Whatever drove me to write a publication about harmony in the garden? I don’t honestly know. I wanted to write a book about Feng Shui Gardening but simply could not write it until my notes lingering on scraps of paper began to swell and demanded to be put together in a meaningful way.
Harmony is elusive and means different things to different people. I’ve positioned harmony as a condition of the mind tuning into its surroundings. The garden is a familiar place to most of us and we constantly seek new ways to relate to it. I believe a garden should be a place of harmony and a product of our design and efforts, rather than some chance meeting.
Chinese Feng Shui Masters observed the landscape and accepted each landscape as having different qualities to its neighbor. Successfully affixing themselves upon a landscape became a skill rewarded by prolonged health, happiness and prosperity. Those skills evolved over time and were interpreted differently, but all relying on the powers of observation, acceptance and recognition of being ‘one with nature’; something of reverence and compassion for the land rather than assault and conversion.
My interpretation of Feng Shui could be termed intuitive. It is a self-guided process and respecting those ancient Chinese who observed their surroundings and abided by nature’s moods and limitations. They recognized nature’s gentleness, forgiveness and unforgiving moods. The landscape urging to be respected and having harmony lie within it. Harmony needs to be found and nurtured. I feel we can enjoy a harmonious interaction with our surroundings by de-mystifying and attuning them to become places of peacefulness and serenity.
The garden offers more than a collection of plants and things. It should become a place of beauty, purpose and connectedness. I suggest that when we ‘garden’ we are connecting with our surroundings and potentially enter a deep bond with them.
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