When most people think gardening, they have one condition: beautiful plants. However, when you’re planning your landscape, there’s another important condition you should consider: air conditioning. Whether you want to cool things down or create some heat, there are easy, low-cost landscaping solutions for every situation and every region.
Cool It Down
You also can create shade by building a lath-covered structure over a patio near the house. The dappled light created by the narrowly spaced slats is ideal for growing a wide variety of plants, and the space remains cool and pleasant.
Let Water Run. Falling water cools and humidifies the air directly around it, creating a beneficial micro- climate for plants and people. So install a reflecting pool or fish pond on your property, which can create a cooling effect as well as become a delightful landscape feature.
Choose Light Materials. When it comes to your porch, patio or driveway, light-colored paving will be much cooler than a dark material, which absorbs and radiates heat. Light colors, however, reflect heat, thus keeping the area in and around your home significantly cooler.
Warm It Up
Reduce Wind Exposure. Fortunately, properly selected and placed landscaping can provide excellent wind protection. The best windbreaks block wind close to the ground. Solid options include evergreens and shrubs that have low crowns. Keep the evergreens far enough from the house so they won’t cast shade in winter, but close enough to help buffer the breeze.
You’ll get the best wind protection if you plant the windbreak at a distance from your home that’s two to five times the mature height of the trees. Other options to screen your home from harsh winds are to take advantage of hills, rises in the ground, walls and other features on your property.
Provide Natural Insulation. The dead air between the house wall and the shrubs also serves as an extra layer of insulation between your home and the climate. As mentioned before, one foot between the plants and the house wall is optimal.