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Dr Paul's Gardening Tip of the Month

August 2001


This is the career sector. Ornaments here can be, frogs, fishes and protective warriors. Also useful are tortoises/turtles. A bird bath or water feature can also be placed in this area. Ornaments should be of black or dark blue and made from metal or stone. A rockery is well placed in this area as are small clumps of trees, gentians, ceanothus and clematis.

This is the area of fame, success and public recognition. Known as your ‘Bright Hall’, it should contain red, orange and bright yellow flowers and shrubs. An ornament of the phoenix, cockerel or peacock should stand in this area. It should be well lit, perhaps with garden lights or a Japanese lantern. Red wooden ornaments are also useful in this sector. Plants in this area could include - camellias, sage, coriander, cinnamon, pieris, acer, euphorbia (fireglow), aquilegias and fuchsia (representing lanterns).

This is the sector of health, longevity and the family. It is the area of the green dragon. Dragon ornaments and the colour green should dominate this part of your garden. Also useful in this sector are statues of Buddha, cranes or deer. A water feature could be placed here. Planting might include bamboo, lilac, magnolia, hydrangea and small ornamental trees such as crab apple or cherry. Chrysanthemums can also be used.

This represents children and new projects, hobbies, stages of life and pleasure. It is also the area of the white tiger, who needs to be kept dozing. Use fragrant flowers in this sector. Flowers of white, gold and silver are best. Ceramic ornaments and quartz crystals in these colours are also useful as well as windchimes with six hollow tubes (five is ok, but do not use solid rods!). Any other round shapes are good here including small bells. Plants could include spirea (bridal bower) and convolvus (silver). Do not use tiger statues at all --- far too powerful.

This is the sector of spirituality, knowledge, education and self-growth. You should use yellows and earthly colours in this area. Terracotta pots, ornaments, hanging crystals and Buddhas are all good. Plants could include genista and euphorbia.

An area for new beginnings, mentors, networking, meeting influential people and important meetings. Metallic colours, white and silver are best. Use six tube windchimes in this location as well as stone and metal sculptures.

This is your wealth sector, not only money, but wealth in terms of a full and happy life. Use greens here, representing growth and money. A small water feature in this sector is very lucky, as are wooden ornaments, small leafy plants such as hebes and low growing flowers. Frogs, fishes and toads are ‘prosperous’creatures in this part of the garden.

This part of your garden represents relationships, harmony and marriage-very much the physical side of your life. Use reds and pinks, particularly peonies, genista, euphorbia, tropaeolum as plants. Oranges and yellows are also very good. Ceramic and wooden pairs of ducks, tied together with a red ribbon stand for harmony and close loving relationships. Light the corner with Japanese lanterns, place pebbles and stones within this area. It should look oriental and warm, attracting good chi energy.

July 2001

Spending more time out in the garden now?

Ensure that the southern portion of your garden is brightly lit and has lots of colour -- reds, purples, yellows. Lots of cobbles, stones, Japanese lanterns would be ideal as would a patio, or a decked area.

The South in Feng Shui is the location of Fame, Public Reputation, Passion and it needs to be bright - "come and get me!"

Keep the area well lit during those evening barbecue parties. The South is an ideal location for your barbecue as in Feng Shui the South is symbolised by the element of Fire. You could also have your barbecue in the North East or the South West -- both Earth element sectors.

If you have a large country mansion, then peacocks in the South are a great boost to your Fame! Otherwise, try ornaments of cockerels, peacocks, flamingos or the phoenix.

Red and Golden acers, Red Hot Pokers, Purple Sage, Pieris, Peony - all work well in the South.

June 2001

June is usually the time when the garden starts to be used as an outside room again, with parties, barbecues and drinks after dusk.

Good sites for a barbecue using feng shui are -- located in the south, the north east or the south west -- the Chinese elements of these locations support and are enhanced by the use of fire -- or indeed the use of garden lights and large candles.

Avoid having barbecues in the north, a water area in feng shui ,and in the north west or west -- both of which are metal locations -- metal and fire do not get on!!!!!!

In the metal areas, try hanging small metallic windchimes or bells. Also good for metal locations -- the west and north west are small, fragrant shrubs -- a viburnum would be ideal.

For partying and socialising, the best part of your garden is the south -- full of passion and sociability -- but, for intimate little romantic dinner parties, try the south west!

