Yin and Yang: How do they Relate to Your Property

Yin and yang is an eastern idea that has to do with complementary opposites. It’s all about balance. Yin and yang are present in everything in the universe and their dynamic balance creates harmony and well-being. Learn about how yin and yang affect your property from educator and consultant, Maureen Calamia.

Yin Yang of the Property by Maureen CalamiaA feng-shui home will have yin and yang in balance. The front of the home should be more yang energy, attracting opportunities from the “river” (or roadway) flowing by. The back of our homes should be more yin energy.

Let me explain:

A yang environment will be one that is more vibrant, containing movement and light. It will facilitate the flow of chi from the roadway to the “mouth of chi” of the home, aka the front door. However, a front yard can be too yang energy which could be harmful to the occupants of the home; for example, a house on a T-intersection or one a fast-moving road.

If the front yard is too yin, it will not attract positive energy and will have an affect on all areas of the occupants life, including career, finances, health and relationships. Environments that are too yin would include a house set back from the road with a narrow driveway and lots of over-grown landscaping obscuring the view of the house; another example is a house across from a cemetery (yikes!)

A yin environment in the backyard will provide security and protection of the family; fences and landscaping usually does the trick. A yin yard will provide a safe haven from the exterior world and privacy from strangers, including the noise level.

A yard that is too yang can be uncomfortable for the family and can create anxiety, depending on the energy of the space. A yard that is very narrow (on top of a neighbor), no visual separation between your yard and neighbors or adjacent to industry can cause stress.


maureenkcalamia_RRMaureen is founder of the Re-Nature Feng Shui™ philosophy based on the fact that we need to restore nature back into our lives. Maureen brings her passion for Feng Shui to the greater community through her teaching and past experience as a long-time IFSG board member. Read more about Maureen.


Article/Image Source: Yin and Yang: How do they Relate to Your Property

Creating a Feng Shui Garden: Metal Element

“I love incorporating the 5 natural elements into a Feng Shui garden setting. Metal is especially fun as it is a great hard scape material and is represented by round and oval shapes. Also, the colors of white, silver and gold are metal.” Find out more about the Feng Shui element of metal in your outdoor spaces by Maureen Calamia.

Metal represents refinement and boldness. A little goes a long way.  Especially in a Feng Shui garden.

What Not to Do!

Although this is metal and is somewhat round, no, you don’t wanted a rusted car in your garden! (Although my friend points out that she could plant a nice geranium bed in the engine!)

What to Do!

Metal can be incorporated with a beautiful, unique sculpture, such as this sculpture.

In fact, the symbolism of this sculpture is heaven on earth, represented by the circle (heaven) within the square (earth). A truly a dramatic way to incorporate metal in any garden.

Or it can be as simple (and much less expensive) as this – a gazing ball.

Metal lawn furniture, metal trellises, and fencing are more ways to incorporate metal into your yard.


Best Places for Metal

Metal is best in the West, Northwest and North areas of your property. The West is known for Completion and Creativity. The Northwest is known for Helpful People and Travel. The North is known for Life’s Journey, Opportunities and your Career.


maureenkcalamia_RRMaureen Calamia is founder of the Re-Nature Feng Shui™ philosophy based on the fact that we need to restore nature back into our lives. Maureen brings her passion for Feng Shui to the greater community as an educator and past long time IFSG board member.  Read more about Maureen.


Article/Image Source: Creating a Feng Shui Garden: Metal Element

Taking Nature’s Lead – How Weeds Can Be Beneficial to Your Garden

The very first people who practiced Feng Shui keenly observed Nature. Intimate with the world surrounding them, they designed their dwellings in harmony with the land, for optimal human health and well-being. Learn more about how weeds and all plants can be beneficial to your garden, your life, and your Feng Shui, by Eco Feng Shui Designer, Consultant & Educator, Alisa Rose Seidlitz

Today, for the most part, we’re living in a world where our designs, and other actions, have disturbed and disrupted Nature on a vast scale. Today, it’s imperative, not only for good health, but for the survival of our species, that we once again become keen observers, then take Nature’s lead. It’s vital that we let Nature show us the way to harmony, instead of overriding it as we have done for so long.

When practicing feng shui, the place to start at home is on the outside, and today, there’s a lot to heal regarding the land on which we live.

Dancing to Nature’s tune, taking steps in harmonious response to what Nature shows us, makes life easier!


Alisa Rose Seidlitz, weeds and nature


Wonderful Weeds!

When practicing Feng Shui, the place to start at home is on the outside, and today, there’s a lot to heal regarding the land on which we live.

Are you concerned about the growth of weeds in your garden? Is it a constant challenge to keep them under control?  As a Bay Friendly Garden Design Educator and Feng Shui Designer, I’m often asked how to get rid of weeds, how to stop them from growing.

But guess what! Weeds can be wonderful! On every plot of land, weeds will grow. Weed seeds come from near or far. They spread by runners or rhizomes, are carried on the wind and in the bellies of birds. Where soil has been badly disturbed and where herbicides have been used, weeds WILL grow. Whichever method one uses to remove them, they will eventually return.

