A great way to rethink our gardens and landscapes is to put on our “feng shui” eyes and use symbolic connection as a planting strategy.

The art of feng shui reminds us that man is not only connected to nature, but is a part of nature. We have benefited from plants for thousands of years as a food, medicine, and to make our personal world one filled with beauty, color and scent. Plants give us breathe and life.

Plants have cultural and symbolic meanings, uses and legends that can be traced back for thousands of years. In Feng Shui, we access symbolism to set intention and create positive energetics in our space. For example, an Evergreen has been a symbol for longevity and prosperity with it’s ability to “stay green” during the cold winters when other plants have gone dormant or died. Planting an Evergreen in the bagua area of wealth is a powerful symbol.

The bagua is the energy, chi or life map of feng shui. Based on ancient theory and science such as the I Ching, the bagua allots the energy of a space into 8 guas or houses with the center for a total of 9 areas.

The Feng Shui Garden – Planting the Bagua

One word of friendly caution. Many of my clients go into complete panic when they work with the bagua. They are afraid to make a mistake, they feel that they have to color code their homes exactly as the bagua color system, etc. Use the bagua as an overview of the entire balance strategy of your garden. Plantings should work in harmony with your climate and theme of your home. Plant sustainable and environmentally friendly. Be kind to yourself and make your yard support your schedule. If gardening is your hobby, then an intricate landscape plan is in your energy field. If you are a busy person, on the go most of the time, then your yard and garden needs to be easy upkeep so that it can nurture you, not add additional stress.

So let’s jump into the bagua and see how we can use our yards and gardens with intention and purpose. Align the bagua to the main entrance of your property or garden. Your alignment may differ as there are several alignment strategies.
Choose one that you harmonize with, and begin. It will be either aligning to the traditional compass directions or to the “three mouths of chi- entering through knowledge, career or helpful people”.

The Bagua

Sun – Wealth & Prosperity – 4

Element – Wood – Wind
This area relates abundance, prosperity, communication, wealth
Garden Colors purple & green
Shape: Rectangle
Grasses, Bamboo( Wealth & longevity), tall trees, Windflower
Peonies – luck and acceptance
Hibiscus – reach out
Great for decks, trellis’s, gardens, wood furniture
Great for moving water, fountains

Li – Fame & Reputation – 9

Element : Fire
This area is about illumination, fame, reputation, being paid what you are worth
Garden Colors – Red and supporting green and purple
Shape: Triangle
Spruce, Tulips, Pines, Fountain Grasses
All red flowers and additional
Iris – creating a new reality
Violets – keep status
Buttercup – clear vision
Fire objects – fireplaces, barbacues, pointed shapes
Upward lighting, live animals
Avoid water

Kun – Marriage & Relationships – 2

Element – Earth
This area relates to intimate relationships and marriage
Garden Colors – Pink and supporting red ( for passion)
Shape: Square
Juniper, Rockrose, Boxwood
All pink flowers, and additional
Marigold – remove jealousy, represent selfless love
Jasmine – protection from sorcery
Clover – good luck
Symbols of Two – ducks, geese deer
Bench to seat “two”, use multiples of two to energize
Activate with pink quartz

Chen – Family & Ancestors – 3

Element – Wood – Thunder
This area relates to family, growth, harmony, rebirth, peace
Garden Color -green (bright spring green)
Shape: Rectangle
Grasses, Bamboo, Tall trees, Hydrangea, Honeysuckle
Magnolia – good luck
Cedar tree – cleansing
Mint – growth & cleansing
Think Green and wood
Decks, trellis’s, gardens, wood furniture

Tai Chi – the Center – 5

Element: No one element, but related to Earth as the bagua is aligned to the earth. Relates to health.
Shape – Square
Color – Yellow
Ideally kept clear as an integration point.
Avoid too many trees, use square shapes when possible
Boxwoods, Juniper, Rockrose
Verbena – restore balance
Tulip – restore health
Rhododendrum – well being
Stone patio gathering place – square or hex shaped

Tui – Children & Creativity – 7

Element – Metal – Lake
This area nurtures children and your inner child, creativity, harvest
Garden Colors – White supporting yellows, oranges
Shape: Round
Hydrangea, Lambs Ear, Night Jasmine, Globe Thistle
Pine – immortality
Shasta Daisy – endurance
Aloe – heal past transgressions
Butterfly bush – attract helpers
Statues of angels, Kwan Yin, doves, children
Metal structures, round structures, globes – balls

Ken – Self-Knowledge & Wisdom – 8

Element – Earth – Mountain
This area relates to self-cultivation, wisdom, nature, meditation
Garden Color – Blue and additional yellow & orange
Shape: Square
Boxwood, Juniper, Rockrose, Poppy
Blue flowers plus
Daffodils – bright ideas
Sage – pure thoughts
Sunrose- emotional wisdom
Use earth such as stones, clay, brick
Sundial, Blue gazing ball

Kan – Career & Journey – 1

Element – Water
This area relates to life journey, career & work aspirations
Garden Color – Black, Navy plus supporting White
Shape: Wavy
Marigold – release jealousy
Jasmine – confidence
Morning Glory – optimism
Junipers – trust in judgement
Fuscia – courage
Water and metal elements are in harmony

Chien – Helpful People & Travel – 6

Element – Metal – Heaven
Getting the help you need in life – being helpful
Garden colors – White and supporting yellows, oranges
Shape : Round
Hydrangea, Lambs Ear, Globe Thistle
Gardenia – all embracing
Japanese Maple – protect values
Raspberries – giving and nurturing
Apple tree – release any negative energy
Statues of angels, helpful friends & creatures
Metal structures, round structures
Clear quartz gems

By Renae Jensen