May 2001

The garden is now beginning to show all of its many colours and it is a good time to sort out particular areas.

A good feng shui location to sort out is the north east of your garden, which symbolises study, education, self growth and knowledge, ancient wisdom and learning. This is an excelllent area for meditation, deep thinking, serious thinking, study, learning, revising as well as activities such as yoga, chi chung and tai chi.

It is an 'earth' element area so a paved patio is ideal, try to stay off water features or decking in the north east. Small rockeries with alpines and herbs are brilliant as are rocks and lanterns, even a barbecue!

Colours should be 'stone' and 'earthy'-terracotta, orange, brown, yellows, even pinks and reds with touches of purples. Flowers and foliage should all be in these colours and should be quite small.

Any windchimes in the north east would be best made of pottery or glass.

A raised Ho Tai Buddha -- the Laughing Buddha in this sector is wonderful. Have him facing the house, but not facing a kitchen or toilet, he should not face a compost heap or septic tank either!!!! Rub his belly every day for good luck it will certainly make you smile!

April 2001

The sun rises in the East. It is an excellent location of nurturing, growing energy,'chi' which helps with health and ambition. It is an ideal place to plant medium sized trees and tall bushes, especially evergreen ones which symbolises longevity. The eastern side, called the 'dragon' side, should also be slightly higher than the western 'tiger' side and the trees and shrubs will help to 'elevate' it.

Dragon ornaments and the colour green should be used in the east. The ornaments should not face a kitchen, toilet or compost heap. A raised Buddha statue in the East is also excellent feng shui, once again, facing the house but not facing a toilet, kitchen or compost heap. Statues of cranes and deer, which represent health and longevity, are also well located in the eastern sector of your garden--made of wood or ceramics rather than metal. Windchimes in the east are best in bamboo.

A water feature could also be placed in the east with the water running towards the house--waterfalls are better than fountains.

Planting should include : bamboo {Heavenly Blessings in Chinese}, lilac, magnolia, hydrangea and small ornamental trees such as crab apple or cherry.

Yellow Chrysanthemums are also a useful addition to the planting on the eastern side of your garden.

March 2001

March is the time when the garden begins to 'wake up'. Ensure that the garden is kept tidy and uncluttered, this is excellent feng shui. Also make sure that any 'rubbish' areas, compost bins, rubbish bins, septic tanks, oil tanks are screened off - either with small fencing or with a small hedge, something like the conifer --'Goldcrest' will do the job very well indeed. Hinged trellis is useful around a bin which needs to be taken out and put back on a weekly basis.

Any bulbs coming through now are extremely auspicious - especially if the flowers are golden, yellow, or bronze in colour -- this symbolises wealth and richness of life. Bulbs are known as 'buried gold' in feng shui.

If you are revamping your garden shortly, try to get curving and meandering curves in your design, notably in pathways and the edges of patios and flowerbeds. Avoid crazy paving paths and wherever possible have a 'spinner' washing line instead of the 'strangulation' normal washing lines.

Try to keep the centre of the garden open and clear. If you are building a water feature or pond -- south east, east or north are the best sectors to choose, with waterfalls better than fountains -- any waterfalls should not be too large and should face towards the house.

February 2001

With Valentine's Day just around the corner - zing up your love life with feng shui!

The South, symbolises fame, sociability and passion. Have reds, purples and bright lights. Add LARGE red 'love' candles, peacock feathers, a bright red silk peony would also help, and burn incense such as jasmine or patchouli.

The South West is the area of physical relationships, romance, marriage. Into the South West of your living room add earthy colours - terracottas, oranges, yellows, reds and pinks. Have a bright light there. Any ornaments should be in pairs together with happy couple photos. In the South West of the bedroom, rose quartz crystals can be displayed - the 'love' crystal - and a wall hanging/picture of a pair of love birds. Have pairs of red candles and a pair of ducks. All candles and pairs of ornaments should be tied together with red ribbons.

The West is the sector of creativity and pleasure, new beginnings - be careful though it is also the sector of children!!!! Have shiny, pure, metallic colours - whites, creams, silver, golds and metallic six tube wind chimes to keep the chi energy moving.

In the North West, the sector of helpful people, have a small ornament of an elephant for strength, also, he is known as 'the remover of obstacles.'

Add these ornaments in the North West corner of the bedroom just to be sure. No bright lights in this sector, just metallic colours and rounded ornaments.

