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We are talking about landscaping today! Many of us are trying to figure out ways to make our homes look more appealing and feel more comfortable. The pandemic gave us the ideal opportunity to experiment with different ways to improve things in and around our houses. Some of what I will be sharing with you today is about how to take those experiments a little bit further. I, for one, have been having a whole lot of fun discovering what I can do in my yard. And what I can grow there!
One of the things that I have come to recognize from the green living space is that a set of actions can give you all kinds of unintended benefits. Landscaping is one of those. You may be landscaping for beauty to create a colorful garden space outside of your home. Many of us are trying to figure out ways to create edible gardens, but we have not always thought about the idea of landscaping for comfort. Stay tuned to find out more!
Using plants in strategic areas
You can use plants in specific areas around your house to form insulation spaces, dead spaces, to provide windbreaks, and to strategically shield your home and yard from the elements.
Driving around in the countryside of Oklahoma, I started noticing that there were windbreaks all over the place! You can use the same principle around your home.
A hand out for you
I have added a link for a handout that takes you through the step of how to think about landscaping not only for beauty but also for your comfort.
It all starts with understanding the energy flows
It all starts with understanding the energy flow that comes in and out of your building and how that works with the sun.
The key generator
The sun is the key generator of energy on our planet. So how your home is oriented on the land is the very first thing you need to look at.
Using the sunlight
You want to take advantage of the way the sun is positioned on your house to bring in warmth on the colder winter days.
How your house is positioned allows you to take advantage of the sunlight through your windows by warming up the walls.
The foundation of your house
Your house was built on a foundation. That foundation is often a source of leakage. So you can have foundation plantings around the edge of the house. Be sure that the plantings are an appropriate space from the foundation to insulate without encroaching on the structure itself. Nurseries and landscape people can help you with the plantings that will specifically operate and grow the best in your region.
Shade trees are one of the best investments you can make for your land. Shade trees are a huge advantage because they will provide shade for the very sunny windows in the summer and they will lose their leaves in the winter to let the sunlight in when you need it most.
You can use shade trees to shade the hardscape like patios and driveways. You can also use shade trees to shade the concrete in and around your home.
Note: Shade trees take a long time to grow, so now is the best time to get started with them.
Use plantings for exterior shading when your shade trees are not yet big enough to provide the shade. You can also use trellises, arbors, awnings, or even solar screens on the outside.
Shrubs and trees
You can plant shrubs and trees in key locations to shield your home from the prevailing winds.
Local nurseries will be more than happy to help you with a plan to make your landscape beautiful and help you experience more comfort in your home and yard.
Many resources are available to help you find the best plants to use, and where to plant them. Many universities have extension programs which are a great resource.
Think about how the water is running off on your property and how you are using it. Consider getting some rain barrels. Rainwater is soft and better for your plants than city water.
Consider using some native plants in your garden. Native plants require a lot fewer resources in terms of water, pest control, and fertilizer to thrive.
My website Green Home Coach
Book: Living Green Effortlessly
Facebook Group: Love Your Everyday Green Home
Landscaping for Beauty, Energy Efficiency, and Home Comfort with Tony Pratte
Sustainable Solutions For Water and Landscape On Your Home Site
Green Landscaping with Native Plants
Frisella’s All Around The Yard Podcast
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