Feng Shui Landscaping Ideas

feng shui landscaping ideas

These feng shui landscaping ideas will optimize the circulation of chi energy in the grounds around your house and improve the flow of positive energy into your house.

One’s house does not exist in separation from its surroundings. So we must take care that the chi energy forces outside do not negatively affect the flow of chi energy into and within the house. 

This means that we must pay as much attention to the feng shui status of the landscaping around the house as we do to the feng shui inside the house.

So, what is feng shui?

Feng shui, which is pronounced “fngg shway,” is the art of placement that originated in ancient China. The purpose of feng shui is to arrange our living environment in such a manner that it brings balance, harmony, and success to our lives.

The central idea is that energy, or chi, exists around and within our entire natural world. And this energy can affect us both positively and negatively. So the purpose of feng shui is to ensure that we are only surrounded by positive chi energy.

Feng shui stems from the twin theories of yin-yang, on one hand, and the five elements on the other.


Yin-Yang is part of Chinese Taoist philosophy. It asserts that all of nature is made up of two primordial forces, Yin and Yang. These forces are opposing but at the same time interdependent.

One way of describing this is by the expressions “up and down,” “day and night,” “hot and cold,” “fire and water,” and, most appositely, “male and female.”

Yin is the negative, dark, and feminine force. And Yang is the positive, light, and masculine force. These forces cannot exist without each other.

Feng shui seeks to balance the yin and the yang within our living environment and, in so doing, bring us harmony, balance, and positive chi energy.

The five elements

5 feng shui elementsAccording to Tao philosophy, the interaction between yin and yang is responsible for the production of the five elements of fire, metal, earth, wood, and water. It is these elements that make up the physical nature around us. And, as a kind of reflection of yin-yang, they both support and oppose each other, as illustrated in this diagram.

The elements embody various human qualities.

  • The wood element embodies creativity, inspiration, and growth.
  • The fire element embodies energy, passion, and transformation.
  • The water element embodies wisdom and spirituality.
  • The metal element embodies clarity and logic.
  • The earth element embodies permanence and stability.

And, just as with yin and yang, the purpose of feng shui is to bring these elements into balance in our living spaces. The result is intended to generate enhanced positive chi, from which we can benefit.

Feng shui landscaping

So what are these feng shui landscaping ideas?

First, we need to bring the whole thing down to earth and real practicalities. Because, unfortunately, some feng shui practitioners talk fancifully about placing our houses on undulating land, with water in front and mountains behind.

But real people don’t have that kind of opportunity. So our approach here is to show you how to work with what you have to achieve excellent feng shui outcomes. This post will keep things simple and offer feng shui landscaping ideas you can apply in the real world.

The Bagua map

bagua map

There is a discussion of the Bagua energy map as applied to the home here. It is our feng shui guide to the placement of things around us. And we use it for landscaping in much the same way as for inside our home. 

The home’s Bagua map is just expanded to include the garden. It is oriented in the same way, with the North edge of the map in line with the wall of the home that contains the front door.

We have included this nice graphic by Pottery Barn. It shows the Bagua map as it could be applied to a garden. 

Incorporating the elements

As we have seen, according to Taoist philosophy, the elements descend from yin and yang. So balancing the elements also has the effect of balancing yin and yang. 

And to balance the elements, we should include all five of them in developing our feng shui landscaping ideas.

The very nature of landscaping already includes the elements of earth and wood. But we should not ignore them because the Bagua map will require that they get emphasis in certain areas.

Earth element

You could emphasize the earth element by adding a rock garden or a flagstone pathway. Ceramic pots would work well too, And, because the colors associated with the earth element are brown, orange, and yellow, you could add orange and yellow flowering plants.

Wood element

Wood is already represented by the trees, shrubbery, and other greenery in the garden. But you could emphasize this element by incorporating wooden furniture, such as a garden bench, or wooden ornaments. 

And, because the colors associated with the wood element are green and blue, you could include blue flowering plants or evergreen trees.

