The way the sun affects the house and the site at different seasons greatly influences the overall design. The proper placement of plants is based on knowing the direction of the sun at different times of the day as well as at different times of the year. The yard should be observed throughout the day to determine areas that receive full sun (more than six hours a day), partial sun, and mostly shade. Understanding sun exposure helps us make design decisions such as planting trees to shade a patio in the summer or recognizing that putting a gargleden in an area that receives only partial sun causes little fruit when it comes time to harvest.
Evaluating the winter and summer sun angles, as shown in Figure 19-32, tells us where to leave the open areas that allow the winter sun's rays to heat the house and outdoor living spaces. Knowing the direction of prevailing winter winds is crucial in deciding where to place a windbreak, which can be particularly important in the mountains or on the coast. Understanding wind patterns is also important to avoid including structures or plants in the design that block summer breezes from outdoor living spaces.
Include two or more cultivars in the design to ensure proper pollination. Read more in Chapter 14, "Berries". To make the landscape more efficient and less frustrating to maintain, consider these design suggestions: If a forest fire is a potential problem, create at least a 30-foot space around the house ( more if the house is on a slope or if the surrounding vegetation is particularly flammable) by removing flammable materials from the area around the building. Identify the prevailing wind, which is the direction from which the fire is most likely to approach. Make sure you do not design storage for firewood, building materials or other flammable materials on this side of the yard.
For a less expensive option, think of crushed stone as pea stone or white stone. Establish a solid foundation for stone surfaces to avoid repairs later. If you are planning a stone patio, lay a layer of six to eight inches of compacted pea stone first. "It will prevent weeds and keep your patio level," says Chris. "If you have a good base, it will end up requiring little maintenance for decades, you will not need to deheat things, tear off stones and level them. new. Around your outdoor living space, add mulch beds instead of grass. This is one of the best investments you can have in thereour garden because mulch is broken down, fertilizes your plants and prevents weeds, "says Chris.
Learn which shade trees are best for your landscape. From the Southwest Yard & Garden series.