A few weeks ago, I was at the park with my nephew and he wanted to play in the sandbox. Now for me, this is a great way to cool off but when I looked into it there were not too many shady spots that would have given him any relief from the heat. The 8 desert landscaping methods are ways you can beat the heat while still keeping your Beat the Heats looking beautiful.
1. Plant Shade Trees
This is the main reason I wanted to write this article, if you are in a hot climate planting trees is one of the best ways you can retain your landscape aesthetics while keeping cool. There are various types of shade trees that will work depending on your geographical area but for most places, there is no real need to worry about that because most people live in areas where there are numerous varieties of shade trees readily available. If however, you do want some help selecting which tree might be right for your region I suggest checking out www.treescope.com it’s a free service they offer and they provide instant feedback with detailed information about what type of tree would be best for your location.
2. Get Creative with Your Plants
If your yard or garden is small there are various options that will help you to maximize the amount of shade that is available. There are a few ways you can do this first off if you don’t have trees in your yard but would like some relief from the sun, look into getting taller plants they tend to offer more shade than shorter ones. You can mix and match however it works best for you, maybe one side of your property has more space so having longer plants could send more shade over there while keeping smaller versions around on the other sides. Another option for those without much free space is to look into hedges they work just as well as trees and provide just as much coverage however depending on the variety it might take them a little longer to grow and provide the same level of coverage.
3. Use Decorative Ground Covers
This is an option that will work well if you have a lot of outdoor activities going on in your yard or garden area, ground covers offer more than just shade they can add interest and texture to any landscape design. They come in all shapes and sizes so finding one that fits well with your particular style should not be too much trouble when you take into consideration that there are hundreds upon hundreds to choose from! If you want some suggestions when it comes to types of groundcovers, I would recommend checking out www.gardeningknowhow.com they have a variety of articles about different flowers and plants suitable for various climates and conditions it makes choosing the right one much easier.
4. Build a Shade Structure
This option is for people who have enough space to do so, if you want an outdoor dining area or perhaps just somewhere to put up a hammock this can be done fairly simply through building your own structure with shade cloth and metal poles. Depending on the size of the project and how elaborate you wish to make it hangings and curtains can really add a level of uniqueness and detail that might not be achievable with anything else. The most important thing with regards to building shade structures is making sure there’s room underneath for people to walk around without fear of getting caught by above mentioned objects!
5. Plant Alternatives To Trees & Shrubs
If you’re like me and the only thing you’re interested in is getting relief from those hot summer days then trees and shrubs might not be as important as they usually are. I want to enjoy my yard and garden just as much as anyone but if it’s going to take years for anything I plant to grow big enough for me to benefit from, so what’s the point? With that being said there are still alternatives out there such as various types of succulents and cactus which will also offer a great deal of shade once they’ve matured! Many people find them highly appealing because of their unusual shapes and patterns while some even look like flowers which makes them more aesthetically pleasing than merely having an area filled with tangled tree limbs.
6. Consider Going Artificial
This option is probably the most expensive out of all of them but it can be a great choice because artificial grass will last for years and won’t need to be watered or taken care of in any other way. If you have a large yard or garden area going with real grass might not be practical however if you’re smaller then investing in fake turf will provide a similar look without requiring as much maintenance! Another benefit to having an artificial lawn is that there’s no chance of accidentally killing off beneficial species because they’ll never grow on anything but synthetic blades.
7. Don’t Forget The Ground Cover
In my opinion covering up bare soil is just as important as providing shade from above, after all there’s nothing worse than coming home from a long day only to find yourself stuck in the sweltering heat because you have to take off your shoes and socks just so you can stand on something not burning hot. With that being said there are plenty of great ground cover plants that will protect your feet and also provide a certain degree of shade, depending on what type you choose it might even be possible for them to grow tall enough to block out direct sunlight! Just remember if you’re going this route to think about how much space is available because some plants grow extremely fast and could end up taking over an entire area quickly which is why I recommend starting with cactus or succulents since they tend to stay rather small.
8. Design For Easy Maintenance
This is probably the most important point on this entire list because when the hot summer months are over you won’t want to be dealing with a yard full of dead plants, it’s much easier to do when you’re in the process of doing it but when everything has died down completely sometimes it can feel like more work than what was initially put into it. A great way to make your life easier is by keeping things simple with regards to maintenance, I wouldn’t recommend planting any species that requires completely different care and treatment compared to others because in addition to causing confusion all around it also increases the amount of potential expenses simply due to needing various tools and specific items.
9. Choose Succulents or Cacti
I’ve already recommended these before in the “Make Sure You Choose the Right Plants” section but I wanted to once again say that succulents and cactus make great choices when trying to decide what to plant in a yard or garden area because they’re extremely low maintenance. They don’t need constant watering, sunlight, fertilizer, pruning or even regular weeding because although these might be natural growing habits for them, they’re also just as easy conditions for them to get sick if not taken care of properly. This makes it much easier than other options such as trees and shrubs which require more attention and care otherwise, they’ll die out completely.
10. Think About Your Neighbor’s Shade Needs Too!
No one likes being hot and uncomfortable so take the time to consider your neighbor’s needs as well, no one wants to sit in the sun for hours on end just so you can have a nice area of shade. This might sound like common sense but it helps to put yourself in their shoes and think about what type of shade they’d actually want. Just because you need complete darkness doesn’t mean they do too! Additionally, this is also an opportunity to show your appreciation for them since if they’re willing to let you share some of their shade then maybe there’s something you can do for them in return? Try looking into gardening or landscaping services that allow neighbors/friends/family members to split the cost, I’m sure most people would be willing to help out with regards to taking down undesirable plants or making changes to the yard as long as it’s not too much work or money.
11. Try To Mix It Up A Little
The main purpose of a backyard is to create a place where you can relax and unwind after a long day at work, with that being said try to plant things with various colors and designs so your area doesn’t look too bland or feel lifeless. You might have some succulents with yellowish-green leaves but then have other plants that have more vibrant greens, make sure there are different sizes and shapes as well since it’ll give everything some wonderful depth! Also, if you need some help deciding on what types of plants would make good companions for each other I’d be happy to suggest different pairs, just leave a note below or contact me via email.