Close your eyes. Take a deep breath. Now exhale s-l-o-w-l-y. A common relaxation technique, deep breathing helps cleanse the body and clear the mind. But your environment also plays a key role in finding inner Zen, and you can create that sense of balance and harmony within the desert landscape of Las Vegas in your own backyard.
Feng Shui, the ancient Chinese philosophy of placement, comes from the Chinese: feng, meaning wind, and shui, meaning water. While the Las Vegas desert climate may be somewhat lacking in the latter, you can still tap your inner chi, or life force, by incorporating Feng Shui principles into your desert landscape.
Feng Shui Five
You can create your Zen oasis through a harmonious blend of the five expressions of chi embodied in these elements:
The five Feng Shui elements represent the physical expressions of pure chi manifested once that energy enters the earth.
Get into Your Element
Your typical Las Vegas yard treatment probably already contains many of the ingredients necessary for a Zen effect.
Rocks, stones, and other hardscape common in this low or no water desert landscape all represent earth. Sand and dirt, which you are sure to possess in abundance, also embody this element. You can also add clay pots or touches of granite.
Trellises and benches bring in the element of wood.
Including a pond, fountain, waterfall, or bird bath can add water, but if you’re creating low to no water desert-style Feng Shui, you may wish to denote this liquid element through imagery, rather than in actuality. For instance, rake a wavy design through a stone bed to create the suggestion of watery movement.
Outdoor fireplaces or fire pits, very popular in the southwest, are an obvious choice for the element of fire, but you can also consider less costly options, such as portable table-top fire pits or lanterns.
Finally, metal sculptures or wind chimes can symbolize metal.
Color me Chi
Another way to promote good Feng Shui is through the use of color. Each element has a corresponding color by which it can be represented:
- Red = Fire
- Yellow = Earth
- White = Metal
- Black = Water
- Green = Wood
Keep this color cycle in mind for use in patio furniture, stone work, accent pieces, plants, and pottery.
More Ways to Shui
Aside from the five elements, you may employ other aspects of Feng Shui within your Las Vegas desert landscape in order to attain positive energy and a harmonious environment.
A wild garden area where indigenous plants grow freely shows respect for nature and is considered good Feng Shui. Use a round table, since it doesn’t have any “poison arrows” that could cause discomfort or even illness. Feng Shui aside, the round shape quite simply is the most desirable configuration for gatherings, as it encourages equal interaction among everyone seated there.
Windsocks, flags, or windmills help activate and increase the flow of chi in your space, and a curved path or walkway encourages reflective wandering. Although cactus plants are a drought tolerant choice in Las Vegas, they are a Feng Shui no-no, as the sharp thorns promote bad energy.
Above all, strive for a balance of all these aspects and elements. Let your inner Buddha guide the selections and placements to create Nirvana in your own backyard.