In many areas of the country, the coldest winds come from the north, northeast, and northwest.
In summer, on the other hand, they usually emanate from the west, southwest, or south.
The wintry blasts from the north can be guided around your home by curved plantings of evergreen trees and shrubs in the form of a high hedge.
This type of planting can save considerable fuel in the Winter.
For example, if the windbreak reduces the wind from 12 to 3 miles per hour at 32° degrees Fahrenheit, it will take only half the fuel to heat your house.
In fact, the fuel requirement is a little larger for the combination of 32° degrees Fahrenheit and a 12-mile wind than for zero temperature and a 3-mile wind.
A state experiment station test of a windbreak showed that the fuel cost was reduced by 22.9% percent.
By the same token, in the Summer, when you want the breezes from the west, they will be guided into a pocket.
Narrow Space Of House And The Planting
The same amount of air entering the wide opening toward the west will be forced through the narrow space between your house and the planting, thus increasing the air movement and coolness.
An outdoor terrace on the east will then be cooler on hot Summer nights.
In the summer, the sun sets in the northwest in the temperate zone and is nearer to due west as one goes south.
The hottest part of the day is in the early afternoon when the more direct rays of the sun strike the roof of the house.
Later in the afternoon, the rays pour directly on the house’s west wall, heating it to an uncomfortable degree.
A tree located to shade the wall and roof in the afternoon will keep house temperatures more comfortable and may reduce the wall and roof temperatures by as much as 20° to 40° degrees Fahrenheit. This helps to eliminate the well-known “attic furnace.”
Rooftop temperatures of 140° degrees Fahrenheit have been recorded.
Having a tree shade on the house’s west wall and roof will protect you from the hot sun when and where you most require such protection.
Planting Different Kinds Of Trees
Likewise, you can plant different kinds of trees, such as fruit or other flowering trees, around your property to give you shade where you want it, at the time of the year you most desire it.
In the spring, fall, and winter, the tree shading your house will not interfere with the sun, which sets in the southwest at that time.
Moreover, by using a tree that sheds its leaves, the sun will surely shine on the property during the cold season when you need all the natural warmth you can obtain.
Cold air, like water, flows downward and settles at the lowest point. Early frost sometimes flows in a layer 2” or 3” inches above the ground.
It requires only a slope of a foot or so on a lot to set tip this air movement.
In the average yard, frost pockets can be eliminated by a gate in the hedge on the lower side of the garden. The coldest air will flow out through the gate.
Good Air Movement
Where there is good air movement, the tender buds of many plants are less liable to damage from cold.
Some of the earlier frosts in the Fall and late frosts in the Spring can be prevented this way.
Conversely, in the summer, by keeping the gate closed, a cool pocket of air will collect on the lower side of the garden, thus making a cool place to sit on hot Summer nights.
There are many ways to make the sun work with you. Shrubbery and lawns may do this, especially by keeping you cooler in summer.
The temperature of plants is many degrees cooler than that of pavement in the hot sun.
Usage Of Shrubbery And Grass
Using shrubbery and grass, the sun’s rays are not reflected against the house from the pavement to make the house doubly hot in summer. Glare, too, is eliminated.
Paved areas store and radiate heat for many hours after sundown and may cause stifling conditions in the house at night, making sleep difficult.
Plants, on the other hand, transpire and evaporation of the moisture rising from them makes the air cooler. Noise and dust are absorbed by shrubbery and lawns.
A test in one large city revealed that the dust count on the leeward side of a planted area was reduced by 75% percent.
“Plant awnings” help to add beauty and graceful living to your home. In the summertime, when in full leaf, they shade the windows.
You get the full sun in winter when you use a plant that sheds its leaves. Either a trellis or a wire netting close to the house above the window may be used.
And for the extra measure, you can use a vine that provides colorful flowers and adds a splash of brilliance to the house, or even delicious grapes which make the mouth water as they ripen in the fall.
Often we see solid walls of wood, brick, or stucco houses out in the sun where they absorb the full blast of the sun’s heat.
The heat is stored all through the house to cause many sleepless nights.
Where this situation exists, vines, shrubs, or espaliered plants provide cooler house walls in the summer, and if they are the kind that shed their leaves, they give the house the full benefit of the sun’s warmth in winter.
Espalier trees beside the house walls can also provide delightful blooms and ornamental or edible fruits. If vines are used, they may be colorful, as in the case of climbing roses.
Trellises of plants along one or more walls will add to the beauty and utility.
They also give your home an air of graciousness and eliminate that bare look that all home lovers try to avoid.
If the pergola is built to keep the sun off the west side of the house, it will add to your living comfort by cooling the house’s walls.
Pergolas Of Flowering Vines
Pergolas of flowering vines, such as climbing roses and similar plants, and fruits, such as grapes, will provide cool spots beside the house, in the yard, or the outdoor living room.
But, of course, sitting in a cool bower on hot summer nights is a delight for anyone.
In the part of the yard used for outdoor living in the summer, water can make the area cooler and more liveable on hot summer nights.
Large Quantities Of Heat: Evaporation Of Water
It requires large amounts of heat to evaporate water, and the resulting cooler air will settle in your outdoor living room, providing you trap it with hedges and other plantings.
A solidly paved walk or driveway absorbs as well as reflects heat, and it also causes glare.
By walking small squares so that grass grows between them, the heat is lowered considerably, and glare is reduced.
Wind Problem: Enjoyment Of A Garden
Where wind is a problem in enjoying a garden, and you still may not want to cut off the view, often a combination of hedges and glass will solve your difficulty.
This is especially true when you do not wish to shut off a view of a river, lake, ocean, valley, or another natural vista.
One or more glass windows constructed with a wind-breaking hedge on each side can be a very striking addition to the outdoor garden, which otherwise cannot be enjoyed because of cold winds.
One of the great advantages of this treatment is that trapping the sun enables you to use the garden in the late spring and early fall.
44659 by H. P. Quadland