Adventures in Landscaping, Part 2

The snow has melted, the temperatures are rising, and it’s finally time to get back out in the garden and do some work!

If you were around last year, we planted some grass and some flowers, and moved an awful lot of rocks. Oh, and killed some spiders, too. Yuck.

So far this year, the grass has come back with a spectacular green flourish! Our lawn is still the best looking on the block, and that’s not an exaggeration — our neighbors that got sod last year are dealing with an incredibly sad, brown lawn this spring.

I may have been skeptical at first, but now I am a true believer in hand-sown grass seed — slow and steady always wins! There are a few spots that need reseeding, but for a lawn that is not even a year old, it looks damn good, if I do say so myself.

Continue reading


Building Feng Shui

I’ve been thinking a lot about houses (shocker!) and a lot about how our new house will be set up. I’ve pretty much placed every piece of furniture in every room of the new house. While I wouldn’t say I am a strict feng shui follower, there are certain rules that have stuck in my mind and stayed with me throughout this process.

What is feng shui? According to the Google, feng shui, in Chinese thought, is “a system of laws considered to govern spatial arrangement and orientation in relation to the flow of energy (qi), and whose favorable or unfavorable effects are taken into account when siting and designing buildings.” I by no means consider myself an expert – the information here I gathered from various sources (listed at the end of this post). I believe myself to be a “basic” follower, and here are a couple examples of how I see feng shui working in our new home.

Creating an inviting entryway

The one piece of feng shui that I always followed from the beginning of our house search was the staircase rule: I did not want a staircase that led directly out the front door. Even if it meant a certain amount of ease on moving day, I have always been opposed to living in a house with a staircase that funnels out the front door. Luckily for me, our staircase will be in the middle of the house!

Other entryway tips: remove obstacles (such as furniture or plants) from this area, and refrain from hanging a mirror that reflects directly out the front door – this will bounce any chi that attempts to enter your home right back out the door.

Trees behind

I won’t post yet another photo of our empty lot, but just know there will be lots and lots of trees behind the house when it’s finished!

Empowering furniture positioning

This is another one that has stuck in my head: never-have-I-ever positioned a bed such that my feet are facing the door. Feng shui! Correct placement of the bed, or any piece of furniture for that matter, dictates that you are able to see the door or entrance while you are sitting or lying, but so you are not in direct alignment with an open doorway. Without being able to see who or what is coming through the entrance, you will never feel truly comfortable.

There are also a few elements of the new house that I simply can’t (or won’t) change:

Main door facing a triangular peak

Since the lot across the street from ours remains unsold, we have no idea what will eventually be built there. Well, we do know it will be a house – and since most houses in this neighborhood have peaked, triangular roofs, this is probably inevitable.

Address numbers

Numerology in feng shui is highly charged, however, seeing as we don’t even have our “official” address yet, I can’t even begin to speculate on this one. For those of you with house numbers, though, here are the very basic meanings for the 10 digits:

  • 0 – void, nothingness, potential
  • 1 – unobstructed flow of energy, new beginnings
  • 2 – balance, choice, cooperation
  • 3 – creativity, family, self-expression
  • 4 – stability, grounding, security
  • 5 – change, resourcefulness, adventure
  • 6 – calm, patience
  • 7 – contemplation, self-evaluation, solitude
  • 8 – infinity, abundance, success in business
  • 9 – highest number, accomplishment, attainment.

I can at least note that our lot, number 105, could stand for new beginnings, potential, and adventure – this journey has definitely brought all of those things into our life!

The Ceiling Fan Conundrum

Mark this as one thing I won’t be changing: according to feng shui, ceiling fans, especially over frequently-used furniture like beds, desks, and couches, registers as “spinning knives overhead” – ie, bad energy. Alas, I love ceiling fans, and we have always had one over our bed. To me, there is nothing better than a cool breeze on a warm summer night! Luckily, the shape of the fan blades can do a little to curb the bad energy, so I guess we’ll just have to go with something less knife-like.


Although these things may not bring the best energy, there is plenty that can be done to counteract them (bringing nature, like plants and water features, into the home is always good for counteracting negative energy).

Again, all of this is very, very basic feng shui. Obviously I’ve done a bit of “pick and choose” when it comes to what is important to me and what can be glossed over. In the end, we are in charge of creating good energy inside of our homes. Interpretation rarely equates to direct translation. Once you have an idea of how you’d like to bring energy into your home, run with it! For us basic followers, it can’t hurt, right?



Sources: care2, FengShui-tips, Feng Shui for Dummies, About Home