Beyond Feng Shui


ID-10036003Wednesday, August 19th from 6:00 pm – 9:00 pm

One11 Gallery, 111 Pennsylvania Avenue, Norfolk

This Feng Shui workshop is hands on. You bring in a moderately reasonable drawing of a room’s floor plan or even the house floor plan and we will draw from the class as many of these as possible so that we all can learn from each other.

Areas of great importance to the flow along with balance and harmony are bed location, seating areas and their uses, dining, open spaces, small or too large rooms, cluttered rooms and their position in the feng shui map of life; yards and gardens that just do not support the house and unfinished rooms.

Classes have been full and fun. Please register as soon as you can by RSVP to Bonnie Primm at 757-652-7993. Some have already registered from previous workshops and we have room for about 15 more.

Photo courtesy of Bill Longshaw

Last SUMMER Ghent Feng Shui Walking Tours: A Summer Staple!

Fred Heutte center logo…a slow leisurely amble through new and old Ghent looking at architectural and garden details for balance and harmony.

WHEN: Mondays, July 13th & 20th from 6-8pm

WHERE meet at Huette Urban Garden Center, 1000 Botetourt in the Square

COST: $15 and $5 to Huette

RSVP: Contact Bonnie Primm 757-652-7993



One Eleven Gallery, 111 Pennsylvania Avenue, Norfolk, VA

We live in a time where we struggle to define our role and purpose in this world. And this struggle often times leaves us feeling isolated, anxious and even fearful. Your surroundings impact you more than you know – discovering becoming aware and how to realize more of what you want helps enormously!
3 – hour Workshops– Interactive Classes (you participate)

THE MAGIC SQUARE – Or the NINE STAR KI – Eastern Astrology
This workshop will not only show you how to “do” this ancient Eastern Elemental Astrology but to apply to the dynamics of your relationships, your spaces, the seasons and the 9 year cycles of change from the stillness of beginnings to the manifestation of this cycle. Not only is this a fun experience, it will give you information on why we like what we like, do what we do and how we interact with others – relationship dynamics.
You will also see how to relate YOU to Your Spaces whether at home or in a business setting.
6pm-9pm – Wednesday Evenings – July 8th OR July 22nd

This workshop is hands on. YOU bring in a moderately reasonable drawing of a room or even the house floor plan and we will draw from the class, as many of these as possible so that we all can learn from each other.
Beds, seating areas, dining areas, open spaces, small or too large rooms, cluttered rooms, yards and gardens that just don’t support the house and unfinished homes.
6pm-9pm Wednesday Evening – August 19th

2 for $50 OR $30 each
Call Bonnie Primm, Feng Shui Practitioner to reserve your place 757-652-7993

Photo courtesy of porbital

Ten Summer and Every Day Garden Feng Shui Tips

Some of the tips below are very well known to you whether consciously or unconsciously – we sense when what we are looking at appears balanced and in harmony with the surroundings.

In our feng shui (pronounced fung schway) world – which, by the way encompasses just about everything within our living experience, we are shown the reasons why we feel the way we do about home, land or garden. It is comforting to know there is shape, texture, color and what we call energy existing in all things and how using them creates a sense of balance.

Here’s to Summer and all the glory we can pack into 3 months whether on your spacious property or your 18 foot balcony….Summer is Winter’s expectation of all good things remembered.

