Decorating & Design - Flower Arranging

Decorating with houseplants: It's good feng shui

By
Patricia Sinclair

According to the ancient Chinese philosophy of feng shui, decorating with houseplants will create harmony in your home.

Imagine a room, empty and uninhabited for years -- you can cut the static stillness with a knife. Then someone places a potted lavender plant on the windowsill, and this lonely space seems infused with life. Followers of the ancient Chinese philosophy of feng shui will say this lavender is more than simply a pleasant window dressing. According to this age-old custom, decorating with houseplants will balance the energy, and create a sense of harmony in every room in the home.

Author and feng shui expert Lillian Too says the Chinese describe good feng shui as "the ideal balance of energies in the home." Plants represent wood, the only one of the five elements - the others are air, water, earth and metal - containing energy, or the life force. Indoors, feng shui is all about the placement of objects, including plants, for the best balancing of energy, or ‘Chi'. And Chi quality depends on the balance of yin and yang energies. Yang refers to masculine, creative energy - the more active life force. Yang's feminine counterpart yin, represents passive, still and reflective energy.

Yin/yang in the bedroom
In most bedrooms, quiet yin overpowers vibrant yang energy. Though all plants are energizing, those with feathery, softer-looking leaves, namely ferns, are more yin and will promote bedroom tranquility. According to Koidu Sulev, feng shui expert with Richter's Herbs, hanging baskets are great harmonizers as they "lift and circulate the plant's energy." A hanging basket inside the bedroom window, or a planter on the windowsill filled with feathery herbs like lavender or woolly lamb's ear will draw serene energy in from the outdoors.

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