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Garden Ideas: Air, Fire, Earth & Water



    • Incorporate the eagle as a symbol of the skies.bald eagle,eagle,bird,animal,fauna,lowrey park,zoo image by Earl Robbins from Fotolia.com

      The Zuni believed that everything in nature had meaning. From the air above came the eagle, who possessed the ability to soar high on the winds and take notice of everything below. The eagle was a symbol of that which provided the Zuni good luck on a hunt, the power to heal and the wisdom to understand the world around them.

      Inspired by the Zuni's beliefs in the bird that ruled the air above the pueblos, you might carve small dense shrubs into the form of eagles soaring above your garden. Hang plants from shepherd's hooks, a pergola or tree limbs, in colorful hanging planters. The colors of the American southwest, terra cotta, vibrant sky blue and dusty greens, work well.


    • Bring in a man-made brook as a water feature.mountain brook image by milemarsovac from Fotolia.com

      To the Zuni living in the arid desert Southwest, water was mystical. The buffalo was a symbol of harsh weather, but also the symbol of snow that melted into precious water. The snows drove herds of these food animals from the mountains down to lower elevations, where they could be hunted. These practical observations led to the animal's association with water.

      Add a water feature that brings this element near the center of your garden to symbolize its importance. If your garden is elevated, consider a man-made brook that empties into a small pond. If your garden is level and building a brook is not possible, install a suitable pond or other water feature. Surround it with plants that blend nicely into the garden; give the feature a look that's as natural as possible.


    • To the Zuni, the mountain lion signified a northerly direction.mountain lion image by cullenphotos from Fotolia.com

      Place four boulders on the outskirts of your garden, one each due east, west, north and south. Plant dense ground cover or moss near the rocks. Rocks were thought to be alive with the spirits of animals, solidifying the bonds between humans and the unseen spiritual world. Clumps of earth and rock had the same meaning. If you'd like to take the earth meanings further, paint the animal symbols for direction on each rock: the mountain lion is north, the badger denoted south, the bear west and the wolf east.

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