Spring’s warmer weather beckons us to get out of our buildings and into nature. While vacation in the upcoming weeks may be in your near future, it is the outdoor space of our yards that often summons us out of our homes first. My Grandmother was a huge gardener and I learned so much from her about prepping the soil and planting at the right times but it was her love for it that I remember most. She would often say it was where she meditated best, in her beautiful garden. Our yards and gardens are really an extension of our homes and there is a quality to creating outdoor spaces that are healing, and renewing for our souls.
In the Re-enchantment of the Everyday Life, Thomas Moore says that “The Garden is a space, in which time slows down; A place where one naturally moves inward into contemplation and reflection moving yet deeper into gratitude and communion with things greater than oneself.”
If you could associate springtime with a room you wouldn’t find inside the home, as it would be outside in the garden. Our yards are where many of us enjoy spending time in the warmer months. Whether you are an experienced gardener or a weekend patio grower the time is fast approaching to incorporate new ideas to your garden. Local yard and garden centers are filled with new and unusual choices awaiting your imagination. You can find art for the garden in a variety of yard decorations. Statues along with many other items like birdbaths, chimes, bells, candles, whirligigs, flags, water gardens, and much, more. In part these items are influenced by the new design trend of moving the inside out and the outside in.
One of the most prevalent influences that impact the soul of the design of the garden is Feng Shui.
Feng Shui pronounced (Fung Schway) is the Chinese art of placement. Well known for thousands of years in the Far East only recently has the Western world began to take notice.
According to Feng Shui, the internal and external is a mirror of one another. Physical external spaces reflect our states of mind and contribute in a positive or negative way. Cluttered yards filled with no-longer-needed or loved items, often reflect cluttered thoughts.
Today’s Feng Shui, is concerned with how to create spaces that align a positive flow of energy for the benefit of health, vitality and success of those using the space. Gardens are especially important for our well- being as they provide spaces that help us to move us toward an inward experience. With time stopped, or at least greatly slowed down, we can contemplate and reflect.
To begin to incorporate a soulful approach to your outdoor spaces consider the following ideas: Have all paths follow the lines of a gentle curve. This encourages us to slow down. Another idea is to choose specific type of garden areas that reflects specific moods. A shade garden represents the hidden aspects. A moon garden whose flowers only bloom at night conveys the wild mysterious parts of us. A rock garden is a wonderful contrast in color, texture and feeling next to the multi colored flower garden. Encourage yourself, and others, to spend more time in the garden by placing a hammock, benches or chairs. A solo chair, called a spirit chair, is placed in a very intuitive place as reminder to invite visitors of a celestial nature.
You can heighten your senses by adding sights and sounds. Planting bamboo or other ornamental grasses, as well as adding chimes, whirligigs or anything that moves will make sounds. Let other critters call your garden home. Other life forms like butterflies, dragonflies, fish or birds, bring good luck and provide the missing link in the connection of the human, plant and animal worlds. Whatever the size and type of garden you have, bringing a soulful feeling to it can infuse new life into those spaces and provide a deeper richer experience.
A quote from Thomas Moore “Entering the garden is like passing through a mystical gate.”
5 Garden Harmony Hacks
- Introduce the curved line in pathways, pots or other items in the garden or yard. This will help to slow down the energy.
- Create a mood or tone for relaxation, serenity and tranquility. This can be in statues that imbue the spaces with deep spiritual meaning or with soft gentle sounds like grasses or chimes that make sound when the wind blows.
- Add the element of water to balance the heat of the sun and to bring in flow. You can add water into your outdoor spaces in birdbaths, ponds, waterfalls, or a harmony bowl, which is a crystal bowl with water and a floating candle in it on your table.
- Make it natural and look to nature for inspiration. Nature uses color sparely and nothing in nature is too perfect.
- Make your spaces inviting by adding benches and chairs as reminders to come in and sit awhile.