In our Spring 2021 issue, our resident gardening expert Hans Wieland offered us a thoughtful piece on recrafting our lawns as places of happiness. We previously published a sneak peek of his piece to our site, but today, we are sharing the whole thing. Enjoy!
In our Autumn 2020 issue, our resident gardening expert Hans Wieland wrote about the importance of seed saving, and how this can benefit future generations as well as those who are here now. Scroll on below to read it!
Grow Yourself an Outdoor Haven, Amanda Collins
Summer has finally arrived, the most Yang time of year. Summer is symbolic of fire, heat, beaches, outdoor activities and moving outward in nature and in our lives. It represents expansion and activity, abundant energy and longer days.
The Summer Solstice on June 21st provides a poignant example of the cyclical nature of Yin and Yang energy. One is never without the other, and as soon as a peak is reached, the cycle reverses itself. The long, hot, Yang days of summer are accompanied by more outdoor activity and fun. Simultaneously, Yin energy strengthens as each night grows a little longer. In six months, our winter will begin, and once again, each night will grow shorter. All of nature contains varying degrees of Yin and Yang. They are opposite yet complementary forces that symbolize balance.
Time in Nature
It is important to honour this Yang energy and spend plenty of time in nature this summer. A great way to connect with nature is simply to spend time in your garden. A garden is a link to the divine, to the creative force of the cosmos and your higher self.
For a garden to flourish, you must create an intimate relationship with nature. Then the garden becomes your co-creation with nature and an expression of beauty. A garden’s design should embrace the three forms of creation: visual, universal connection and social connection. Make your garden pleasing to the eye. Create areas for meditation and yoga, or include a sacred altar. Be sure to arrange areas in which you can gather with friends.
A garden says a great deal about you. An empty garden shows finances are limited, while a garden in constant disarray shows that your life is busy and hectic. Always ask yourself, “What is my garden saying to me?” Pathways should flow like a meandering stream, not a straight road. Avoid dead end paths or making them overly complicated.
Plants and Animals
Plant flowers and plants with soft leaves, and avoid those with thorns, spines or pointy leaves. Attracting wildlife to your garden will bring excellent energies to any area. Invite energy into your environment by adding birdbaths, bird feeders and birdhouses. Consider planting flowers that will attract hummingbirds and butterflies.
A Treat for the Senses
A water feature adds an auditory perception of being connected to nature. The best locations to place such a fountain are the East and Southwest. Keep the water feature clean and make sure it flows either in a 360° pattern or towards the house. Flowing away from the house is not recommended.
Consider stimulating other senses as well. Do you have plants that make you want to get closer and inhale deeply? Have you planted a few herbs, fruits or vegetables that can be tasted on the spot? How about plants with interesting textures begging to be touched? Find things you love, and add them to your garden.
A sense of protection and a definition of space are also important to consider. If your property is open and exposed, those who live there may feel vulnerable, so adding some shrubs or fencing is a great way to create that boundary.
Colour also has a tremendous emotional impact on us. Reds, oranges and yellows are the warmer colours and tend to bring a sense of energy to a space.
Add hammocks that allow for the possibility of napping or laying on the grass.
The main goal of your summer Feng Shui celebration is to have a garden that calls you to spend time in it because, when you are there, you feel a deep sense of calm, peace and connection to Mother earth.
Amanda Collins is the Founder and teacher at International Feng Shui School.
The world we live in can feel like it’s beginning to spin faster and faster until we are caught up in a whirlwind of activity and obligations despite our best efforts at balancing and centering ourselves. These are the times when we have to make space to care for ourselves so that we can care for others, to reconnect with our deeper selves so that we can once again see that our lives are blessed.
Hunting Brook Gardens are a magical space where you can relax amid the twenty acres of tranquil tropical and woodland gardens filled with rare plants overlooking the Wicklow Mountains, walk through the ancient ring fort and along the brook, sit and listen to bird song, breathe deeply, feel your body unwind.
Hunting Brook also offers a series of courses ranging from gardening and cookery to holistic healthcare, arts, crafts and more where you can engage with passionate instructors and enrich your mind.
Hunting Brook is run by Jimi Blake, professional gardener and speaker, and is also his home. The Garden Room is used for most of our courses and is also available for hire by instructors, groups or businesses for courses or events.
For garden opening times, directions, course listings and other information, please visit our web site www.huntingbrook.com or ring Jimi on 087 285 6601.