Summer Cooling Techniques for Patio and Garden
Vertical Gardening Blocks the Heat
In addition to native and a few non-native grasses, plants, and trees, other plants can help to the patio and garden areas of your home landscape.
Some of these additional plants are attractive vines, blooming and non-blooming, that are grown according to a style of vertical gardening.
Where ground cover spreads out across the landscape to help restrain erosion and water loss as well as to provide attractiveness and additional cooling, vertical-growing vines grow up the sides of houses and garden or patio walls; up trellises, poles, and frames, and generally upwards.
Vines can also grown downwards from suspended pots in order to create additional shade when they are thick or many placed together on a ledge, across the top of a garden wall, or via any elevation of some sort.
Best Perennial Vines for the Sun
- English Ivy
- Five-leaf Akebia
- Grape Vines
- Perennial Pea
- Porcelain Vine
- Silver fleece
- Trumpet Creeper
Awnings of All Sizes
A retractable awning attached to an outside wall of the house can create a shaded area for outdoor activities and lower your utility bills as well. Awnings for windows, doorways, and those that fold down form the house to make an outdoor room come in a wide range of sizes and colors.
Awnings can even be placed at a height nearer the ground in order to create a shaded area for your pet. Because awnings are usually water resistant, they are able to catch rain runoff into a decorative rain barrel positioned at an appropriate corner(s).
Awnings are energy efficient and reduce interior heat in homes during sunlight hours by 77% in reports from the American Society of Heating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE). These devices will also keep the sun out of your windows and off your patio furniture, thereby stopping sun damage to both indoor and outdoor décors.
Shade Sails are a newer category of portable awnings that also come in several sizes and are becoming more popular in home and garden stores and on the Internet.
Misters and Misting Systems for Patios, Tents and Table Umbrellas
Coordinating with the awnings, the water mister can seem like a hot weather miracle. Water misters can be added to the top perimeter of an awning. They are more effective than fans used alone and are very effective when combined with fans in covered outdoor patios and dining areas. A misting system can increase relaxation and in hot outdoor conditions via fast-evaporation engineering.
Dedicated mist nozzles place water under high pressure and result in water droplet mists that bring air temperature down by 20+ degrees F or more. So, in 100 degree heat, you can feel that it is more around 80 degrees. If you add an outdoor fan or two to your patio area under an awning, the temperature can be further reduced. You can find mister deals on the Internet, from portable misters, misting fans, and misting bird baths; to umbrella and patio misters; all the way up to full-sized misting tents for special events. There is even a mister to ward off mosquitoes! Misters range in price from around $50 to several thousand dollars.
I have experienced using this mister arrangement in the pictured canopy tent style and in an outdoor table umbrella style, both with fantastic results. On a hot August day, the misting reduces the temperature under the canopy or umbrella by over 10 degrees F. Sometimes it is hard to breathe in high heat outdoors, but these misting setups eliminate that problem.
Garden Video with Chimes
Music and Chines
Increase your relaxation and that can help decrease the sensation of heat in the atmosphere. Achieve this on the patio by hanging attractive wind chimes to add pleasing sounds to the cooler temperatures. Chimes can be purchased at a wide range of prices and attached to the top of the retractable awning, or hung from decorative wrought iron garden poles or even garden hooks.
Wind chimes include metals, woods, shells and ceramics that bring music and art to your landscaping to enhance the experience of your yard and garden. Capiz or other marine shells can be very colorful, or choose cooler silver or copper chimes, or a Pacific. At night you can add the soft light of candles set on cool surfaces or floating in the rain barrel, even adding a water lily, to create a relaxing getaway in a cooler temperature amid the music of chimes.
Wind Chimes with Solar Lights
For nighttime enjoyment, cool lighting can be added to good effect with solar-powered patio and landscape lights.
In the 21stcentury, there is available an astonishing range of solar-powered lighting that is attractive and energy efficient at once. Some of these lights are sculptured flowers that glow at night, while others are carriage lights atop tall hooks. Some other solar lighting options in this line are fashioned as Asian tea houses that sit serenely and glow brightly along a cool stone path through your yard at night. Some solar lights even come embedded in the underside of a patio umbrella to light up at dusk, having gathered energy from the sun during the day.
Solar lighting is artistic as well as useful, cordless, and energy saving. Altogether, the features suggested in this article can lend cooling fingers of relaxation to your hot climate or summer yard, garden, and home.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2008 Patty Inglish MS