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Let The Elements Do Their Work...
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by: Celebrity Recipes

The presence of five elements in a garden – fire, water, earth, wind and metal – provides a sense of balance and wholeness.

According to feng shui, the ancient Chinese art of placement, you might to choose to lay out your garden through the principles and use of five elements: earth, water, wood, fire and metal. That is, if you wish to take advantage of the mystical benefits feng shui offers to attract health, happiness and prosperity. 

FIRE. The sun is a natural symbol of fiery energy. You can enhance the fire element by hanging faceted crystals to reflect and refract the Sun’s light. Burning incense in your garden, perhaps an altar or shrine, combines the elements fire and air. If you plan to use your garden sanctuary at night, you might consider adding lanterns, strings of electric lights, or votive candles to embody the fire element. 

EARTH. The earth element symbolized by the soil in which your plants are nestled. You may also wish to include other representations such as terra cotta planters, special stones, ceramic sculptures, or marble statuary. 

AIR. Gentle breezes wafting through your garden provide the air element. You can enhance this by adding wind chimes, mobiles or whirligigs. 

WATER. If you aren’t lucky enough to have a natural stream, pond waterfall in your garden, you can incorporate the water element by installing a birdbath or an electric, solar or battery powered fountain. Another option is to simply fill a shallow dish with flower, then float a flower in it. 

WOOD. The stems and trunks of plants bring the wood element into your gardens. You might also want to include decorative pieces of driftwood or wooden outdoor furniture in your sanctuary. 

METAL. Metallic urns or planters, a decorative wrought-iron railing or gate, or metal outdoor furniture are good ways to incorporate this element into your garden plan. A copper weathervane, sundial, wind chime, or lantern will also do the trick. 

Thus, one reason why gardens have such a restorative effect (call that healing) on us – and perhaps why they play a central role in spiritual art and literature – is that they bring together the elements that echo the ones that compose Mother Nature itself. When this elements are present in our environment and, more importantly in a garden'’ design, we experience a subconscious sense of balance and wholeness. And as one philosopher has aptly put it, we achieve a godly sense of creativity and “lightness of being.”

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April 26, 2017

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