How To / May 24,2013
When creating an outdoor area in Australia one of the key considerations is how to keep it cool. Whether you are creating a poolside area or an outdoor dining area, shade and some reprieve from the sun is essential if you can hope to enjoy the area throughout the day. Herein we consider how to create a cooler area using greenery to provide shade and relaxation.
Design the Area First
The first step is to design your outdoor area and what you want it to be. The plants you choose to keep your area cool will depend largely on what area you are creating. If you are creating an area with sun loungers by the pool, for example, then your number one priority will be to choose plants that do not drop leaves into your pool all day long. For a dining area, however, this is less of a problem, but climbing plants are then easier to use to create shade.
Understand the Sun
Each day the sun will move around the sky and your plants will necessarily have to stay in the same place. For this reason it is essential to discern how the sun will behave in relation to your backyard and when the shade will be most valuable. Using greenery to provide shade is pointless if you only get shade early in the morning. Understanding the pattern of the sun and the times at which greenery in certain areas will provide shade is essential before you begin to plant.
Prepare the Ground
Greenery requires nutrients to survive, so the soil needs to be prepared, but you also need to protect your property from the roots. If you are planting trees nearby a pool, for example, then you will need to be sure to create a thick protective layer of concrete that will stop the roots from reaching anywhere near the sides of the pool. This concrete housing will then need to be filled with peat and soil with high levels of nutrients so that you can get the best from your plants. Be sure to also consider the ph level of the soil because this will have an impact on what sort of plants you will be able to grow.
Be Creative Plants do not simply have to be planted and left to their own devices. There is much that you can do with plants to create a more exciting and enjoyable means of providing shade. The branches of trees can be pinned back, for example, to create flat surfaces that will provide more even shade and make the dropping of leaves easier to control. Likewise, plants like willow can be manipulated to create interlinking shade screens that not only look amazing but also provide the best shade that you could hope for. Bamboo can also create a similar screen if it is planted in rows.
Create a Theme
The plants in your outdoor area should also be themed to create a better look. Instead of having a random mix of plants, you will be better placed creating a themed area. By a pool, for example, you can easily create a Japanese style area through your selection of plants. Adding some bamboo outdoor furniture will complete the image and make this a great place to enjoy.