  1. Balance -To balance your planting scheme always begin with the back of the planting area and plant higher (yang) than the next layer in front of it and again with the third layer in front until you reach 3* tiers descending in height to yin or the balance. (*3 is a magical number in feng shui). Vegetable gardens the same (corn, tomatoes, cucumbers) – this arrangement also arrests the eye because of the balance (now you know why it is so appealing). High to Low and mix it up with an eye to balancing the high/low, open/tight, light/dark.
  2. Texture – Next, consider texture – this is also yin & yang – use open longer stems (Shasta daisies-yang) creating motion with wind in the back of the above plan and then descend with seasonal flowers or perennials where the flowers heads are more condensed with each layer until you reach both rounder and tighter plants that may also group together like impatiens.
  3. Texture II – Rocks, garden sculpture, benches, pergolas/gazebos, swings all add visual interest and must find their balance as well within the softness of plants/flowers. One of the reasons we so love gardens is exactly for this reason – we find the balance we want to feel within ourselves in the creations of our outdoor spaces and gardens. So these items are yang to the flowers’ yin.
  4. Color – If you have lots of room for your gardens, consider either themes of color or multi-color flowers. Multi colors always “fill in” the space as we look at them because all the colors radiate a vibration and take up more visual space (yang). If, on the other hand, you have little room for a flower garden, it is important to consider same tone flowers and plants (yin) – many shades of whites and greens. Not only is it beautiful in its soft variations but also arresting to the eyes. A yin garden is very good for meditating.
  5. Color II – As mentioned above, colors have vibrations with red having the most (yang) as well as yellows and oranges and even whites. Blues and purples and softer versions of yang like peach and pale yellow are more yin and “quiet” and concentrate their visual energy. So consider what you want to create – vibrant to quiet – or something in between for different areas of your gardens.
  6. Topography – or the rise and fall of the land itself also is yin (low) and yang (high). Especially if you have a lot of land, it is important to bring balance and harmony to the space or it will look as if your home were dropped on a piece of dirt (or grass) and it feels incomplete and not harmonious. If you can add berms (soil stacked to a soft or hard tier or terrace) so the space is broken and the eye can rest somewhere, is ideal. Adding soil or subtracting can offer the same effect. Bringing in large rocks and grouping them together to bring safety (especially if you live on a corner property) as well as grounding to the home and gardens. Remember round is yin and high and straight (tiers/terraces) is yang. Balance is what you always want to attain.
  7. Proportion – House to garden/land. We have all seen too many plantings/trees and too little land and just the opposite – too much land and too few plantings. A good rule of thumb is the old rule of 3 – keep the house to 1/3 (if you can) and the property to 2/3. Not always possible so then you must artfully plant trees that will not dwarf the home in 5-10 years or look too small for the life of the house. Another rule of thumb is to plant small/open/multi trunk trees like birches and Japanese maples within 15-20 feet of the front of the home and NEVER in front of the door. This keeps good energy from coming in and not good energy from leaving.
  8. Proportion II – Rule of 3 (sort of). Any shrubbery planted close to the house (be careful here as well because of roots and water welling up too close creating damage to the foundation) should only reach the bottom of the window – never going beyond and obliterating the window inside and outside. In the feng shui world, you are taking away good Chi from the outside and stifling the Chi or energy inside. In most cases this one-third fits nicely whether you have a one story or multi-story home because the windows generally, but not always, are designed within this concept of balance. Also, when shrubbery hides the window it is often an invitation for someone to hide behind. Local police will always tell you to keep shrubbery below the sill.
  9. To curve or not to curve – Curves slow walking down and the eye as well (yin) and straight lines speed us up (yang) and have us looking beyond and not where we are. Small spaces need straight lines because curves take up more room and could be difficult to navigate (never good feng shui). So, when considering a large piece of property to create gardens, think curves – curving/rounded plant/flower/shrubbery groups. Corners of property need curves (yin) as well to soften the geometric angles (yang) of the house. In the feng shui world, Chi drops in corners.
  10. Last and not least – Anything you plant you become responsible for – so perhaps you might think about that and plant areas of grass if you can take care of it, using river rock and stones where you do not want grass and flowers or perennials where no matter what the season you have something lovely to look at. Pick 2 and you just may have something that calms the soul more than it adds to the work. The balance of what you get for what you give must be even or you may start resenting your beautiful space. Not good feng shui.


Bonnie Primm is a Certified Feng Shui Practitioner and Life Coach, Teacher and Keynote Speaker, who believes in the concept of Beyond Feng Shui – Connecting the Dots. , (757) 652-7993 and

Ironing as a Meditation

(For those of us who want relevance of what they knew and know)

What? Who even does that anymore? Some of us do and after this conversation you may find this an addition to your practice of what we call getting grounded and operating from our “center” rather than our head – which is already too full to be discerning anyway.

I may lose some folks here…stay and see. The important awareness is we CANNOT be all things to all people although most of us have tried – A topic for another blog if you follow.

Ironing is my meditation – always has been. I just did not realize it until a few years ago and that means it took 5 decades to put words to my experience standing at the board.

Why or how does this happen? Well, for those lucky enough to be doing their own cleaning, especially the “big-time” cleaning of yesteryear – it is the function of physical labor – perhaps the movement – that allows us to free the mind from the constriction of the myriad “have-to s’” of daily life and actually find creativity while doing what we term “mindless” work.

I think of ironing as an exercise, rather than what some think as exercise…playing tennis or running (not so much) – except for golf which can be a walking meditation. And it is not competitive or exhausting. This exercise gives you space to think and create. And you can do it at home and alone.

Personally, I cannot tell you how many revelations and ideas just float in (keep pen and paper nearby). Saves gas too.

And I haven’t even mentioned the “other” result of ironing – fresh, clean, natty “soldiers” in our closet or hanging on the doors waiting for their trip to the closet (kind of even makes you want to organize your closet).

Sometimes this is the ONLY ordered piece of our day, week and month. How much of what you do can be measured and appreciated like this?

Does ironing have a special season? Sure, Summer, that halcyon time etched in our brain from childhood of the good times expected or experienced – to this day, no matter what – is magic. There is more to iron – more ironing, more magic.

Back in the 70’s with the advent of polyester and the 80’s with wrinkle free, no-iron cottons, we were given the freedom to never bring out the dreadful “board” again. A loss indeed. Ironing makes us stop and not just think but to consider, expand and FIND something we are looking for – that elusive idea, the missing piece.

Beyond Feng Shui

A Story:

We do this everyday when we go to work or care for ourselves or family. How often do we realize at week, month or years’ end we are not even aware of the passing time or even how we enjoyed, if we did, any part of this passing time. Could we count the joys, contributions and a sense of accomplishment?

A Choice:

The old maxim “you are making a choice when you are not making a choice” gets our attention. Make a choice to support every action and attitude by awareness and intention. Choose to change your attitude and environment – thereby the behavior and outcome you want in your work and life.

A Commentary:

Most of us are encoded by our culture at home and in the world we live to unconsciously perform our daily working and living without realizing how much our comfort, gifts and talents as well as our values, success and self reliance we abdicate in the process.

A Question:

If, the big “if”, we could find a sense of balance and self empowerment, would our life look and feel different, perhaps better if not more productive?

Beyond Feng Shui… connecting the dots with your inner and outer spaces.