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Curing Chi-Flow Problems in Your Feng Shui Garden

The free and easy movement of chi (life energy) through the garden is essential to good Feng Shui. Without it, your garden doesn't produce as abundantly, and your own energy is negatively affected.

Unfortunately, even with your best intentions, sometimes chi movement isn't as good as it could be. Although you can prevent many chi problems with good planning, some of them come along unexpectedly and need to be fixed, or cured. Fortunately, most Feng Shui cures are pretty simple and straightforward. You don't have to take a lot of time, money, or energy to place them.

If you suspect you have chi flow problems, you're probably right. Your instincts are usually on target, so listen to them. To spot potential chi flow problems, imagine chi as a river flowing and meandering through your garden:

  • Certain places in your garden block the free and easy flow of chi, making them trouble spots. Examples of such places are clumps of trees and undergrowth or solid fences and gates.
  • Other places can cause the chi to collect and stagnate (think of an algae-covered pond). Empty corners of the garden often cause this problem.
  • Too much flat, empty space in your garden can cause the chi to move through too quickly, making it difficult for the chi to do its work of bringing positive energy and abundance into your life.

If you have any of these problems, here are some quick cures.

Clearing the clutter

The number one cure for chi movement problems is clearing the clutter. That means getting rid of debris, raking up leaves, composting grass clippings and other organic matter, cutting down undergrowth and overgrowth, and otherwise caring for and maintaining your garden. Make sure that you

  • Pick up the trash that gets blown into your yard (pay a kid to do this if you must).
  • If you have pets, dispose of their yard waste regularly. (If you can encourage them to use only one spot in the yard, so much the better.)
  • Keep the grass mowed and the weeds pulled (pay a kid . . .).
  • Do annual maintenance on your plants: deadhead blossoms (pinch off dead flowers), pull up annuals, and dig up bulbs, if necessary.
  • Get rid of dead and dying plants. If they're diseased, discard them. Otherwise, compost them.

Keeping the garden clutter-free and well maintained helps the chi movement. It also helps you enjoy your garden more. Nothing gives you a headache faster than seeing dead leaves piled up under all the trees.

Coloring your garden

A powerful way to enhance the chi and to bring balance to your garden is through the use of color. You can use color to enhance the yin (passive) or the yang (active) energy in your garden. Yin energy slows chi down, so if fast-moving chi is your problem, you want to concentrate on this type of energy. Yang energy, on the other hand, speeds up the chi, so if impeded or stagnant chi is your problem, focus on yang energy.

Bright colors are more yang, while darker colors and earth tones are more yin. Pastels can be yin or yang depending on their brightness.

Because plants and flowers come in practically any color you can think of, you're not limited except by your imagination.

If you want to bring one of the Five Elements into your garden (or into any part of it), use the color associated with that element. For example, the Metal element is associated with white and pastel colors; the Wood element is associated with green. Although all plants symbolize the Wood element, you can use their blossoms and coloring to symbolize other elements, too.

The Life Sectors of the Bagua also have colors associated with them. So if you want to raise the chi in a particular Life Sector, plant a flower or place a decorative object of that color in that sector. For example, dark blue in the Career sector enhances that sector; pink in the Relationships sector is good for your love life.

Inviting living energy into your garden

Nothing raises the chi in your environment quite like the energy created by living plants and animals. Attracting living energy into your garden is very Feng Shui. For example, making the garden an enjoyable place for your children to play in raises the chi. Letting your pets run around outside also raises the chi.

You can plant your garden especially to attract birds, insects, and other wildlife. Butterflies and hummingbirds are attracted to certain types of plants. By placing these plants in your garden, you invite good living energy into your garden.

Water, water, everywhere

Water is a cure-all for chi problems. Adding a water feature, especially one with running water, raises the chi in your garden. A water feature doesn't have to be complicated or expensive. A simple fountain works wonders. A more sophisticated waterfall with a pond also imports good energy into the garden, if you're up to the tasks of installing and maintaining it. (Hint: A murky pond filled with dead leaves does not enhance your chi.)

Running water symbolizes wealth and abundance flowing towards you (make sure the water actually flows toward your home and not away from it.). Running water also makes a pleasant, soothing sound that can enhance the chi in your environment.

Putting goldfish into your fountain or pond boosts the chi even more.

Using your nose

Fragrances and scents raise the chi in the environment and serve as a terrific pick-me-up. And the garden is the perfect place to find some of these fragrances and scents. An aromatherapy-herbal garden may be just the thing to keep chi moving in your garden. Or, plant a few plants just for their fragrance. Place them where you're able to smell them — near your favorite bench or next to the kitchen door.

If you want to perk up the chi (and yourself), try:

  • Citrus orange
  • Basil
  • Cardamom
  • Jasmine

If you want to relax the chi (and yourself), try:

  • Lavender
  • Rosemary
  • Marjoram
  • Pine

Moving around

Movement in the garden is good. Like living energy, movement or moving energy enhances the chi in your garden, and keeps it from getting still and stagnant.

Movement cures are inanimate objects that move (if they were animate objects, they've be called living energy). Examples include pinwheels, flags, banners, whirligigs, and running water. Some objects and shapes also seem to be moving and these can increase the feeling of movement in your garden. Think circular shapes, curves, and objects made from natural materials.

Sounding off

Bringing sound into the garden raises the chi, as long as the sound isn't irritating and annoying. You don't have to install an expensive outdoor waterproof stereo system to get some sound going (although you can).

Try these other ideas:

  • Running water makes a soothing sound.
  • Wind chimes make beautiful music.
  • Birds invited into your garden can sing lovely songs.
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