The surprise is that many plants which we typically identify as “weeds” are actually tremendously useful and ecologically necessary. Many common weeds have medicinal value for humans and other animals, along with qualities which heal soil. They also serve pollinators such as bees and butterflies.  Birds thrive on the seeds of “weeds.”

Plants which nature grows always have a purpose in the living ecosystem of soil. They bring needed nutrients or remove pollutants, add organic matter and aerate heavy clay. Their presence shows us what’s going in the soil. “Weeds” and their health are soil health indicators. Healthy soil is the foundation of a beautiful, easy care garden, thus most weeds are truly our partners, not our enemies.

In a real sense, a weed is simply a plant growing where we think it shouldn’t. When we relax and readjust our focus, we can see the purpose and beauty all around.

Shall We Breathe?

Like other plants, those we call “weeds” provide oxygen, take in CO2, and help build up the beneficial microbes in the soil. It is the Beneficial Microbes which absorb CO2 and other greenhouses from the atmosphere. Allowing healthy soil to sequester the excessive greenhouse gasses is what will enable destructive climate change to be turned around.


Alisa Rose Seidlitz, weeds and nature

 A Few Weeds We WANT (really!)

Important to Remember: These plants bring in beneficial insects which are essential for the good health of our gardens.

Clover: a legume, it ‘fixes’ (add) bio-available nitrogen.

Yellow Dock: long taproot, helps break up and aerate compacted soil.

Plantain: presence signals low pH/balances soil pH, adds beneficial microbial life.

Black Medick (tiny leaves which get very dark with age, tiny yellow flowers): especially needed now in drought effected areas, as it fixes nitrogen while helping to retain moisture.

Dandelion: indicates soil fertility, taproot helps break up and aerate compacted soil.

Self-Heal: heals disturbed, acidic soil

Horsetail: helps remove heavy metals, indicates poor drainage

Crabgrass: shows very low levels of calcium and phosphorus, low pH, low humus

Yellow-Flowering Oxalis: shows very low levels of calcium and high levels of magnesium

Fennel: while Fennel is on “invasive” plant lists, it’s good to remember that all plants “placed” by Nature have purpose, so let’s consider the following:

  • Fennel is extremely drought tolerant, growing by the side of freeways and in otherwise barren center strips, brightening and beautifying those areas where almost nothing else will grow.
  • Fennel is a fantastic and much needed bee plant!
  • Also deeply nutritious and medicinal, it’s used in many recipes.
  • Needing zero watering, if it happens to it show up in your garden, feel blessed, and use it in the design!

This is only a small sampling of the many additional plants which we tend to consider “in the way” also fit into the “blessings” category.

All of the above plants, except crabgrass, can be considered edible in one way or another, are nutritious (although some, like yellow-flowering oxalis, in very limited ways and quantities), and have a variety of medicinal qualities. Some can be used as natural dyes.

Again, except for crabgrass, all are much needed by bees!


Alisa Rose Seidlitz, weeds and nature


Please never use chemical herbicides to get rid of weeds. Not only will weeds return, all “cides” destroy pollinators and the microbial life of healthy soil, too, and of course are detrimental to all life, including humans.

Planting with Purpose

Choose and place plants so that at maturity, they cover and shade the ground, thus precluding most weed growth.

Ask & Share

With prayerful attention, find a spot which you’re willing to share with the plants that you consider weeds, then asking them to move there sometimes works! Doing this feels good, so no harm in trying!


Every plant can be beneficial if we relax and look carefully. In nature, every plant serves a purpose. All provide oxygen and absorb CO2.

Next time you see a “weed,” celebrate and ask what extra blessing it brings!



Alisa Rose SeidlitzAlisa Rose Seidlitz is a longtime Ecological Garden Designer, Certified Green Building Professional, GreenAP for Interiors, Graceful Lifestyles Certified Interior Re-Designer, Flower Essence and Reiki Practitioner. Read more about Alisa Rose.



Article Source: Taking Nature’s Lead
Photos: Alisa Rose Seidlitz

Got that Good Feng Shui Buzz

Have you got that Good Feng Shui Buzz?!
The buzz of happy bees, that is!

Feng Shui considers balance, elemental simplicity, and nature – and what better way to think about the garden than about the benefits and balance bees can bring to your world. By Alisa Rose Seidlitz

As consultants and practitioners, we know that Feng Shui’s essential purpose – to help us live in sync with nature’s elements, energy flow, and universal cycles – supports our overall health and well being.

We know that the elemental world, and the literal Wind and Water aspects of a site, help promote and determine our well being, or lack thereof.

We understand that Feng Shui is about the relationship of our built environment to the natural world around us.  And the garden is of course part of the built environment!

We know that Everything Is Connected.  In the long-run, our personal Feng Shui can only be as good as the health of the world around us. Spaces and places where bees thrive indicate that people can thrive there, too. A space which supports bees, where there is ample bee habitat, supports the best Feng Shui. (Most bees absolutely do NOT want to sting you.)

