Designing a Garden using Feng Shui

What is Feng Shui?

Feng Shui literally means ‘Wind Water’ and is the study of people’s relationship with their living environments. Feng Shui encompasses the entire spectrum of Chinese Geomancy practices including landscape design, work places, villages, cities, temples and graves.

To become a Feng Shui master takes years of study and is often quite mind boggling for the Western belief system to comprehend.

I am not a Feng Shui master but I do like to incorporate aspects of it in my Garden Designs. I love the idea that Chinese Garden Design is rooted in Yin Yang energy which is a harmony with Heaven and Earth. In small gardens it is important to have unlimited space within a compact space which means not over designing the garden making it too cluttered and disturbing the flow of energy. In larger gardens, spaces are broken up into smaller gardens but always having a connection to the sky (Heaven).

Feng Shui in Garden Design

It is important to balance naturalistic landscaping with symmetrical elements i.e, buildings, walls, pergolas and harnessing Qi (life force energy).

Having a natural flow around the garden is really important, this can be done using meandering paths. Curved flower beds will also help with the flow of energy and make the garden feel calm and peaceful. A garden full of straight lines and corners will disrupt the Qi and stagnation within the garden will occur.

Using the five elements of Wood, Earth, Fire, Metal and Water will also create balance. Each of these elements is attached to a colour.


The wood element is about growth and vitality and is connected to the colour green. This is easy to bring into the garden using grass, trees and shrubs.


The colour yellow is associated with Earth elements and is naturally a grounding energy. A lot of my clients find yellow a difficult colour to live with so good to use it sparingly.


The fire element is associated with the colour red and represents warmth and kindness. Using red coloured flowers like roses, dahlias or red salvias will help or even a lovely Japanese Acer.


Metal energy is charity and concise energy and is associated with the colour white. Using white brings freshness and calm to a garden especially with lots of Wood energy. You can use white hydrangeas, daisies, white roses, cherry trees with white blossom.


The water element is very cooling and quiet and goes with dark colours like black, deep blue and purple. You can simply use water features, ponds and streams to bring in this element.

Other simple Feng Shui principles to think about are not to have stagnant pools or ponds as they stagnate Qi. A straight path to a front door has too much Yin energy so if your path is over 4m try to put a curve in it. Statues with good vibration ie, Buddhas will emanate good energy.

Most of all when I’m designing I set a good intention for the garden to bring health and harmony to whoever enters it.

Client Love

Neil and Rodger, Hove

Owen came up with the perfect design for our south facing walled garden. He knew how to balance what are priorities were, with plants that would thrive and attracted abundant nature into the garden. Owen is professional, customer focused and friendly. We would highly recommend him.

Sam Fisher, Sussex

Owen blended Garden Design and the magical world of Geomancy to create a thoughtful, restful and beautiful garden.

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