Garden Design – Benefits of Shadow

By Chet Zebroski

In this section our intent is to share what we’re learning about in harmonizing our buildings more with nature. To start we’ll share some pics of our home garden and a basic strategy applied.

You’ll notice we keep a shaggy environment around the house. We do so to create habitat and food/nectar for the pollinators we share space with, to enhance privacy, and to counter heat gain. We prefer the chaos of nature and tend to allow borders to dissolve, like nature. We try to identify and group plants that work well together in their particular micro-clmate, attempting to mimic nature by creating a healthy interactive synergy.

Due to potential direct and reflected heat gain from the summer sun we allow our trees to provide broad shadows and we’ve trained Jasmine to entirely cover the brick veneer that faces the street.  Doing so provides an opportunity for shade to cool the concrete driveway and prevents heat build up on the brick veneer, thereby reducing reflected and conducted heat build up inside the house.

This is a tactic of energy free, passive cooling, shelter enhancement.