Feng Shui Tips For Your Home and Garden

The entry to a home or the doorway into rooms is where your first view is encountered. Doorways and entrances to anything should feel welcoming. They should be clear and the pathway should allow ease of movement.

The Chi, (or energy flow), should never be made stagnant at this point. Pictures and ornamental decorations in this area of your home should be pleasing and round leafed plants in pots attract prosperity into the home. Another tip to remember is that if you have doorways from front to back that are visible, the flowing of energy should be stopped from escape.

A Feng Shui cure for this problem, can be by placing a plant as suggested to the side of the entry: thus creating an environment to capture the Chi flow. The essence of creating good flow and attracting harmony, involves placement.

Feng Shui recognizes that small problems can have a major effect on your life, and that a well kept home will always have better chi than one where maintenance tasks have been allowed to pile up. The minor problems and inconveniences that plague a poorly maintained home can restrict your freedom of movement, cloud your ability to understand a situation, make it difficult to take advantage of opportunities, and waste your resources.

Think of Chi as an important guest you wish to welcome to your home, and make your formal entry – and the access to it from the street – as inviting as possible.

The principles of Feng Shui can be applied to your garden as well. By applying these principles to your garden you can attract positive energy, wealth and good fortune. Given below are a few tips and ideas on how to Feng Shui your garden.

The most important principles to remember in the garden are curves and proportion. Your house is the Yin energy and your garden is the Yang energy. The Yang aspect in Feng Shui is about light and space. Try to incorporate all the five elements of Feng Shui in your garden as much as possible.

- Use a pond, birdbath or fountain to represent the water element.
- Use a sundial or bronze statue in the garden for metal.
- Use trees and shrubs for wood.
- Use plants or flowers that are red and orange in color to represent fire.
- Use earth to represent the earth element.

Water features such as pools, ponds and fountains are beautiful and encourage beneficial chi. They also symbolize prosperity and create yin (feminine) energy.

You can create more Yang (masculine) energy by using garden lights to add light to the garden’s dark areas. Remember balance and harmony is the key to a Feng Shui Garden.

Starfish, Timeless Decor for Home and Bathroom

Starfish are fascinating sea creatures. They are immensely popular as decorative items. A rich subject for photographers in nautical themed displays such as bathroom product promotions and cosmetics and a popular decor item in countless homes. To this day they are still a source of sustenance for many small communities. Sea stars posses an evergreen beauty that captivates the human imagination.

The Starfish possesses the remarkable ability to regenerate itself when it suffers an injury or even loses one of its ‘arms’. Named for their distinctive shape, the starfish has an appeal that has captured the imagination of countless individuals.

The uniquely attractive shape of the starfish gives it a timeless beauty. Its origins from the depths of the ocean – inaccessible to the average person, serves to add to its mysterious, aquatic charm.

For decades they have been a popular subject for photographers, home crafts, florists, artists, decorators to name but a few. There is a thriving industry built on harvesting these marine animals by the thousands and exporting them to all corners of the globe.

Due to its very nature it is ideally suited as a decoration item for bathrooms and showers. A natural fit for water features or pool areas. Unfortunately the dried Starfish that are commercially available are not suited to extended exposure to humidity. The constant moisture eventually causes disintegration over time.

Our planet is groaning under ecological strain and any marine related industry is regarded with conservation concerns. Commercially harvested starfish for the most part are apparently not a threatened species at this time. They are prolific breeders and it is a rich resource that is still bountiful in numbers. It has been the lively hood of many small coastal villages in developing countries such as the Philippines and in Fiji, where the harvesting of these sea creatures has been a way of life for centuries. The ever increasing demand for these unusual animals will in time no doubt begin to deplete sources.

So many natural resources on this amazing planet are currently laboring under the burden of unchecked plunder and depletion. Some classes of starfish have however been declared an endangered species.Alternative and affordable forms of marine themed d├ęcor items are readily available on the market. Making use of these would certainly ease the demands made on nature and aid in the preservation our natural heritage.

One can find durable and water resistant replicas that range from realistic to more stylized designs. With all the charm and attraction perfectly captured. The greatest advantage being that they make a more versatile range of uses available. Moisture and weathering is no longer an issue. There is no need for us to forego such an appealing addition to our homes and gardens.

Home Vegetable Garden – Planning Your Garden Year After Year

Humans tend to be creatures of habit – I know I am. So when I first started vegetable gardening, my instinct was to find a spot for my tomatoes and then plant them there year after year. However, as I later learned, this was not good for my garden. Diversity is what a garden needs – the systematic rotation of plants from different families. There is a technical term for this: “crop rotation”.

Crop rotation in a home vegetable garden requires planning the location of each planting to ensure you are not planting a vegetable from the same family of vegetables in the same location in a three year cycle. Crop rotation is an important part of an organic gardening strategy, helping gardeners:

* Protect against pests and diseases
Vegetables in the same plant family are often susceptible to the same pests and diseases; crop rotation helps protect vegetables by making the location less hospitable to these organisms. By introducing a vegetable in a different family, the pests and diseases die off due to lack of a food source.

* Guard against nutrient depletion
Vegetables in different families have different nutrient requirements. By rotating plant families, you are less likely to deplete the soil of individual nutrients. Some vegetables (like beans and peas), actually add nitrogen to the soil. So rotating beans and peas with vegetables that require a lot of nitrogen can be an effective strategy for protecting soil fertility.

* Improve soil structure
Healthy soil contains a lot of organic material which is home to a host of beneficial microbes. These microbes play an important role in maintaining good soil structure, making it easier for vegetables to grow as roots have an easier time penetrating the soil. Crop rotation protects these microbes by helping the soil retain its organic matter.

To be successful with a crop rotation program, gardeners need to keep records from year to year in order to track the location of each planting within the vegetable garden. Without detailed records, it would be difficult to manage a crop rotation program. For those who do not enjoy record keeping, you can use a garden planner application which handles the tracking for you and places plants in the optimal location considering crop rotation requirements.