Here in the desert, there’s nothing quite so wonderful as good shade. Often we resort to covered patios or screened porches for the outdoor shade we crave. But what if there were a way to create luscious shade … the natural way? As it turns out, there are. Here are 4 natural shade solutions for your landscape.
Have a home that faces west? Protect it from the afternoon sun by growing tall plants near the walls. Sunflowers, corn, elephant ears, and even corn cover large areas and help to keep your home cool. For skinnier tall plants like sunflowers and corn, plant double rows that are offset from each other for maximum coverage. And be sure to plant your natural shade at least 1 foot away from the wall (18 inches is better) to leave room for root growth and air circulation.
Vines are one of the most versatile shade solutions out there. They can shade walkways and entrances when trained over pergolas and trellises. Plant them next to an open fence and you’ll soon have a man-made hedgerow. And when you allow them to creep up the walls of your home, they help to insulate your walls from extreme temperatures. Stick with a classic ivy for an old-world feel, choose a rambling wisteria for an ethereal cottage vibe, or plant a vibrant bougainvillea to dial up the southwest charm.
Shrubs and Hedges
Shrubs and hedges are excellent ways to provide low-maintenance shade. Small shrubs between 1 and 3 feet high are good for lining sidewalks, though bushes taller than 3 feet can make the path feel too hemmed in. And taller hedges can be good to plant along the sunny side of a patio to form a sort of natural shade wall.
No roundup of natural shade options would be complete without the classic option: trees. While some varieties can take up a lot of water, their leafy canopies can’t be beat for providing a thick, blanket-like shade. Oak, maple, alder, magnolia, and tulip trees all have beautiful canopies that either flower nicely in the spring or provide great color in the fall.
Bonus: 10 Backyard Design Ideas
Get More Natural Shade Ideas
Want more natural ways to add shade to your landscape? Our team at ABC Scapes is full of ideas. Give us a call at 602-404-0568 to find the perfect shade solution for your home.