There may have been a time in your life when you drove up to someone’s house, got out of the car, started walking up the pathway and then took a pause. The lush surroundings gave you a reason to meander a bit. You took in a deep breath, your senses were ignited by the sweet smell of the collage of flowers, and you felt relaxed in an almost Zen state of mind. Your surroundings felt peaceful and inviting.
Why do some front yards have that “welcoming” aura about them, and yet some other yards feel like they are ready for trick or treaters – all year round?
Harmony and balance, ebb and flow, ying and yang – it’s all about the energy one feels when entering a new space or environment. Do you instantly feel comfortable or on guard?
In the ancient art of Feng Shui, many home owners have landscaped their yards and gardens following some forms of this environmental science.
Feng Shui is the ancient Chinese art of harnessing earth and heaven to bring well being and good fortune into one’s home and life. By understanding a few basic concepts, you can create an environment in your front yard that feels comfortable and supporting.
Most of the teachings of Feng Shui are really just common sense deliverables. For example, a clean, well groomed yard is inviting, and more than likely will not be a hazard for guests when they approach your front door. This sounds simple enough, but there are a few elements that can be applied to almost any yard to give it that ebb and flow, ying-yang – good energy feeling.
Take a moment to stand in front of your house on the curb. Close your eyes, take in the smells, the sound of leaves rustling in the wind—now open your eyes and look at your home for the first time.
- Does this yard ‘feel’ inviting?
- Is there a flow to the placement of foliage?
- Are there spurts of color?
- Does the design detract from the entry to the home?
- Does the landscape overpower the house?
- How does the energy feel?
While stepping back and taking a look, you may come up with some very simple solutions.
At your entry, there are bushes on both side of the porch. They are overgrown, blocking guests from the front door. The easy solution would be to just trim back the bushes to allow a welcoming feeling. Simple yes, but sometimes we do not see these elements until we take a closer look.
Another basic element is the entrance to your home. This represents the image you present to the world, so the pathway to your front door should have a meandering feeling, with curves and bends. This helps you “unwind” from your day before entering the home. A straight path from the street is too direct and funnels in the chi too quickly. The curves slow this energy down.
If your pathway is constructed as a straight line, you may break up the flow by placing an arch over the beginning of the pathway and perhaps covering it with ivy. Placing potted plants with lots of soft leaves and colorful flowers at the entrance can also break, what is referred to in Feng Shui, the straight arrows, or negative energy.
The yard should have a nice combination of bushes, trees and fragrant flowers designed and planted in a flowing manner. Some plants are higher than others, and planted in curves, rather than straight lines, and will give good chi energy throughout the yard.
These are just a few simple samples that will help your front yard to feel welcoming and inviting, and by using a few Feng Shui tips, you can have a nice ying-yang, ebb and flow – balance and harmony to your home.