In Asia, Feng Shui prevails in design practice, the outdoor living space is given the same importance, if not more than inside. Plantings are away from structures and planting are utilized in simple small groupings of interest. Trees are used farther away to help capture breezes, offer shade, retain soils, all while capturing the essence of natural element. There is a harmonious bond with nature when Feng Shui is utilized in outdoor living space. Added shrubs and ground covers create the rest of the setting, as the ‘anchor’ to the grouping. This allows for addition of textures and colors, attracting beneficial wildlife. One of the most important paintings in Asia, is of outdoor space. You see this even in the poorest of homes, the emphasis of the outdoor in harmony is more than any other culture.
Every space is devoted to the essence of outdoors, nature in harmony. In Hong Kong, people live on top of each other, yet one notices everyone has some kind of garden. In larger spaces, the Asian people plant away from buildings creating a ‘living’ fence! They are separated from each other with planted areas with gateways and living fence. Walls are used, but when plants are possible, they rather ‘buffer’ themselves with them. I would love to see this instead of continuous concrete walls, separating one home from another. Walls don’t breathe, they capture air, don’t allow for movement, in summer the areas inside get hotter. A living wall of plants would be so cool instead, especially on barrier islands, where owners of large 8000-10000 sq. ft homes, feel the need to shut down all views.