Water element

You can emphasize the water element with a fountain, a pond, or a birdbath. Black is the color for the water element. So you could add emphasis by, for example, using black wrought iron furniture. 

Fire element

It is easy to add and also enjoy the fire element. You could use a BBQ, fire pit, or lighting feature. You could also include red-leafed or red-flowering plants since red is the color associated with the fire element.

Metal element

Wind chimes are a great way to introduce the metal element. Feng shui favors chimes since the sound dispels negative chi and introduces good vibes. A wind spinner would also work. And you could add white flowering plants since white is the color associated with the metal element.

Walkways and paths

For the best feng shui, walkways and paths should meander and curve. If a pathway is straight, chi energy moves along it too forcefully and becomes negative. And you do not want this, especially for a pathway that leads towards the house. 

But this chi energy will gently follow and flow along a meandering pathway. In any case, a walkway or path that curves and meanders is natural and pleasing to the eye.

So, especially for the front door, create a pathway that curves or meanders and approaches the door indirectly. The same applies to a driveway that leads to the house. 

This is the same feng shui principle that informs us it is bad feng shui for a home to be situated at the bottom end of a cul de sac or the top end of a “T” intersection. This is because the chi energy that rushes along the street is too strong and therefore negative.

Landscaping at the front door

The front door is the main entry point for positive chi energy into the home. So keep the area around the door clear of any trees or large shrubs that might block the flow of chi in this space. And this will also help visitors to your home feel more comfortable and welcome.

Bring wildlife to your garden

Attract wildlife to your garden. Feng shui is all about nature and the nurturing of living things. Wildlife will bring great natural energy into your home via your garden.

Bring in birds with bird feeders, birdbaths, and birdhouses. And make sure you include trees and shrubs that attract birds too.

Select your plant material with pollinators in mind. These are plants that attract bees, butterflies, moths, and bats, as well as birds. You will find a great selection here

Feng shui for patio and deck

Your patio or deck (we’ll say patio, for short) links your home with the outdoors. And the outdoors might be your garden or, if you live downtown, a cityscape. 

In either case, a patio is an intermediate place in which to enjoy the outdoors and entertain outside in comfort. So you should not neglect its feng shui.

Balancing the elements on the patio

To apply feng shui to the patio, first, locate it on the Bagua map. This will guide you as to the elements and colors you should emphasize there.

If this area is a concrete slab, then you already have the earth element. Similarly, if it is a wooden deck, the wood element is well covered. However, you can easily supplement them by adding plants to ceramic or clay pots. The pot represents the earth element and the plant represents the wood element.

As for the fire element, you could include a small BBQ or have a fire pit featured in a table surrounded by chairs for family and friends. And you can include the metal element by adding a wind chime.

Containing the flow of chi energy

The patio is an extension of the home’s living space. And it is usually accessed through a sliding glass door, which may be left open for long periods. But this allows the positive chi energy within the home to flow out over the patio, only to be lost outside.

So, it’s a good idea to create a barrier to get in the way of outflowing chi. You can do this by placing some patio furniture in front of the sliding door.

Keeping the garden clutter-free

Clutter impedes the flow of positive chi energy. So, just as inside the home, this means keeping the garden free of clutter.

Clearing clutter from the garden is nothing more than maintaining it. This involves removing fallen or dead tree branches, deadheading plants, raking leaves and weeding. It can be a lot of work. So, when it comes to designing your garden and everything that goes into it, keep future maintenance in mind. Make it easy on yourself.

Final thoughts

These feng shui landscaping ideas are a place to start. However, they are offered to be helpful. They are not rigid rules.

The creation and maintenance of an outdoor space that is dedicated to the enjoyment of nature should in itself be a joy, rather than a chore. And the use of feng shui in your landscaping should just be a means to achieving joy and harmony in your little piece of the great outdoors. 

You can certainly be sure that applying feng shui to your garden design will help this space become more appealing and welcoming for you and your family than it would be otherwise.

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