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Where were your childhood happy places? 

There is nothing like bringing to mind past interwoven associations when planning what we want to attract. Fond memories from childhood and familiar outdoor places have a powerful link to sight, a sense of place and to smell. These senses are used as a Feng Shui placement tool.

Aligning your living spaces with your intentions, goals and aspirations is at the heart of Feng Shui design. This alignment can be replicated in your garden planning.

Look at the photo above. A powerful and playful design has taken shape thanks to the placement of the child’s bike. The colour red – the fire element – is used in similar outdoor sculptures and plantings. The structure of the grey circular containers – the Metal element – reinforces the playful juxtaposition. Having fun with this interplay heightens the senses. When linked back to smell, it creates magical spaces that play with all those memories of childhood happy places.

Introducing the dynamic layer of Yin and Yang in Garden Design brings alive new possibilities with how to play with the ‘sense of place’ commonly referred in Landscape Design. Summer time here in the southern hemisphere, we can be observant of these moments and snap them on our cell phone to record what triggers an emotional response.

These themes can be used in so many ways in outdoor design: for planting schemes, when planning an important outdoor event like a special birthday party or a wedding, in a garden planted in memory of a loved one. But the possibilities don’t stop there. Contemporary outdoor courtyards can be implemented with the same vibration, using recycled materials with a past family association or can become the source of inspiration for a completely new slant on how to combine found cherished objects.

The ancient art of Feng Shui embraces change: in the seasons, the controlling and nourishing cycles of the 5 elements and the recognition that correct placement attracts happiness. Childhood start points can become our inspiration for what we want to grow in our lives – check out your magical garden for clues.