Beyond the creation of shapes and planting schemes, landscaping and garden designs rely on a lot of other details and considerations that are often overlooked. Some are specific to certain areas and dependant on climate and location and some are universal to all areas and design styles. Issues of wind, weather, and shade are usually issues for consideration in most areas.
Creating shade for smaller gardens and landscaping areas is usually a simple task of using smaller plants, shrubs, or structures. On the other hand, shading a large area like the roof of your home would require larger trees, time, and patience. If you are looking to shade a larger area like your home, then large deciduous trees should be considered for specific placement in side areas, backyard, and the front yard landscaping. How long it will take will depend on the type of trees, your climate, your home, and your budget. If your budget only allows for small immature trees, it may take several years to get the effect you want. Regardless, it will be worth it. If you use of an air-conditioner for example, shading the unit can increase its efficiency up to ten percent.
On a small scale, to reduce heat radiation around your home and also cool down the air before it has a chance to effect the temperature of your home, you can shade the pavement, concrete, and the ground around your home with groundcover plants, trees, and shrubs. To shade your driveway or patio, consider using a long row of shrubs. To simply shade a sidewalk or other hardscape walkway, You could also plant a large hedge. You could even construct a trellis planted with climbing vines to shade an area instead of using the shrubs or bushes.
One of the nice things about using vines in your landscaping is that they often provide shade from their very first growing season. Used mostly in the backyard and not generally with front yard landscaping ideas, the most common uses for climbing vines are often combined with trellises or lattice works. Usually there is a style and type that works well with most home styles but you will still need to consider if they will work with the style of your home.
Shrubs with non-invasive root structures can be planted close to the home to cool the ground surface directly next to the home. Try to choose a variety that will fill in quickly and start shading the windows and walls in as short as time as possible. Again, how long it takes all depends on the size and type of shrubs and plants you start with.
Another consideration for growing shrubs right next to the house where there is often excess moisture, is to use shrubs with loose foliage. Homes in slightly wet areas will do well to let light winds flow easily around the house, which will keep the house as well as the soil surrounding the house reasonably dry as well as cool.
To create protection from wind which in turn will also help minimize heating and cooling costs, a row of dense shrubs or trees can be planted. If you plant shrubs and trees that have low crowns, they will be the best to break strong winds that are close to the ground. For obvious reasons of having foliage all year long, the most popular kind of windbreak plants are evergreens.
In order to block the wind from the ground right up to the treetops, you should consider the types of landscaping plants and their mature size and shape and plant them as close together as space will allow. Another option would be to construct an earth berm, fence or wall. Obstacles like these will also help to lift the wind over your home. Make sure you choose the option that also fits well with your home and landscaping. It’s one thing to be able to block the wind, but so often in our quest to fix one problem, we can create an eye sore without knowing it.
One more thing to consider is that if you are looking to get warmth and sunshine from the sun in winter, you should consider the natural travel of the Winter sun and try to not block too much of it. Take assessment of your patios, porches, play areas, and other functional areas, and figure the sun, shade, wind, and weather into the plan. Along with a little research into the types of plants you’ll use, These considerations will put you one giant step ahead of most landscape designs.