The Japanese garden
The feng shui is a philosophy of ancient origin, its origins are to be found in the China of the VI-IV centuries BC; this type of doctrine is aimed at those who wish to live in a harmonious and soothing way, studying the position of the house, the shapes of the rooms, the choice of furnishings and the garden. From China feng shui has moved to most of the East, especially in Japan, and also in Europe, where various schools have been born, guided by slightly different principles. The planning of a house, following the rules of feng shui, presupposes a careful study of the disposition of each element according to the cardinal points; in addition to this every element will have an important role in the constitution of a harmonious and "clean" environment, free from confusion; all this to obtain places suitable for a peaceful and calm life, without bright colors or masses of useless or superfluous objects. Every element that makes up the garden is charged with symbolic meanings, which go beyond the simple daily use or the color of the flowers.
The Feng Shui garden
In the design of a garden following the feng shui rules we use some particular tools, useful in the design of any environment following this doctrine. In feng shui life consists of five basic elements: fire, water, earth, wood and metal; to each element correspond the cardinal points and some states of mind. To prepare a garden following the rules of feng shui, a special compass is used, called Ba Gua, which identifies the element that characterizes every place in the garden, in order to decide what to place in that place; for example the north is linked to water, the south to fire, the center to the family. Identified in the garden the cardinal points can be divided into sectors within which to insert the objects or plants that symbolize the characterizing element of this area. With the help of the ba gua we divide our garden into wedges, so we place an eventual body of water in the area to the north, or we choose plants, flowers and furniture, following the colors suggested for that area. In a well-balanced and balanced garden each area should occupy a similar extension, if it does not happen, due to the shape of the plot of land, in the under-represented area we can insert an object that activates that area in a particular way: for example in the area dedicated to the sky we can place a stone or flowers, so as to balance the missing space.
After identifying the areas of our green space with the help of a gua, we proceed to place furniture and plants inside it. Recall that a feng shui garden it is not a collection of plants, it is instead an important space for the peace and harmony of the people who live there; so let's think about a well-balanced space, where nature flows in a relaxing and pleasant way; where the vital energy is able to generate and flow freely. The feng shui philosophy divides all things into two large groups: yin and yang: in a balanced garden both elements must be present, in a similar way, so that they do not prevail over one another. So we choose a few plants, if we have little time to devote to the garden we choose plants that need little care, since in a feng shui garden It is very important that the essences are in good health and well developed; if the garden is crossed by an avenue or a path we avoid straight lines, but we prefer a slightly sinuous course; in addition to green, we also include other natural elements in our garden, such as a pool of water or a small pool; of rocks, and also animals, such as fish or turtles. In preparing our green corner, following the rules of feng shui, we try to remember that what we are setting up is a place of peace, meditation and harmony, not a place of play or anything else.
Feng shui gardens: Il Ba gua
The particular "compass" used in feng shui also helps us a lot in the garden; as you see above it is divided into eight sectors, plus the center that identifies the ninth sector; sector number six (in this illustration) aligns with the north, designing the house we should align the entrance door with this sector, which is associated with the sky and the career. So here we see the sector indicated with the number six, then the north, dedicated to career and water; 1 sector of the sky; 2 the lake; 8 the earth; 3 the fire; 5 the wind; 4 wood; 7 the mountain. To each of these sectors different colors are tied, which help us in choosing flowers and plants; in addition to the colors, each sector identifies an element, to the sector dedicated to the lake or to water we can insert a small body of water, while in the septum dedicated to the wind we choose to place objects that, like the wind, are constantly changing, like for example, annual plants or deciduous trees. And so on, the ba gua helps us by showing us what is best to put in every corner of our garden, but also of our house and every single room.