of the Month
symbolizes what Abrams expects from her yard: "Spiritual
shui brings serenity of ages to Phoenix yard
Abrams' yoga students leave classes in her backyard teahouse,
many sit on the wooden step for an hour before leaving.
bodies, balanced by an hour of breathing and stretching, bask
in the Asian-inspired harmony of the back yard of her 30-year
old rambling ranch within walking distance of the Arizona
understands. The peace in her back yard is by design. Certified
by the Feng Shui Institute of America, she has purposely turned
her yard into an ancient art form designed to soothe the soul.
is a philosophy with its roots in the rotation of the seasons
and the relationship of five natural elements: wood, metal,
air, earth and water.
- pronounced chee - is the energy that drives these forces
and must flow freely to be balanced. Feng shui teaches that
those who occupy an environment where the energy is balanced
and flowing freely will realize the benefit of this improved
energy state in their personal lives.
principles applied to landscaping include where to place foliage,
what color flowers to plant, and which direction buildings
should face to create the most beneficial flow of energy.
yard a pine tree is pruned into triangles shapes, a symbol
representing fire. Metal is round; so are many of the bushes
and fountains. Anything green, or rectangular, is wood. Water
is simply water.
Shui, triangular shapes like the shrubs above represent fire.
Other plants are round, the shape representing metal.
The garden meanders, avoiding any straight lines in plants
or pathways. This, Abrams explains, is because straight lines
cause energy to escape quickly. With windings lines, energy
comes and stays.
placed on a new plum tree, attract energy. Trees outline the
yard, hugging both the house and teahouse.
ancient China, a house was to be in the belly on the dragon,"
said Abrams, who operates AAA Feng Shui in Phoenix. "I've
created the belly."
the yard's most important elements is not a plant, but rather
a peacock. Named Frack, the peacock symbolizes what Abrams
expects from her yard:
birth. This yard is just good for my soul. My yard is really
my sacred space."
Joy Abrams applied more than basic gardening principles in
turning the back yard of her Biltmore neighborhood ranch house
into a rejuvenating retreat. She incorporated an ancient philosophy
of life. Visit her yard for TGL's Garden of the Month.
me about fees
Karen Fernau/Arizona Republic and Photos by Christine Keith/Arizona
Republic - Wednesday March 1, 2000.