Gaia Design – Autumn 2011 Newsletter

Gaia Design – Interior Design, Green Living, and Feng Shui

Autumn 2011 Newsletter

Hello Friends,

It has been quite a while since my last newsletter.   I have been in a crazy whirl working on many projects this past 6 months or more.  I just keep telling myself put one foot in front of the other — with my design/feng shui business evolving and a new certification I am working on.  My business seems to have a life and personality all its own and it is a constant work in progress, just like me. 

I hope you have enjoyed your summer.  Soon we will be moving into the cycle of the Autumn Equinox.  What a soothing change for an Autumn lover like me: cooling temperatures, the changing beauty of the outdoors, and settling down with a warm cup of tea and a good book in a comforting home.   

In this newsletter I share a feng shui garden mini consult I had with a new friend/client, Chloe.  Chloe lives in Australia (frequently referred to as “Oz” by Australians), and she is now entering the season of Spring since she lives in the southern hemisphere.   Also below is information about my upcoming classes.  I hope you consider signing up for this unique study group where you will learn how to become more authentically you through a powerful process.

Warmest Blessings,






Fire In the Land of Oz

Each person I come across in my Feng Shui travels has a uniquely different living space and personality.  They also have unique challenges in their environments and their lives.  This makes the Feng Shui process definitely not  a “one size fits all” type of model.   And because of this it makes my job an inimitably and exciting process.   I have also experienced, many times over,  that there are often fairly easy ways to balance and harmonize a space without spending a great deal of money.  Here is brief example of a recent long distance Feng Shui situation: 

Chloe, who lives in Australia, asked me for some advice on her yard.  Rather than explaining  in third person the situation and my suggestions, I thought I would simply share excerpts from our online conversation:

Chloe: “Hi Dawn, I’ve recently moved into a home that’s in a great spot, walking distance to the ocean, but it’s pretty shady and I’m missing being able to grow veggies and herbs successfully.   I’m finding that already I’m thinking of moving but have signed a year-long lease. Any suggestions for this earth girl to shift my energy around this?” 

Dawn:  “Chloe, within walking distance to the ocean sounds  wonderful.   But it does sound like you intuitively are finding the land and possibly the house out of balance.  From what you just described, and not seeing or knowing anything about the land it sounds like a lack of fire energy to me and too much yin energy (needing more yang energy) with all the shade in your yard.   Even though you are an “earth girl” mainly, we all need to integrate other elements  (even just a bit) into our lives and homes for wholeness.

So with little knowledge of your situation, and not seeing pictures of your property, I will offer the following thoughts:  Obviously to truly bring more yang and fire energy to your land and to successfully garden you do need some sun.   I feel there must be some sun in your yard somewhere.  There are many ways to bring in more fire energy into your home and yard even without much sun.  And once you add this element you will feel more in balance there.  Also I believe there must be a way to have a garden – a rooftop garden maybe?   Another thought is many years ago when I lived in an apartment I found a local community garden to please my earthy side – maybe there is one in your area.  I firmly believe there is always a way to meet your needs even if  it means working around this situation.  But you must find a way to love your home or I recommend that you eventually move. ”

Chloe: ” Dawn, you are spot on with fire element being the issue.  I have started voluntary work one day a week at a herb farm.  They grow all their herbs in sunlight and I get my hands dirty each week working with herbs.  What more could a girl ask for.   I’ve started bringing herbs home from their chuck-out piles, and they have made it clear I can take what I wish from the nursery too.

There’s a shed [in my yard] here and the sun touches its roof most of the day, so your rooftop garden is a good suggestion.   I’m going to focus on building up a collection of herbs in pots around the shed and windowsills  that get light.  I’ll leave a ladder [next to the shed] there for tending and checking babies.

I think the land here is used to being untended and it’s a bit of a shock to have me clearing out rubbish and gardening here. ”

Dawn:  “Chloe, wonderful that you get plants from the herb farm and that you may try to do some shed-top gardening.  A few more ideas to bring in more fire into your yard and for gardening in small spaces: 

I have checked into garden wall pockets for a client of mine and the wall pockets are slightly pricy.  So I got the idea to possibly purchase one of those closet organizer type things and use that as pockets for the plants.  Could be an artsy, interesting look (with the right pocket) and way to garden.

