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The picture below illustrates the proper feng shui according to the Land Form School. Many people consider Land Form the most powerful feng shui method. Note that the house mimics the position of a person sitting in an armchair with an ottoman in front of it. This configuration is sometimes known as the “comfortable armchair” and just like your favorite armchair it will make you feel protected, safe and relaxed.

Land Form School "Comfortable Armchair"

Land Form School “Comfortable Armchair”

The positions of the Tortoise, Dragon, Tiger and Phoenix are all assessed from the perspective of the person in the house. If you want to know which side is which, go and stand in the front doorway of your house* and look outward. The tiger side is on your right and the dragon side is on your left. Ideally, the land on the tiger side should be slightly lower than the land on the dragon side. If that’s not the case for you it may be possible for you to change this via landscaping or feng shui adjustments.

But for now we’re going to ignore considerations of the compass, five elements, colors, climate, exposure, etc and focus solely on which plants are appropriate for the dragon side based on yin/yang.

The dragon side is meant to be protective and active (yang) while the tiger side is meant to be receptive and quiet (yin).

Plants with big leaves belong on the dragon side of the garden.

Fatsia japonica leaf. Image from Wikipedia.

Fatsia japonica leaf. Image from Wikipedia.

Petasites Japonicus

Petasites Japonicus var. Giganteus

Acanthus Mollus leaf. Photo from Wikipedia.

Acanthus Mollis leaf. Photo from Wikipedia.

Gunnera manicata. Photo from Wikipedia.

Gunnera manicata. Photo from Wikipedia.

Paulownia tomentosa. Photo from Wikipedia.

Paulownia tomentosa┬╣. Photo from Wikipedia.

Trees add protection and the trunks have that upwards, woody energy that is yang. Bamboo carries that same energy. You can use landscaping and trees to make the dragon side “higher” than the tiger side of the lot, which is considered proper when using the Land Form method of feng shui.

Choose trees carefully and don’t plant them too close to the house. Before planting, think about how big the tree will be in 30 years. To my mind, evergreen trees are the best choice for the dragon side.

Eucryphia x Nymansay in bloom with bee visitor

Eucryphia x Nymansay in bloom with bee visitor

Bark of the Arbutus "Marina"

Bark of the Arbutus “Marina”

Arbutus unedo or Strawberry bush

Arbutus unedo or Strawberry bush

Woody evergreen shrubs are also a good choice to support the dragon side of the garden.

Umbellularia Californica (Oregon Myrtle)

Umbellularia Californica (Oregon Myrtle)

Myrica Californica

Myrica californica (indestructible in the PNW and a good substitute for bamboo)

Rhododendron. Photo from Wikipedia.

Rhododendron. Photo from Wikipedia.

Pittosporum tobira variegata or Japanese Mock Orange

Pittosporum tobira variegata or Japanese Mock Orange

Thorny or dense plants for protection, are appropriate for the dragon side. Keep them planted and pruned well away from where people will be walking or sitting.

Chaenomeles x Superba "Hollandia"

Chaenomeles x Superba “Hollandia” or Flowering Quince

Berberis Darwinii

Berberis darwinii. Also know as barberry.

Mahonia aquifolium "Oregon Grape"

Mahonia aquifolium “Oregon Grape”. Image from Wikipedia.

Poncirus trifoliata or Flying Dragon. A literal choice?

Poncirus trifoliata or Flying Dragon. A literal choice? Image from Wikipedia.

Some people might say you should not have any thorny plants in your garden or that flowering shrubs and trees belong on the tiger or yin side but I disagree. I think you just have to find the right place.

I’ll do another post about what you might want to plant on the tiger side later.

*Just FYI: This is a very simplified explanation. Your front door may or may not correspond to the facing of your house. If it does not, this information may not apply. It depends…

┬╣ Regarding Paulownia tomentosa: I’m pretty sure Judy Thomas has one of those in her garden. I believe she cuts it down each year so it doesn’t overgrow the space.

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