June is my favorite month in Minnesota! It’s typically the month we can fully engage in the outdoor Chi of our homes. Chi means, “breath” or “air” and is often translated as “energy flow,” or “life force.” If we’re fortunate enough to have an early spring, we might be able to begin gardening in earnest in May, however, spring frequently arrives late, finding gardens still buried under snow. But, lo and behold, the snow finally melts and the life-force energy that has been hidden underground, begins to emerge. It’s always a delight to watch the trees burst into green and the plants reveal themselves. Nothing is yet overgrown, weeds are absent and the newness of each emerging plant is like a rebirth!
In Chinese tradition, it is believed there are three types of Chi: Living, including plants and flowers, pets, and sunlight; Aesthetic, our furnishings, artwork, and color; and Energetic, the sense and feeling we get in the spaces we live or visit.
The study and practice of Feng Shui addresses our innate desire to connect with the earth and to create beautiful and nourishing Chi around us, both inside and out. While the practice of Feng Shui is more commonly thought to apply to buildings and interiors, the outside world is its original home. This ancient art of placement traces its roots back thousands of years to the beginning of Chinese agrarian life when early settlers recognized the need to seek harmony with natural forces in order to survive.
My teacher, Roger Green, explained, “Feng Shui is the key to understanding the silent dialogue between man and nature, whispered through a cosmic breath or spirit called chi. Chi is a life force or energy that ripples water, creates mountains, breaths life into plants, trees and humans and propels us along a life course.”
The Feng Shui of your house is believed to influence your life from a personal point of view. Your garden is the outer aspect of your home, and its Feng Shui influences the more public aspects of your life. It matters not whether you have a large or small garden, a window box or a container garden. Gardening on any scale provides an opportunity to tap into your inspiration and creativity. Lavishing care and attention on your garden, large, small, or a single pot of flowers serves to attract positive Chi to your home!
Feng Shui says that a beautiful garden is like the clothes of a house.
Wong Siew Hong, Xiansheng
The word ‘Garden’ came into the English language in the 14th century from Old Northern French Jardin, a variation of Old French Jardin, probably of German origin. However, the garden has always meant the same thing to all cultures: a representation of paradise on earth. Even the word ‘paradise’ itself comes from the Persian word for a garden.
Almost any garden, if you see it at just the right moment,
can be confused with paradise. Henry Mitchell
My desire to create my own little paradise around my home has resulted in diligent work through the years to enhance the outdoor Chi of my home by adding perennial gardens. I love working in the soil and tending my garden is a form of meditation for me. All who love to garden know it is an ongoing project, and a passionate adventure. Welcome June!
May the garden of your heart bloom with even the smallest of kind acts, giving your life the gift of divine purpose.