Andrea helps people design their homes and gardens. She likes to use Western Astrology and the Chinese Zodiac to help build templates.
Designing a Garden with Fire Feng Shui
I would recommend for a garden that you incorporate all five elements of feng shui. This will make for the most balanced garden.
The element of fire will make your garden look more passionate, romantic, exciting, daring, and courageous.
Touches of the fire element will add color, distinct shapes, and energy. The fire element is intended to wake you up and get you excited about life. But remember: too much of one thing can be a bad thing. It's wise to add elements of wood, earth, water, and metal to your yard.
Here are some ideas to help inspire your fire dreams:
- Select plants that are red, white, yellow, orange, and pink.
- Look for triangular shaped objects that mimic the shape of fire.
- Star shaped objects are also associated with fire.
- Reduce shade and optimize your space for sunlight. Put flowers and plants in your yard that crave and worship sunlight.
- Design your fire garden more for yang than yin.
- Add animal art related to the fire element in the Chinese Zodiac. The snake and the horse both represent fire. In Western Astrology, the lion is related to fire.
- Add solar lights and other decorative lighting to keep some brightness in your yard throughout the night. Fire feng shui detests darkness.
Yin and Yang
Circles, Ovals, Spheres
Triangles, Squares, Diamonds, Rectangles, Cubes, Stars
Black and Blue
Red, White, Yellow
Winter and Fall
Summer and Spring
Time of Day
Relaxed, Tired, Resting
Excited, Active, Moving
Dark and Dim
Light and Bright
Ox, Rabbit, Snake, Goat, Rooster, Pig
Rat, Tiger, Dragon, Horse, Monkey, Dog
Taurus, Cancer, Virgo, Scorpio, Capricorn, Pisces
Aries, Gemini, Leo, Libra, Sagittarius, Aquarius
Best Places for Fire Feng Shui
The fire element is best served in the South, Southwest, and Northeast. The South is where fire naturally thrives. The South coordinate represents qualities of the Sun: power, magnetism, and warmth. The fire element is represented by the summer months and noontime.
- Noontime is the time of day that represents public life. It is about the aspects that are seen and meant to be understood.
- At noontime, most of us are working, getting lunch, or in school. We're awake, active, alert, and embracing sunshine.
- Noontime and summer are both associated with happiness.
- Flowers are abundant during summer. Several crops are ready to be harvested in summer.
- Summer represents life at its fullest.
The Southwest and Northeast are both naturally meant for the Earth element. The fire element helps create earth by turning it into ashes and helping land to form and spread. Fire and earth have a positive relationship; whereas, fire destroys metal by melting it. . . and water destroys fire. (Wood helps nourish fire by helping it to grow and spread its flames.)
- The Southwest represents our romantic relationships and maternal energy.
- The Northeast signifies self-knowledge, introspection, and spirituality.
Adding Pops of Red and Triangular Shaped Leaves
Some of the best ways to add red into your garden is to plant trees. I would recommend Japanese maple, purple leaf sand cherry, red buds, and red dogwood.
It can take awhile to grow trees, especially if you plant fruit trees. You can buy trees from a local nursery to help speed up the process. Growing a tree from seeds is enjoyable, but it is a very slow process.
Here are some plants with triangular leaves:
- Oxalis triangularis
- Ficus tree
- Triangularis variegata
- False shamrock
- Butterfly plant
Fruits, Veggies, and Flowers with Fire Feng Shui
Strawberries, cherries, raspberries, tomatoes, pomegranates, apples
Oranges, cantaloupe, tangerines, mangoes, peaches, apricots
Pineapple, bananas, pears, lemons, golden kiwi, yellow apples
Coconut, white peaches, pears, dragonfruit, dates, white nectarines
Watermelon, grapefruit, pitaya, guava, apples, coralberry
Radishes, bell peppers, beets, cabbage, onions
Carrots, pumpkins, bell peppers, sweet potatoes, yams
Corn, squash, potatoes, bell peppers, maize
Cauliflower, garlic, turnips, shallots, taro root, ginger
Swiss chard, rainbow carrots, banana squash, rhubarb, radishes, pink radicchio
Zinnias, anemones, roses, poinsettias, poppies, carnations
Tulips, dahlias, marigolds, California poppies, calendula, cosmos
Daffodils, sunflowers, goldenrods, primrose, black-eyed Susan, daisies
Gardenia, anemone, orchids, stargazer lilies, lily of the valley, magnolias
Peonies, petunias, azalea, sweet pea, foxglove, hibiscus
Add a Fire Pit
What says fire feng shui more than literal fire? Part of your yard should be dedicated to a space where people can gather and sit around a fire. You can make the space even more related to the fire element with your pit's design and your seating arrangement.
- Select or create a fire pit that is square or triangular.
- Use red, orange, yellow, or white building materials. Red brick has a lovely charm to it if done right.
- Create a seating area that is more square than round.
- Add rectangular benches instead of rounded chairs.
- Add decorations that are red, orange, yellow, or gold.
- Place your fire pit in an area that gets a good view of the nighttime sky. You want to see stars, which are considered part of fire feng shui.
A trellis is made from an open framework of lattice. It's interwoven generally with wood, bamboo, or metal. I would opt for wood or bamboo if you plan to place the trellis in the fire section of your garden.
A trellis can be triangular at the top. The structure is for climbing plants, vegetables and shrubs. Trellis are great if you're growing grapevines, clematis, ivy, and other climbers. The rose trellis is common in Europe.
I would encourage you to grow plants on it that have shades of red, orange, or pink.
