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Gardening During a Drought


Anyone who lives in New Jersey as I do cannot adequately put into words the disappointment felt this summer over our gardens. The past winter we had was especially brutal, with blizzards and exceptionally cold weather. What got a lot of us thru all the snow and ice was the thought of the spring. With its arrival we could go outside, plant, and watch our beautiful flowers bloom. However, it hasn’t turned out the way we wished it. Yes, the spring did come and we planted. But this summer has been horrific for gardeners. We went thru about six weeks of little, if any rain. If having a drought hasn’t been difficult enough on the plants, we’ve also had intense heat wave after heat wave. Needless to say our plants, shrubs, trees and flowers have quite literally been fried. The result has been a lot of really bad feng shui on a lot of people’s yard’s too. 

Yes, it is discouraging to tend to half-dead vegetation in the summer. To a true gardener, the flowers and plants are children. We carefully place them in the ground, water them, and pray they will grow to their full potential. However, if you get caught up in your misery over “ what could have been”, you will be hurting yourself on three levels. On the purely physical level, it will look just down right un-kept and spooky with all the dead stuff. On a feng shui level, good chi will avoid the place like the plague but bad chi will feel very welcome. On a spiritual level you are giving up on the symbolic promise of renewal one taps into from tending to the soil. 

So as much as it may not be too much fun, now is the time to get out there and start cutting down the burnt flowers, cleaning up the dead leaves, and pruning all plants which look half-dead. Last Sunday I had to throw out all the dead boxwoods on my balcony. Better to discard them than to have negative energy lurking. 

While you’re at it in the steaming heat, any tree stubs you have on the property should be tended to. In feng shui they symbolize death. They should either be dug out or a much cheaper option is to just cover them with a potted plant or growing vine. 

Any vines growing on your home is a big no-no. Your home and its condition are representative of your physical body. Vines growing on homes will suffocate the house, giving you breathing problems and bad skin to boot. 

Birdbaths are not really feng shui friendly. This is because water equates to money. If you have stagnant, dirty water in the birdbath, your finances will become like the water. If you must have this feature on your property for ascetics or compassion for the birds, you absolutely must keep the water sparkling clean by emptying and refilling it everyday. The same applies with fountains. Yes, moving water is great feng shui. Dirty moving water just brings dirty chi your way. 

Sometimes what I have written about can sound very simplistic. When I explain it to clients during appointments, I will get the “Yes, I know it has to be cleaned-up, but give me some quick cures for such and such”. However, no matter what you may read on another site or hear from someone else, there is NO getting around the basic fact that feng shui is a spiritual process and holistic. You are one with your place. There are no magic cures that will allow you to disregard the basic care and tending to your soul’s relation to God and your home. 

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