Creating Tranquil Spaces
by Bridget Saraka
Ah, wouldn’t you love to have your own personal oasis, a space where you can relax and rejuvenate, a little piece of heaven here on earth? Why not make the best of what you have by creating an outdoor space that nurtures your soul. Whether you have a postage stamp of a patio or an acreage of wide open spaces, find yourself a sacred place to call your own, where you can become grounded in the moment and be still to savour your existence.
Meander around your home, taking note of the things you love and how they make you feel. Stop and take a real good look out each window of your home and what it has to offer you. Is the vista calling you forth or begging you to stay inside?
Visualizing how you would love to use your valuable real estate, let your mind be creative. If you’re not utilizing every square inch of your land, you are paying a premium for wasted space. Think of ways of increasing the square footage of your prime real estate while creating a natural progression from inside the heart of your home to your outside space. Envision sitting on your balcony, a sacred space at the edge of your very own retreat before leaving for work; the birds singing you a melody, the gentle bubbling of a water feature setting the stage for the rest of your day—calm, soothing, and grounding. Feng Shui strives to create an environment that engages all your senses and fills your heart with a smile.
If the sight of your lawn fills you with a sense of anxiety when arriving home, over time you may wish to consider editing sections of grass and increasing your perennial beds, or introducing the low maintenance of some hardscape and xeriscape gardens and paths. The affect can be quite stunning and truly inviting.
As a Feng Shui consultant, my motto is comfortable and easy. With a few strategic tips and a thorough plan, you can create your very own room with a view by creating outdoor rooms that are inspiring, inviting, and nurturing to your soul.
1. If the path to your front door is long and uninspiring, consider creating curving flower beds on either side of the walk. This introduction of small shrubs and perennials softens the look while welcoming you home. Plant a variety of perennials that bloom at various intervals throughout the season. (Choosing plants that are zoned 2–3 is best for our Saskatchewan climate, being mindful to align sun requirements with the type of plant.)
2. Mulching over flowerbeds keeps roots moist, therefore reducing the need for daily watering.
3. Raise the vibration of your front landscape by introducing flower pots and solar lights to paths.
4. Many homes have flower beds tucked up tight to the house, under front windows and eaves which often require an abundance of water to keep plants vibrant and healthy. Although this may be an effective way of framing the house, you may consider building a small patio along the front of the house with a bistro set to invite weekend latte’s with your neighbours. You will be amazed at how many friendly people you meet.
5. For those flower beds tucked up tight to the house, a soaker hose connected to a water barrel works wonders at keeping the earth moist while reducing your water bill. Water barrels placed at each down spout can collect water that can be used for flowerbeds and pots.
6. A small metal rod wind-chime alters the effects of environmental noise pollutions while increasing the energetics of the environment.
7. Balconies and small patios can be enriched with colourful pots of flowering annuals. Mixing fragrant herbs, climbing peas, and vine tomatoes provides many simple pleasures.
8. A water feature such as a bird bath or an outdoor fountain can instill an instant sense of calm. You will find yourself relaxing before you enter the house.
9. Create a natural cove by planting, trees, shrubs, and perennials along the hard uninviting fence lines that block your dream. Invite life into your garden by choosing plants that invite butterflies and humming birds to light up your life.
10. Solar lights and patio heaters will inspire evening conversations under the stars.
11. When creating a place for children to play, Feng Shui always prefers natural materials over man made. A cedar jungle gym built on a cushion of beach sand reduces the risk of injuries.
12. Square-foot and container gardens are a wonderful way to introduce children to the wonders of gardening while requiring little commitment.
13. Placing a fire pit or fire pot at the back corner of the yard will warm your heart and build a feeling of celebration.
14. An outdoor pond is one of the most powerful ways to transform a space. The addition of goldfish and pond-lilies can be the gem behind the gate. The gentle flow of water promotes a sense of relaxation and invites small song birds to sing while splashing about when bathing, a truly delightful experience.
Enjoy your tranquil spaces.
Bridget Saraka, IFSG MD, CC & RRP, is an Internationally Certified Feng Shui Consultant and owner of Zen Solutions by Bridget located in Saskatoon. To contact Bridget call 306-249-2064 or visit www.zensolutionsfengshui.com. Also, see the Directory of Services ad on page 29 of the 18.1 May/June issue of the WHOLifE Journal.