The garden feature is made up of arches to create a shaded walkway. Pergolas are excellent sources for climbing plants.
My suggestion would be to get wooden pergolas that are long, thin, and triangular at the top. The feature will put off shadows, which may reduce the amount of sunlight and make your space less oriented for fire feng shui. I recommend adding plants with red blooms or grapes: this will help make the space more related to fire.
If you have water in your backyard, maybe a stream or a large pond, I would recommend a zig-zag bridge. This will create a dynamic effect. You need a large amount of water in your yard to pull off this style of bridge.
- A rounded bridge is more associated with yin or water energy.
- A straight bridge can come off ordinary and more earth like.
- The zig-zag bridge has the excitement of fire energy.
The zig-zag bridge is made up of segments. Each segment is set at a different angle. It kind of looks like different Tetris pieces merged together.
- Zig-zag bridges are often seen in Chinese gardens, Japanese gardens, and Zen rock gardens.
- The bridge is constructed based off Zen philosophy. It is meant to focus the walker's attention to the current moment. It's about respecting the here and now, and putting the past and future to the side. (Zig-zag bridges are also fun.)
The pointed tops help connect Heaven and Earth. A pagoda is a tiered tower with several eaves. They're commonly used in China, Korea, Japan, and Vietnam. Pagodas are often used by Buddhists and are located near viharas, which are old Buddhist monasteries.
Pagodas trace back to ancient India. Miniature pagodas can make a garden space more inviting, city like, inventive, and can subtlety remind people of the vertical movement of fire.
Chinese pagodas are a staple of architecture and are often mentioned in poetry. Pagodas have a series of staircases moving up and down.
- You can find garden pagodas online on Amazon and through outdoor stores.
- Some pagodas work well with candles or other lighting.
- Pagodas look nice next tall plants and succulents.
- Fire is about ascending and transcending the earth plane. The element is meant to be mesmerizing. Pagodas are about reaching to the heavens.
- Fire is about transformation, which can be revealed through staircases, towers, and unusual art. (A journey is a form of transformation.)
Add Curvy Lines and Paths
Fire feng shui and the principles of yang do favor clean lines as opposed to rounded edges. However, in Chinese folklore, only evil spirits can walk in straight lines.
What does this mean for you? Don't make everything straight and clean in your garden. You need curves and dimension.
Meandering paths are meant as a form of protection and to raise the bar on your design efforts. Adding curves helps your garden to come alive and gives it a more realistic and memorable touch.
- Straight lines are great for organization, like planting vegetables and fruits.
- Straight lines work in spots where you need things to be predictable and simple.
- Curvy edges carry a free-flowing and positive energy. It will make your garden seem more pleasant and charming.
- Curves = softer, more relaxed energy.
- Zig-zags are the best for a fire feng shui garden. The paths are still memorable, but not too curvy. Curves can drain the fire energy.
Succulent Garden with Sand
The fire element's biggest enemy is water. One way you can design your garden to incorporate less water is to build an area meant for succulents.
- Dedicate a space to cacti. They don't need a lot of water. They can grow tall and have red blooms.
- Cacti and other succulents can look extremely attractive together. You can put them in or around sand.
- Cacti and succulents represent the desert, which is a terrain dedicated to the fire element.
Sand also makes for a nice decoration in jars. You can have jars of sand in different colors next to your succulents. This area can be designed in a way that you'll want to sit and read among your potted plants. Put a porch swing around your succulents, strip the area of grass, add a shelf or put your succulents on a paved surface.
Setup a place in a wooded area where you can place gnome and fairy houses. Gnomes tend to have pointy heads and wear lots of red. You can also add red colored toadstools and mushrooms. Fairy houses can also be decorated with tiny lights. The gnome garden should have little hideouts, signs, miniature versions of fruit and veggies found in your actual garden, and miniature fire pits.
A gnome / fairy garden is a great space for children who want to play and need time to be creative outside. Building a gnome world is a great way to stretch the imagination.
You'll want to make sure you regularly keep an eye on your gnome or fairy garden. If you don't put consistent care into it, the cute village will look abandoned and like a ghost town for gnomes. It's important to clean off objects and add cover from rain.
The Elements in Feng Shui
Fire helps create earth by turning into ash. The ash forms land, and it helps earth to spread.
Fire destroys metal by melting it.
Earth helps create metal by forming minerals within soil.
Earth destroys water by drying it and cutting off its flow.
Metal nourishes water through condensation.
Metal destroys wood by chopping into it.
Water nourishes wood by helping the flowers and trees to grow.
Water destroys fire by putting out flames.
Wood nourishes fire by feeding it and giving it a path to spread.
Wood destroys earth by popping out of it and disheveling the land.
Feng Shui Tips
1. Don't let your tree branches touch your house.
You don't want branches on your house. It's not great for your roof and poses as potential danger, especially in inclement weather.
Trees should be far enough away from the house that you don't have to worry about roots. Trim back branches when they get too close.
As for flowers, plants, succulents, and other greenery, those can touch your house. Make sure you cut down some of the flora that's close to your house, so you don't create dens for rodents and other critters.
2. Group things in odd numbers.
When adding multiple new plants into your yard, stick to three, five, or seven. You don't want everything to pair off evenly. The dynamic numbers are good for variety. They also have a softer chi.
3. Create a garden that supports your home and is easy to manage.
Don't create a garden that goes outside of your capabilities. Don't go beyond your needs, and don't create something overwhelming. You don't want to create something that is near impossible to maintain.
Create a garden that's low maintenance and self-sufficient. You want to create a garden, not a farm that's a full-time job.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Andrea Lawrence