Natural shade makers won’t break the budget and can even provide a home for local wildlife. Inexpensive and fast-growing vines are a flexible way of generating cover. They grow in small spaces and take the form of whatever they grow over, whether it’s a pergola, garden arch or even stainless steel wire strung up from a fence.
Leafy trees help cool the house when planted along hot westerly walls that would otherwise absorb heat.
Planting for Position
Plants should block direct sunlight, and provide shade where it’s needed in the outdoor living area. If you have a small yard, build a trellis and plant a vine to grow over it, or plant a tree on the north or western side.
Also take into consideration how much space you have. Big trees need room to stretch out branches, but vines don’t require much soil space, although they usually need structures to grow over.
A good rule is to plant trees and vines with vigorous root systems at least five metres away from the house, paving and plumbing.
Also consider watering and maintenance, growth speed and whether the vine flowers or sheds.
The Amount of Shade
In summer it would seem best to plant up the garden so every corner is cool. But come winter, too much shade makes the backyard cold and can kill plants. If you live in a cooler climate, consider planting only half the garden for shade.
Evergreen Vs Deciduous
Deciduous plants drop leaves in winter, allowing for more sunlight when it’s colder while growing back to shade in summer. Evergreens suit yards that can handle year-round shade and are good for privacy.
Planting under Shade
Liven up the space beneath with paving and pebbles in small courtyards, or plant for year-round colour. Cyclamens, ferns and bromeliads bring the darkest of corners to life.
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