In the hectic hurry of our everyday lives, our gardens are often neglected as functioning, purposeful parts of our homes and routines. Taking better care of your garden is actually a fantastic way to start taking better care of yourself. Your outdoor space can become the perfect platform for self-care – whether that be meditation, yoga or even gardening itself. If you apply ideas of feng shui to the style and structure of your garden, you can optimize your space to improve your well-being.
Want to find out more? Check out our infographic or explore our in-depth compass point guide to transforming your garden below.
This area of your garden is focused primarily on energies related to your path in life, including your career. Combining rock and water in the north of your space can create a peaceful neighbor for a zen garden. A bird bath or water feature can add both sound and wildlife to your outdoor space. Darker colors, such as deep blue or black, are important here – ornaments such as frogs, fish and turtles are a great addition to the mix of your garden.
Adjoining your rockery, a zen garden is a wonderful addition if you’re looking to really explore the potential of your space as a haven of new tranquility. Your garden’s north east is all about personal and spiritual growth – a great spot to relax and consider things.
Streams of pebbles, raked in a smooth wave pattern, guide you through the space, between beautiful genista and euphorbia, housed in terracotta pots, and even a stone Buddha as an ornate centerpiece. A reading bench is the perfect destination for contemplation in your garden – build and orientate your zen space around your outdoor furniture, to make that spot feel as integrated with nature as possible.
The east of your garden is a focus of energy relating to health and longevity. Naturally, growth is valuable here – selecting the right plants is a must. Bamboos and ornamental trees provide scale and structure, with crab apple and cherry being good fits. For balance, the bold coloring of lilacs, hydrangea and chrysanthemums can be used to accent and embellish your space beautifully.
A dragon ornament, in intricate metal or carved wood, can also provide an engaging and eye-catching focal point among this newly verdant border.
To the south east, your garden should be dominated by wood and water. Symbolic of abundance and wealth, a water fountain is a wonderful addition. Surround with low-growing flowers and aromatic herbs for a natural, abundant feel. To complete your water feature, add golden bells to the water to encourage money and abundance – they are said to be particularly lucky.
Wooden ornaments make pleasant accessories to this feature – frogs, tortoises, fishes and toads are all believed to be talismans of prosperity.
It might not be top of everyone’s list of priorities, but fame, success and recognition are the dominant energies in the south of your garden. Appropriately, this area should be an energetic space, and with fire as the key element, there’s no better spot for a barbecue to make the most of the sun. Vibrant plating – yellows, reds and oranges – complements this feel perfectly.
A fire pit, a traditional Japanese stone lantern, or an elegant display of lanterns, can make for a wonderful communal focus point, bringing warmth and light to an ideal spot from which to enjoy nature and appreciate your refreshed space.
Love, relationships and peace: surrounded by reds, pinks, oranges and yellows, the south west is your social space. It’s perfect for a patio or deck, complete with a simple and elegant outdoor furniture set for dining and entertaining guests – add a stylish cantilever umbrella for all season utility. Access to every key aspect of your garden should start from the south west corner, allowing your guests to easily enjoy and relax in your space.
To complement your social set-up, colorful peonies and euphorbia are ideal, housed in Mediterranean-style terra cotta planters. Ceramic or wooden ducks, tied in pairs by red ribbon, are symbolic of strong, harmonious relationships – as well as being a quirky and unusual addition to your garden’s style and symbolism.
If you’re looking to use your outside space to become more active, the west is where you should start. A great place for children to play, it’s also deeply connected to new projects, pleasures and hobbies – particularly those intimately related to relaxation, such as yoga.
Plants should be fragrant, in white, gold, silver or blue, and ornaments can vary – ceramics and quartz in the above colors are perfect. Many people choose wind chimes as an assist to meditation – but make sure they’re hollow! Yoga is an introspective and grounded activity, in tune with the energies in the west – easy to learn and simple to start, it’s the ideal garden wellness activity.
Away to the north west, be sure to craft an open plan and simplistically social seating area. This corner of your garden is associated with energies related to new beginnings, networking and meeting fresh faces – so it’s the perfect spot to welcome important visitors into your home and get to know them a little better.
Metallic colors, particularly white and silver, fit in well with this energy, and should be considered when planting any borders or potting plants. If there’s a mature tree in this area of the garden, wind chimes and metal ornaments make for attractive and atmospheric accessories.
From the impact of yoga to where to place your outdoor furniture: to find out more about how caring for your garden can help take care of you, explore our infographic.