  • Add red or orange plants if possible to bring more of the fire element to your yard.  And plants that have a shape that splays out like fire.  
  • Add a fire pit to add more fire energy. 
  • Paint the shed red or painting a sun on the shed will also bring in more fire energy.  “

Chloe:  “Dawn, here’s my sunlight magnet, as you suggested, on the shed wall.  I painted on an old breadboard that has warped over the years.

And adding a fire pit would be awesome….

The fabric shoe pocket garden on the link you sent of vertical gardens is a great idea and one I think I’ll use for salad greens!   I’ve seen calico ones at the two dollar shops. My salvaged herbs are lifting their heads and turning to the sun, at the moment they’re on the outside windowsills of my ‘sunny’ wall.

I’m starting to see that the garden is going to develop around the shed and this wall!  Thanks, Chloe”

Last I heard from Chloe this is what she had to say…

Chloe,  “Hi Dawn, Chloe here.

We spoke about shady gardens some while ago.   I just wanted to share the success of our hanging gardens you helped inspire!   I ordered two pocket type shoe storage hangers online, and after a slight diversion, they arrived last week.  I’ve hung them on the sunny wall of the house and planted them out with greens and herbs. We’ve had tropical storms the last 4 days or so and because of the way they hang and the weight of the soil they’ve survived undamaged! The babies are growing even! When you water the top level it drains down through the layers and so is very economical too.  I found a lot of big pots which I can move into sunny bits and have started planting in them too.  I’ve also discovered that quite a few herbs like belladonna, henbane and hemlock like to grow in the shade, so I’ve got seeds to start making a magic shade garden. The sun is shifting into his spring position and there is definitely new growth because of it.  So all in all my desperate shade issues are resolving. The hanging gardens contain some 40 plants and I’m harvesting fresh lettuces, silverbeet and English spinach already. yah!   Thanks, Chloe”

I would like to mention that Chloe now feels more in balance and her home and land are becoming a reflection of who she really is — a unique and creative gardener and artist.  All Photo’s by Chloe Pringle


Holistic Living Study Group using Medicine Wheel plus Feng Shui principles.
Begins September 17, 2011 at 2PM or second group begins Oct. 5, 2011 at 10:30 AM

Location and Registration: Creative Healing Center ♦ 16686 Hilltop Park Place ♦ Chagrin Falls ♦ Ohio 44023 ♦ 440-543-1757

The Medicine Wheel and Feng Shui Holistic Study Group  will meet on the third Saturday at 2PM each month for 7 months (Sep 17, Oct.15, Nov.19, Dec. 17, Jan. 21, Feb. 18, and Mar.17) at The Creative Healing Center.  And a second group has been added beginning Oct. 5th at 10:30 AM.  The other monthly dates for this second group are Nov. 9, Dec 7, Jan. 11, Feb 8, Mar 7, and Apr. 11 (all Wednesdays beginning at 10:30 AM).  We will study the Medicine Wheel and how to use it as a Feng Shui tool within your home.   The Medicine Wheel is a nature based system of living a holistic life in accordance with nature.  Feng Shui is a design and green living system which brings harmony and balance into your environment. You will work with your goals, the directions and elements, your home indoors and outdoors, and more in this one of a kind and powerful course.  The cost of the course is $150 — just $21 per month (includes individual attention and a lot of little known info)!  To register phone the Creative Healing Center at 440-543-1757.

 What you will get with this course:
 New concepts each month to explore.
 Tools to support your goals through your environment.
 A method of developing a deeper connection to nature that you can use for a life-time.
 A unique and powerful way to design your home.
 A way to create sacred space and instill vital life force energy into your environment.
  Assignments for real life experience with Medicine Wheel and Feng Shui.
 A private group where you can share and get support from fellow participants.
 You will learn how to make a Medicine Wheel (either an indoor or outdoor wheel or both).
 Support and advice from an experienced Advanced Feng Shui consultant.

Also, new classes will be beginning at Chemam at Laughing Creek in Richmond Heights in the near future.  Check back for class updates.

My ongoing (yet shorter 4 week classes) are offered through Wise Woman University at

Dawn Gettig is an interior designer, a certified Advanced Instinctive Feng Shui Practitioner, Medicine Wheel Feng Shui Practitioner, and does Space Clearing/Blessings.  She lives in Northeastern Ohio in her colorful and nature filled home and yard with her husband, two daughters, and two cats.  She loves decorating, art, Feng Shui, gardening, yoga, hiking, meditating in nature, and more.   For more info contact her at

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