I would say both sides are very important in creating good feng shui in either home, office or garden (or even in feng shui-ing your car!).
Developing your intuitive, or the pure instinctive ability to read the feng shui energy of any space will truly serve you well, and not only for feng shui purposes.
I would say the best way to start is to let go of your intimidation with the notion of "reading, or feeling the feng shui energy". Basically, we all have this ability, just some people practice it more consciously than the others. This is a natural ability, and you sure have it, too.
You do know when a place feels good, and you also know when a place feels bad, don't you? So the next step is to look at the factors that create that either good or bad quality of energy. Is it bad smells? Absence of natural light or fresh air? Maybe it's a cluttered space with many ugly or violent images?
Train your senses to look for answers to what you feel, and you will get better and more confident in your feng shui energy reading abilities very soon. Understand what makes good feng shui as opposed to bad feng shui; this will give you a good foundation for your newly developed abilities.
After a while it gets really simple - the energy either feels good, or it doesn't. Sometimes the energy can be neutral, but not for too long. Trust yourself and know that it is easy.
Making it a game and playing with your friends will give you more confidence with it, as well as make it more enjoyable and fun, thus releasing the seriousness of the whole "reading feng shui energy" concept.
As they say in the Home Depot ads: You can do it. We can help. There are tons of feng shui resources on this site, just type in any feng shui question or term you are looking for in the Search box on the top right of this screen, and the answer is there.
You can do it. This feng shui site can help.