Rocks Offer You Stability

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Excerpted from Secrets of the Land, Designing Harmonious Gardens with Feng Shui
Rocks are important to include in the landscape if it is feasible.  Rocks can be used for their symbolism; such as the Chinese connection to the heavenly forces or for the feeling of stability that they provide.  Rocks are often paired with water for the yin/yang balance. They may be used also as a piece of sculpture.  To choose rocks:
1.   Determine the use of a rock or grouping of rocks.
a.    Meditative purposes.
b.    To pair with a water feature.
c.    To punctuate and add variety to the landscape.
d.    To add a particular quality that you desire.
e.    To stabilize a part of your life.
f.    To mimic a mountain.
2.    Find rocks that will suit your purpose.  Many people have made exacting arts of selecting rocks.  Your best guide for selecting a rock is your emotional reaction to it.  If it “makes your heart sing” you should have it in your garden.
a.    For meditative purposes, some people love to use rocks that are complex with crags and twists that remind them of the many complexities of life.  Others prefer smooth regular shapes to represent the calmness that they want to attract into their lives.  Smooth rocks may also represent how life evens out our imperfections.
b.    To group rocks around a water feature, you may use rocks that are seen near rivers or waterfalls in the area.  If the water feature is highly architectural or used near the house, you may use rocks whose color and character meld with your house style.  When designing rocks in a water feature, include 3 rocks of different heights either inside the pond or to the rear of the pond.
c.    Rocks that punctuate and add variety to your landscape are best selected from indigenous rocks that relate to the colors and textures in your environment.
d.    Some people want to use particular rocks that have long standing significance to them or their culture.  For instance, Chinese culture has held that Jade is a symbol of supreme excellence and purity.  This token may be used in the Ba-Gua area that this quality is needed.
e.    Feng shui placement has other uses for rocks.  They are used to create stability in specific areas and are used to “weight down” areas that are geographically high or out of balance.  It can also create stability in an aspect of life.  For instance, if your finances are always up and down, rocks can help to bring you stability and peace in that area.
f.    To use rocks that mimic mountains find rocks similar to the indigenous rock or rock reminiscent of your favorite mountains.
g.   Rocks in Chinese gardens often take on particular forms because it is thought that without form the ch’i will be static or stuck.  This is particularly true if there is just one rock.  If the rock takes on the form of a lion, turtle or frog or has holes in it, the ch’i can flow through. This way the rock takes on a powerful life force.
Pairing rocks and water in the garden is another opportunity to play with yin and yang.  Beside the forms that can be either yin or yang depending on whether you are viewing them as uplifting and yielding or active and passive, rocks and water have a deeper effect on our psyche.  Like the placement of a building, the locating of rocks and water is a permanent and stationary event.  Because they are unchanging, they provide a focus for our attention that quiets our nature and links us to an interconnection with all things.



  1. Sandra McLeod Humphrey  August 13, 2012

    I love the idea of a “meditative” garden–that would be so cool!

    • Shelley Sparks  August 13, 2012

      Setting aside a whole or part of a garden for respite from the hectic world is not only cool but healthy. The busier your life, the more you need a hideaway or haven. Hope you can find a spot for it!


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