January 2001

The time from just before Christmas through to the Chinese New Year is called the 'Bitter Moon'. It is a time of very yin energy signifying the 'death of the old year' when it is very difficult to get things energised and moving [including ourselves!].

After the New Year, which this year is the 25th January, yang energy begins to rise once again - and it is an excellent time to get things on the move. The New Year should be a time for decluttering, especially under beds, and in wardrobes -- go on do an early Spring-clean! If there is an item of clothing you have not worn for twelve months -- get rid of it.

Ensure that windows are opened in every room and play loud music to enrich the energy fields. If you want to do something extra, then burn incense in each room and clap loudly in the corners of every room, or ring bells in the corners.

The energy will then begin to move again, creating positive attitudes and potentials ready for the year ahead - the Year of the Snake - a year of slow, steady progress, especially in the spring and early summer. Check that centres of rooms, particularly living rooms are kept free of clutter and are clear of all large obstacles!

Tips from the past year

December 2000

The effect you will get with your decorations will be a beautiful colour wheel around your lounge!

Find the eight directions of the compass,using a simple compass.

In the north, put blue and black decorations to symbolise water. In the north east, place any earthy colours-oranges, yellows and browns -- squares and rectangle shapes are very good. In the east, have loads of greens, put the tree here, if it is green and decorate with blues. Rounded baubles which look like fruit, apples, oranges, pears are also very good.

The south east should also have lots of greens. A small indoor water feature would also be good as would frog and fish ornaments. In the south, red, purples and bright fiery colours are excellent, for parties and sociability. Have ornaments of brightly coloured birds, especially cockerels, peacocks and pheasants.

In the south west have earthy colours and some pinks.Place your ornaments in pairs- a piece of rose quartz and a pair of red candles would be excellent for relationships. The west is for pleasure, put your presents here.

If you have a tree here, make sure it is gold or silver with white, gold, silver, bronze decorations.Small bells and windchimes here would also fit in very well.

In the north west, the area of influential and helpful people, have metallic colours,add creams, greys and off whites. Ornaments should be round and shiny. This is the place to put cards or presents from or to work colleagues, keep them separate from the family ones!

Have a very merry Christmas---all good things, gung hay fat choy -- Paul Darby.

November 2000

In the Western part of your garden, try to plant some fragrant flowers-to'keep the tiger dozing'. The West is the sector of the white tiger and she must be kept drowsy! Inside or outside the house, do not have any representations of the tiger--these will make her far too powerful.

Flowers and foliage of white, gold and silver are best. Ceramic ornaments and quartz crystals in these colours are also useful as are metallic windchimes with six hollow tubes and rounded marble balls.

Any round shapes here are good including small metallic bells symbolising good news and opportunities. Plants could include, spirea, convolvus, artemesia and cotton lavender-white camellias are also good in the west.

The West symbolises children, new projects, new hobbies, creativity and pleasure. Do not have fires, barbecues or the colour red in the West. The West is the sector of metal and fire and metal do not get on!!!!

October 2000

The southwest corner of your garden is the earth mother corner and it symbolises harmonious physical relationships. In this corner plant earthy colours-yellows, oranges, touches of reds. Plant a red peony, symbol of a long and harmonious relationship and also have a statue of lovers - a pair of ornaments of ducks, or a pair of cranes are also useful in this area, as are Japanese lanterns [which should be lit at night] and anything oriental looking. Particularly a statue of the female Buddha Quan Yin-she will help all who ask - have her raised up from the ground and directed towards the house.

In the southwest of the home - have two red candles tied together with red ribbon, a pair of duck ornaments tied together with a red ribbon, happy couple photos and a piece of rose quartz crystal - often called the 'love crystal'!! A small Quan Yin statue is also very helpful if you wish to work at strengthening a loving relationship.

September 2000

In your garden, ensure that no tree, shrub, plant or structure - including ponds and water features - dominate. No one thing should overwhelm the rest of the garden - all should blend in harmoniously. Any water should be seen to flow towards the house, water represents wealth and richness of life and should flow in towards the property, never away from it.

In your house, make sure that the centre of each room is free from large structures, especially clutter. In the living room, a small coffee table is OK in the centre, but, as a general rule, never fill the centre of a room as this is where the chi circulates.

All Articles © 2000 Paul Lathrope
No Unauthorised Reproduction