of high-quality steel, which is galvanized from all sides, thereby creating a protective shell for the metal. Then they are painted in standard colors - bronze, black or white.

The best option is to order a forged arch for your size and the expected load on it. But this is an expensive option and not everyone can afford it, except for those who have golden hands and are able to create a masterpiece themselves.

Corten steel arch

It is now very fashionable to use Corten steel in the garden. It looks like a "rusty piece of iron" and fits perfectly into any space. This metal is very weather resistant and looks more natural.

At all landscape exhibitions in recent years, including Chelsea, Corten steel is a favorite.

From such a sheet of steel, you can simply cut off a narrow strip, for example 50 - 70 cm wide, and 4.5 meters long and dig the ends into the ground, you get a modern arch that will decorate the site.

Photo: Corten steel sheet

Stone or brick arch

These are heavy structures in our gardens, they look very impressive and monumental. They immediately set a certain spirit and mood. There are such arches, respectively, and it will take more than one day to build them. To decide on such a structure, calculate its budget in advance so that it does not turn out that at some stage the finances will end and the construction will stop.

  1. First, we find a place for the building, take off the dimensions and outline it on the ground.
  2. Then we come up with the design and size on paper. With or without a door.
  3. We calculate the necessary materials and delivery costs.

Such stone vaults are most often installed in the entrance area, as well as when dividing the site by functionality. For example, you have a place on an area with a white garden (where all plants bloom with white flowers or have white or variegated leaf color), and another area is made like an apple orchard, on their border you can install such an arch with doors, and this will be the highlight of your garden.

When planning, keep in mind that this is a very massive structure and in small and medium-sized plots of 10 acres, they will not be appropriate. They will take up a lot of space, and you will not be able to feel their charm. But in large areas, where you can approach it from afar, there you will have a real fairy tale.

Plant arch

Some plants can easily grow a live arch. For example, from some types of willow.

  1. Young shoots are planted opposite each other, several bushes together and intertwined.
  2. As it grows, the opposite ends are intertwined with each other, and with the help of trimming, an arch is formed.

It is a pleasure to be inside such an arch; it does not need any special care. This is the most sustainable way to create arches.

Plastic arch

Arches made of plastic come in different configurations and colors, are inexpensive, lightweight, easy to install and are found everywhere. They can be painted to match any wood or metal.

Plastic arches have their own undeniable drawbacks. This is not environmentally friendly, which has recently been very important, the ability to quickly deform and break. But as a temporary option, if you really want or need an arch, it is quite possible.

  • Most importantly, do not put the plastic arch in a sunny place or in open areas where there are strong winds. The plastic will quickly deteriorate from sunlight, and from wind and precipitation it can burst and bend.
  • It is best to install such a structure in a shady place protected from weather conditions - near the house or in the patio.
  • When the plants grow and braid the entire surface, the plastic will not be visible, and it will be additionally protected by the plant.

Watch the video: Τα μυστικά του Feng Shui απο την Άνιελ

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