Bee Beautiful, Do Good

Beauty in one’s surrounding contributes a vital aspect of good Feng Shui. Places where bees thrive contribute beauty to our personal spaces.  And I feel that it’s safe to say that those of us, who care about Feng Shui, care about Life. Having a good Feng Shui garden – even one flower pot which supports bees – helps the Feng Shui of the wider world, which in turn helps us all.

Truth or Consequences

No matter what other Feng Shui actions we take, enhancements we make or cures we place, to have harmony at home and at work, isn’t it imperative that we live in harmony with our other-than-human, fellow planetary residents?

The truth is we need bees. In fact, because they’re the most effective pollinators in the world, plant and animal life depends upon them!

Alisa Rose SeidlitzMost likely due to multiple environmental factors, mainly pervasive pesticide use, but most likely also massive global use of radio frequencies as such as microwaves (from cell towers and other sources) and manmade electro-magnetic fields, bee populations have declined alarmingly.

Scientists at the University of Maryland and the US Department of Agriculture have identified a toxic combo of pesticides and fungicides which are contaminating the pollen that bees collect to feed their hives, causing a great decline in the bees’ ability to resist infection. Even the pollen from weeds and wildflowers gets contaminated with these toxic chemicals, despite the fact that those plants were not the specific target of spraying.

Bringing Back Good Health for Bees and Good Feng Shui

Would you like to help bring back the bees, create the best Feng Shui and have a healthy garden, too?  Whether in the city or countryside, what YOU do in your space definitely counts! No matter the size of your garden – even if you don’t have an in-ground garden at all – you can help the bees and your Feng Shui, from a window sill. A garden box or pot is all you need!

So, to get started:

FIRST and FOREMOST – Stop all pesticide use.
Hand weed, or pour boiling water over them, if you must get rid of weeds. Remember, a weed is usually simply a plant in a place where we don’t want it growing. Many so-called weeds are actually nutritious and healing herbs, who’s flowers bees love! Bees LOVE Dandelion and Clover (2 wonderful medicinal herbs)!

Buy ‘clean’ plants and seeds whenever possible. Use organically grown plants and seeds when available.  The most toxic set of chemicals, called neonicotinoids, are still used by wholesale plant growers and local nurseries, as well as sold in products as plant food.  These poisons are systemic, saturating the treated plant and its neighbors, from roots to flowers, and have disastrous effects on butterflies, ladybugs and earthworms, too.

Ask nursery staff if their plants are treated. If there aren’t any ‘clean’ plants, cutting off the first set of blooms will significantly reduce the bees’ exposure.

Request that the places where you shop stop using neonicotinoids, and remove plants and products with them from their shelves!

Use native plants which are local to your region. Did you know that there are some 1,500 native bees in California, United States alone?  However, renowned bee researcher, University of California at Berkley Professor Gordon Frankie, has found that incorporating some exotics, on the basis of their bee attraction qualities, can actually help the native bees thrive.

Choose single petal flowers in a wide variety of colors, with a variety of shapes and sizes. Bees come in lots of sizes, too!

Alisa Rose SeidlitzPlant in groups or clumps of flowers for swaths of bee territories, if space is available. If not, you can still have flowering beauty and nourishment for both the bees and yourself using a window planter box. Potted plants may be placed in any sunny, wind-protected spots.  Spaces and places where bees thrive indicate that people can thrive there, too.

Design your space or garden box so the bees are at least somewhat protected. Bees like sunshine and shelter from harsh wind. And like butterflies, bees appreciate a source of swallow water; use a small saucer for example.  In addition, not all bees live in tree hives or beekeeper boxes. There are ground dwelling bees who need to access soil, so if you can, it’s a good idea to leave a patch of bare, uncultivated earth for them, without mulch. Some bees live in tree holes and cavities. Mason bees like mud!
Seasonal Changes – Autumn and Winter

Make your blooms cover as many seasons as possible, to supply the bees throughout the growing year.

Autumn is a particularly important time for all bees.  Bees mate during autumn, the queen bee then hibernates, and honey bees staying active in their hives during winter. They all need nectar for energy and pollen for protein.  So, makes sure they have healthy habitat even in autumn and winter.  Autumn is a great time to be planting spring blooming bulbs to get the next year’s bees off to a great start.

Alisa Rose Seidlitz

There is huge variety of bee plants, some to suit every aesthetic. Many have multiple species and bloom thru several seasons. Check with a good local plant nursery for specifics for your area. (Remember to ask for neonicotinoid-free plants)

And oh yes, the less concrete or other pavement, the more space for the bees!


Alisa Rose SeidlitzAlisa Rose Seidlitz is a longtime Ecological Garden Designer, Certified Green Building Professional, GreenAP for Interiors, Graceful Lifestyles Certified Interior Re-Designer, Flower Essence and Reiki Practitioner.  Read more about Alisa Rose.

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