Feng Shui Design for the Garden part 5 – Family tree energy

Feng Shui Design Foundation level training weekend workshop October 1st and 2nd

Wood/Tree Energy for the Garden- there are two wood energy areas, lets start with family tree energy. 

giant redwood tree energy

                          wood/tree energy

Chen – This energy is associated with family, community, action, motivation and the pursuit of our goals.

Think of the energy of spring, upward and outward growth, bursting with possibility. However, a tree can only grow to the same extent as it can deepen and spread its roots into the earth. This sense of rooted connection is associated with family, origins, community and our lineage. 

In honouring and caring for this area we when stabilise our energy and our support system for new growth and vitality. 

Celestial animal and bamboo

The celestial animal associated with this energy is the green dragon which is almost “puppy-like” in its sense of youthful exuberance. It represents the excitement of the energy of the forthcoming new growth during springtime, possibility, new beginnings and delight in the new.

In the East, bamboo is considered to be the epitome of this energy as it grows quickly spreads its roots vigorously, it is flexible, bends with the breeze and is very strong and supple allowing it to withstand all weathers.  

Celtic lore around wood/tree energy

The Celtic culture holds trees in very high esteem with each tree having its own significance in terms of energy and lore. for example:-

Pine is perhaps the most ancient genus of trees living on the earth and is associated with longevity and coming into our centre. In Celtic lore it is the “birth tree”. The European druids built great fires with pine and yew at the winter solstice to welcome back the sun and new beginnings for the year ahead. It is said to encourage objectivity, allowing us to take in the “big picture”.

Rowan, also called “lady of the mountains”  has an association with the Goddess Brighid and springtime, heralding fresh new growth for the year ahead. It is a sacred tree and a symbol of mother natures hidden mysteries and the reawakening of life in spring. It represents creativity, vitality and spiritual strength.

hawthorn and bluebells in blook

Hawthorn and bluebells

Hawthorn has a deep association with the faery world and is said to heal the heart and release negativity. Her flowers in spring mark the end of winter and celebrate renewal of life, love and new beginnings. It is said to invoke the blessings of the faery folk. 

Read more about feng shui design for your home and garden in “A Place to Call Home”

A place to call home feng shui design book

A place to call home, feng shui design, your guidebook for design, connection and belonging

Do’s and Don’ts for the family tree area of the garden


  • allow clutter of any sort building up here. i.e. anything unused or unloved, piles of garden waste etc. this will create stagnation.
  • overuse the metal element in this sector of the garden as it will diminish wood energy (metal ornaments and round or spherical shapes)
  • overuse the fire element which will drain wood energy i.e. actual fire in the form of a firepit for example, the colour red or fiery triangular shapes in design or planting


  • Keep this part of the garden well maintained
  •  If possible, plant a tree or group of trees with strong vertical growth to represent vitality and support. This could be a bamboo plant, or native tree such as Rowan or hawthorn for example. 
  • If you have limited space, plant some tall grasses or plants with a strong vertical emphasis.
  • Bulbs such as bluebells and hyacinths have a strong vertical emphasis and will introduce some energy and vitality in early spring and summer.
  •  Add the water element to enhance the energy of this area in the form of a water feature or blue flowering or trailing plants.


If you want to go all out you could create a giant green dragon topiary !

giant green dragon topiary hedge

John Brooker managed to trim his 20-feet high hedge into an artistic dragon and in the process succeeded to enroll it in the list of wonderful garden designs.

Image by Damien McFadden


Posted in Feng Shui Tips.