The Kitchen Backyard is usually found adjacent to the KITCHEN. It is a perfect addition to any house – it improves the atmosphere completely. It is an important part of the house, where herbs, vegetables and fruit trees are grown, a place for family members to sit outside and enjoy the outdoors.
In ancient times, cooking was done on open fires in the kitchen Backyard just outside the Kitchen. Utensil washing, grinding and preparation of food was also done here. Hence Vastu guidelines for kitchen backyards were primarily based on the position of the Sun and the main wind directions. Today, with the paucity of space in cities, it is rare to have a usable backyard. However for people who can manage to have a kitchen Backyard, Vastu lays down some guidelines which can improve the quality of plant fruits and vegetables and thereby improve the family’s health and well-being.
Here, I have explained the Vastu tips for a Kitchen Backyard. Since Vastu is a science, there is logic and reasoning behind every guideline. As an Architect, I have attempted to explain these guidelines rationally and scientifically, so that you can decide what you want to follow and what you don’t.
WHAT ACCORDING TO VASTU, IS THE BEST LOCATION FOR A KITCHEN BACKYARD?
East or Northern sides of the plot are ideal for Kitchen backyard: The Scientific reason – As much as possible, there should be open space on the North and East sides of the house, so that the constant sunlight from the North and the morning sunlight from the East, can engulf the house, brighten it and kill the germs and bacteria that would have multiplied during the night.
Avoid backyards in the Southern and Western sides of the plot: The Scientific reason – The Infra Red heat rays of the Sun are projected most to the South and West sides. And since the infra-red rays get reflected and re-reflected by the ground, the West side and the South side are much hotter in the evenings and even at night. By avoiding open spaces in the South and West, the hot afternoon Sun is prevented from heating up the rest of the building.
In a West facing house, there should be a bigger backyard towards the East instead of a front garden in the West: The Scientific reason – The morning Sunlight from the East can engulf the house from the open backyard and by avoiding open spaces in the South and West, the hot afternoon Sun is prevented from heating up the rest of the building.
In South facing house, there should ideally be a big backyard towards the North instead of any open space in the front, in the South. The Scientific reason – Same reason as above.
WHAT ARE THE VASTU GUIDELINES FOR A KITCHEN BACKYARD?
All the five elements (earth, water, fire, air and space) need to be balanced and in harmony in the kitchen backyard for the plants to grow free from disease and stress. The disproportion of any one element-quality of the earth, quality of water, wind, sun, or the amount of space it is planted in-will inhibit the growth of the plants: Scientific Reasoning – There is an invisible and constant interaction between the elements on Earth. In an open field these elements operate freely and are in equilibrium. However, when a structure or tree is placed in this field, the equilibrium is affected because these elements act for or against each other to create either harmony or disharmony. If there is disharmony, then the equilibrium needs to be restored so that the cosmic energy flows harmoniously.
You should remember that each area of your garden is associated with one of the five elements.
The South-West area of your garden is associated with the earth element which creates a sustaining and grounding force. Stabilise the South-West area of your garden with a rock garden, tall trees and even a stone statue. Scientific Reasoning – Trees and tall shrubs are planted in the South and West of the site to protect the inmates from the afternoon heat and to provide them with oxygen.
The water element should be used in the North-East part of the kitchen backyard to allow the plants to flourish. Add a fountain or reflection pool or pond or swimming pool in this area to reflect this beneficial energy throughout the garden. Have only low plants that will allow the flow of positive solar energy. Scientific Reasoning – Tall trees and plants are avoided in the North and East so as to allow an unhindered flow of useful morning light into the house.
The South-East side of your garden should be devoted to the fire element so that the plants will be disease free: Here you can place a fire pit. Red is the colour of this direction, so plant tulips, geraniums and dahlias here. Scientific Reasoning – When an open fire is kept in the Kitchen Backyard, it is preferred in the S-E corner or the N-W corner, where the hot summer wind blowing from the S-W to the N-E direction cannot cause damage to the house or combustible building materials by carrying sparks.
Balance the air element in the North-West to encouraging cross-pollination: Use wind chimes. Since blue is the colour of this area, plant bluebells, forget-me-nots and iris to enhance the influences coming from this direction.