When I walk my dogs through the neighborhood I have the opportunity to see fences of all kinds. Today I noticed a new fence. It was hard to miss. It was made of wood, its boards tight together and straight across at the top. It was perched on top of a rise and ran in a straight line down one edge of its owner’s yard. Part of the reason I noticed this fence was because its hard edge energy was in such sharp contrast to the more gentle energy of the surrounding landscape.
I found myself writing this blog post in my head as I continued my walk, ranting to an unseen audience about the aesthetics of fences, how they can complement the landscape or impale it as the above fence seemed to be doing. I wondered what the owner had been thinking when he or she chose the fence design. Were they just wanting a wall of privacy behind which they could contain their dog and children having given little thought to design? Was their choice the most affordable option? I thought it sad that their most recent addition to their outdoor environment only detracted from the loveliness of their landscape.
Was that fence good feng shui? Heck no! Straight lines do not occur in nature. They are a telltale sign of man’s influence. When choosing a fence or putting in a sidewalk, curving lines are always preferable. Most fences run in straight lines because that’s the easiest way to lay a fence, often following property lines. But, you can soften lines of the fence by making the upper edge convex or concave so it will resemble waves as it travels across the yard.
Another way to soften the feel of a straight fence is by leaving space between the slats. That way you can see vegetation through the fence. Check out the fences in your neighborhood. I have a hunch you’ll find the ones that are not solid walls of wood with straight tops the most appealing. Even a chain link fence with its obvious man-made materials feels friendlier than a wall of wood because it can more easily blend into the landscape.
If you ever put up a fence, remember, its energy will have a profound effect on the look and feel of your yard. Wouldn’t you rather have a gentle, waving line that blends with the landscape instead of a sharp blade that cuts through it? You get to choose your fence design. The extra cost of a lovely fence will pay off with years of visual pleasure and good feng shui!