Bring Feng Shui to Your Garden by Adding Water and Fire Elements

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Adding water and fire elements to your garden is one of the best ways to change its energy for the positive. Here are tips for incorporating them with an eye toward feng shui principles.

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Everyone wants to make their garden stand out. One way to do so is by incorporating water and fire elements into the growing space. These features will do more than add some personalization; they can also help you incorporate feng shui principles into your garden for greater peace and balance.

Bring Feng Shui to Your Garden by Adding Water and Fire Elements

But, set them up incorrectly, and you may find your garden feels “off” in ways that are hard to define.

Here’s how to maximize your space by adding water and fire elements the right way.

What is Feng Shui?

Developed in ancient China, feng shui is the art of balancing the flow of “energy” within your space. It incorporates five primary elements (wood, fire, earth, metal, and water) to create calming, peaceful places to spend time.

To follow feng shui properly, each element needs to be incorporated in your space in specific ways and orientations to harness the benefits — even when outdoors.

Bring Feng Shui to Your Garden by Adding Water and Fire Elements
Water

Adding water features to your garden is a proven way to make the space feel peaceful. According to feng shui principles, water brings wealth and prosperity within the direction it flows.

Feng shui principles dictate that water features are best when oriented to the north or northwest direction of your yard, ideally with the water flowing toward the house.

Popular garden water features include the following:

Fountains. Enjoy the sound of flowing water at home with a fountain. These can be as small as a plug-in feature on a patio or a large rock wall where water flows into a pond or swimming pool. Try to orientate the pond close to where people sit to appreciate the ambient sounds better.

Bring Feng Shui to Your Garden by Adding Water and Fire Elements

Koi ponds. Enjoy the beauty of water and nature together with a small koi pond filled with fish and aquatic life. They tend to captivate those who walk by, making them take a break in their day to peer down into the water. Just note that koi ponds require regular maintenance to stay fresh.

Bring Feng Shui to Your Garden by Adding Water and Fire Elements

Container water plants. Make a statement table centerpiece with water plants growing in containers. Dwarf cannas, miniature iris, lotus, yellow dwarf water lily, and dozens of other varieties do well in these small-scale environments. You can leave them outdoors or bring your container in near a south-facing window.

Bring Feng Shui to Your Garden by Adding Water and Fire Elements

Birdbaths. Draw nature into your garden with a birdbath. Easy to set up and maintain, they offer a welcome respite for feathered friends on hot days and are sure to delight all those who watch them. Most require occasional refilling and cleaning, but rain should do most of the work for you.

Bring Feng Shui to Your Garden by Adding Water and Fire Elements

You can also incorporate the benefits of a water feature without any water through the use of blue, violet and black plants that channel a water element. Popular examples include heuchera, sweet potato vine, snake’s beard, iris, lotus, and lily.

Bring Feng Shui to Your Garden by Adding Water and Fire Elements
Fire

Bright, bold, and full of life, fire makes the perfect complement to water in your garden space. People love spending time near fire because it inspires emotions and brings up feelings of nostalgia. Whether you build an outdoor fireplace or merely decorate the yard with tiki torches, adding fire elements brings in a warmth and radiance that’s hard to capture otherwise.

Bring Feng Shui to Your Garden by Adding Water and Fire Elements

According to feng shui principles, fire is best oriented to the south or southwest side of your yard. In this location, it brings passion, inspiration, and expression to the space. You should also consider whether you want it to be a dominant feature or part of a more intimate setting.

Whether you burn wood or utilize natural gas or other heating elements will depend both on personal preference and the fire laws in your jurisdiction.

Consider incorporating fire elements into your garden in the following ways:

Firepit. The classic backyard fire option, fire pits give you a gathering space for a group and can even serve double duty for making dinner or roasting marshmallows. They can range from permanent pits for burning wood to portable fire bowls hooked up to natural gas.

Bring Feng Shui to Your Garden by Adding Water and Fire Elements

Fireplace. Decidedly more stately than a fire pit, outdoor fireplaces tend to be the focal point of patios. They are expensive to install but add plenty of resale value to your home.

Bring Feng Shui to Your Garden by Adding Water and Fire Elements

Tiki torches. Add a cozy ambiance to your space with tiki torches. Traditional ones you light by hand work well, or it’s possible to opt for solar-powered lights that merely mimic the look of real flames. Just make sure you keep them unlit on windy days and away from children and pets that may knock them over.

Bring Feng Shui to Your Garden by Adding Water and Fire Elements

Chimineas. Long considered novelty items, chimineas have gained popularity in recent years as an artful space for a backyard fire. These freestanding structures are usually made from clay or metal and provide space for a small fire inside.

Bring Feng Shui to Your Garden by Adding Water and Fire Elements

BBQ Grill. Fire elements in the garden don’t need to be fancy. Even an outdoor grill can qualify by creating a gathering space and opportunity to spend time outdoors.

Bring Feng Shui to Your Garden by Adding Water and Fire Elements

Fire Table. A fire table offers the perfect blend of warmth and community without the hassle of tending to a real fire. Just flip a switch to turn on the propane tank below, and you’ve got an instant cozy fire in the middle of your group.

Bring Feng Shui to Your Garden by Adding Water and Fire Elements

You can also channel the warm glow of a fire through garden plants. Consider planting varieties with red bark or foliage, as well as those with triangular leaves to represent individual flames. Popular options include Japanese maples, Japanese red cedars, boxwood shrubs, holly, geraniums, and red camellia.

Incorporate Water and Fire Elements Outdoors Today!

There are limitless options for combining water and fire elements in your garden. Take the time to determine which elements match your personal style, and you’ll make an outdoor space that’s appealing and pleasant to spend time in.

Note: Feng shui principles are merely guidelines. Feel free to set up your backyard in whichever way makes you happiest, even if it goes against this philosophy’s orientation principles.