Shade & passive design

It is hard to predict how climate change will affect mediterranean areas, but we may very well have to face hotter, drier or longer summers. We shall thus need to be increasingly careful about our use of water and shade creation in the garden. Water and shade is essential for life on earth, and it is a limited and valuable resource in the mediterranean climate regions of winter rain and long dry summers. Many dry-climate plants are in fact easy to grow if we respect the conditions of their native habitat, but become extremely capricious as soon as we try to water them in summer.  Irrigation during our blazing summers generally proves fatal to them. An evident solution is to create artifitial or natural seasonal shade.

Types of shade
Moist and Cool Shade on the north side of the house offers an excellent environment for several shade loving plants. Ferns, while not flowering plants, present an attractive show, with their delicate leaves and arching fronds. Partial Shade means that the area is in the shade for 4 – 5 hours during daylight hours. Many plants that prefer partial shade will do best in morning sun, as the afternoon sun in hot summer months may be too intense. Light Shade areas are shaded for 2 – 4 hours during daylight hours. Even some sun loving plants can thrive in this type of light, especially in hot regions of the South and in the afternoon. Filtered Shade is a sun dappled area, under or near a tree that does not provide a thick canopy or have thick foliage. Full Shade Some spots on the north side of the house, or under or near large trees receive no sun at all. Dry Shade is often fully shaded areas beneath large trees that do not receive a lot of moisture from rain due to the heavy foliage. But even dry shade loving plants need to be watered thoroughly when first planted in order to establish a healthy root system. Mulch to retain moisture.

shadehouse-veranadero

shadehouse-veranadero