presence of five elements in a garden – fire, water, earth, wind and metal –
provides a sense of balance and wholeness.
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.
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
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.
breezes wafting through your garden provide the air element. You can enhance
this by adding wind chimes, mobiles or whirligigs.
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.
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.
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.
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.”