Chelsea Medalist Colin Elliott of the Garden Design Academy has joined forces with Elizabeth Wells FSSA to launch a unique hands-on Feng Shui garden design course. Designed to bring the benefits of this ancient art to the garden, the first six-day residential course at the Garden Design Academy in the Loire Valley, France, will take place from 13 September 2011.
Garden designers, landscape architects and other “place makers” have searched for inspiration from wherever it is available. Some look to nature, inspired by the local landscape or that of the Great Outdoors elsewhere, while others immerse themselves in the fine arts of painting and sculpture in all its forms. Garden history may also point the way by providing examples from the great gardening traditions of Islam, classical Italy, Japan or China.
Feng Shui is an ancient Chinese system of aesthetics widely used to orient buildings in an auspicious manner. Depending on the particular style of Feng Shui being used, an auspicious site can be determined by reference to local features such as bodies of water, stars or compass. Feng shui was suppressed in China during the Cultural Revolution in the 1960s, but has since seen an increase in popularity with clients from home owners to major corporations all seeking the benefits this traditional geomancy can provide.
The practice of Feng Shui ensures that our surroundings are arranged and organised in the best possible way in order to achieve success, health, wealth and happiness. As our homes and gardens are so interlinked it makes sense that as well as creating a beautiful home space that delights our senses, good Feng Shui outside will help attract high quality energy inside. Our homes and gardens are co-dependent, whatever the size of our garden space.
Feng Shui principles have been the same for centuries: everything should be in proportion and there should be no straight lines – curves all the way. For instance, flow can be created by paths, edging, pots, shrubs; hard concrete can be covered with a more fluid material such as gravel and corners can be filled and softened with pots, climbing plants and statues.
Every view of the garden should be agreeable, therefore if the garden is overlooked or has unpleasant views e.g. bins, fuel storage, factories, then these should be hidden from view by using trellis and climbing plants.
Protection to the rear is also important so that the property lines are clearly defined and the home feels secure.
Water features, trees, statues etc are all meaningful and have their appropriate places in the garden – in the wrong position they can be detrimental.
From the point of view of Feng Shui, these points are simply the tip of the iceberg. There is so much more to discover, think about and use with this practical and exciting approach in the outdoor spaces. Because FS techniques are common-sense and straightforward, our gardens can only benefit from using them.
The course is aimed at the amateur gardener and is priced at £950. Numbers are strictly limited to ensure attendees maximise the benefit from the hands-on support provided. No previous knowledge of horticulture or design is required, only an interest in gardening and a desire to give the garden (however large or small) a new lease of life and an independent energy.
For further details of this exciting new course visit the website: http://www.gardendesignacademy.com/residential_Feng_Shui.html