STEP ONE: DEFINE YOUR GARDEN BOUNDARIES
Draw up the site plan of your garden, making sure the shape and boundaries are accurately reflected in your plan. If your home is a standalone bungalow, your garden should include the front, side and back yards. If your home sits on a large plot of farmland, you have the freedom to decide the shape and size of your garden. Regular shaped gardens are more auspicious than other shapes. Trapezium shaped gardens are acceptable, but avoid triangular patches – especially if the sharp end of the garden is pointed towards your home like a poison arrow.
Garden boundaries are essential and can be defined with the use of hedges, shrubs, fences, and walls. Without physical demarcations to give you a reference point, assessing your garden’s feng shui will prove problematic. Once you have your plan, take directions at the center of your future garden and mentally divide the space into nine equal grid, marked with north, south, east, west, etc. Align the direction of the grids with the directions taken.
STEP TWO: USE ELEMENTS TO DRESS UP YOUR GARDEN
Now that you know all the sectors of your garden, use five element theory to design your planting plan and work out best placements for your furniture and fittings. For example, when looking at the East sector of your garden, this represents health and is ruled by the element of Wood. The number ruling the east is 3, thus having three Bamboo plants (which are excellent symbols of longevity) here is very auspicious for activating health luck. The southeast, is the sector of wealth and is also the element of Wood. Wood is enhanced with Water, so placing a pond here activates wealth luck. The table below gives you quick guide to all elements, shapes and symbolisms associated with each sector. Note that your garden can also be designed to strengthen your personal luck energies. For example, the Horse’s location is South. Red-coloured plants here can greatly enhance the well-being of someone born in a Horse year. Placing images of your animal sign in their respective locations can also benefit your personal luck!
STEP THERE: PLACING GARDEN FITTINGS & FURNITURE
An outdoor patio, set against a beautifully landscaped garden creates an auspicious, relaxing atmosphere to entertain guests and family. The best sector for placing garden furniture is in the center as this is the location that represents family harmony. Wood-fire ovens fire places and BBQ pits are best located in the South or in Earth-element locations, as these benefit from the fire energy created. Install suitable shelter for sitting areas – such as an umbrella, hanging sail or extendable awning, as these not only provide shelter from the sun and rain, but also symbolize protection from harm. Keep your furniture and fittings well-maintained from wear and tear. Throw away damaged pots, containers and diseased plants. Broken furniture, decaying plants and rotting puddles attract yin energy, creating illness and other yin-problems. Replace worn-out deck chairs and umbrellas. If you have a pool, keep the water constantly cycling and well-filtered. Water in your pool must NEVER be allowed to stagnage and get dirty!
STEP FOUR: PLANT AUSPICIOUS PLANTS & FLOWERS
A thriving and luscious garden abundant with clumps of healthy vibrant flowers and fruit is the best indication that a home is enjoying good feng shui. Invest time and effort in nurturing your garden, and your home will transform into a domestic paradise on its own. Trim your garden often; do not let them grow wild, Keep your garden lush and green , well watered and regularly fertilized . Stay away from plants like cacti, roses, bonsai or any plants that have thorns. These create poison arrows and should be avoided.
STEP FIVE: INSTALL A WATER FEATURE
The presence of a water feature in the garden always symbolizes wealth and prosperity. Building an artificial pool of water offers great scope for your imagination and creativity. You can construct your water feature in any way you like – a swimming pool, waterfall, fountain, fishpond, or a natural cascade of water. The best place is in the southeast or North. If you are planning to keep fish in your pond, make sure you keep it well-maintained, ensuring your fish are healthy and the water is clean.
Interpreting Messages From The Divine
The Tibetans are very sensitive to celestial messages from the divine… almost like they are wired to receive such messages from the universe…messages that bring both good or bad news or the answer to a problem in life. Everything has a meaning – either positive or negative and when something unusual and out of the ordinary is observed it’s often considered to be a warning of danger or harbinger of good luck. So reading these symbols is just like second nature to most Tibetans… almost like part of their DNA. Here are a few I have learned about through the course of my friendships with Tibetans lamas and monks over the past years.
If you see cranes, geese, ducks, swans and other auspicious birds flying overhead or you hear their calls or see auspicious images in cloud formations it’s a positive sign.
In general if you’re beginning a new project or business or starting on a journey it’s a good indication you will be successful if you meet a well – dressed, well groomed man or woman or child – even if you see them on television it’s okay but always better in person. And if you see a woman dressed in white who is also beautiful and bejeweled it’s an extremely auspicious sign.
Tibetans believe that meeting a pregnant woman or even a pregnant animal is a sign of good fortune…and if she gives you some money or something that she is wearing like a piece of jewelry or a scarf… this is incredibly auspicious.
If you see young children playing happily, encounter a religious celebration of any kind, or see people carrying religious symbols it’s very good.
And finally if you meet anyone famous, very successful or influential…it’s also a good sign and even applies to seeing any Hollywood celeb being interviewed on TV… it’s believed that some of that positive energy will be passed on to you!
OBSTACLES, FAILURE AND BAD OMENS
On the other side, signs of failure include events like losing your luggage, meeting a beggar or someone with torn clothes, seeing collapsed and dilapidated houses or… even seeing someone spilling something or breaking a dish at a meal… all these are negative signs. So when a light is out, a dish breaks or a pipe bursts you must tend to such things immediately.
Other negative signs include encountering obstacles that physically block your progress or journey… like a police roadblock, any roadwork that causes a detour, finding a fallen tree blocking the road or your path or anything that makes you stop… even something as seemingly insignificant as a red light. These take on even more importance if you are travelling to a special meeting or job interview or court date. And if you happen to encounter a funeral and see people in mourning it’s regarded as especially unlucky.
To Tibetans even simple things like the shape of a candle flame or signs and symbols that may appear at the start of a journey… or a cloud formation are considered to be Oracles from the Cosmos. Everything has a meaning… so keep your eyes open!