When designing gardens, consider the climate of the areas of your home. In addition to temperature, the climate involves additional considerations such as the aspect, shade, wind, and frost.
When designing your garden, consider its aspect. The aspect is the direction that your garden faces.
- North: Gardens are mostly shaded and cool all day.
- East: Gardens receive the morning sun and will be cool and shaded in the afternoon.
- South: Gardens receive the hot mid-day sun.
- West: Gardens receive the hottest afternoon sun and then the evening sunset.
When designing gardens for a North facing location, plant trees, shrubs, and flowers that thrive in cool and shady climates. You can plant bulbs that take full sunshine during the early spring before many trees get their canopy of leaves back. This is in ideal location for seating during the hot summer months.
When designing gardens for an East facing location, keep in mind that early spring flowering plants may bloom because of the warm morning sun but then be shocked in the nightly frosts. Therefore, consider planting hardy flowers in these areas. This is an ideal location for enjoying breakfast in the mornings during the colder months and for enjoying a shaded lunch and dinner in the afternoons and evenings during the hotter months.
When designing a south-facing garden, choose plants that grow well in dry soil and hot sun such as lavender, citrus, and rosemary (all the plants found in a Mediterranean garden).
For west-facing gardens, consider arranging evening seating areas and scented plants such as Jasmine and honeysuckle.
In addition to aspect, buildings and mature evergreen trees will influence what is shaded. So consider this when planting shrubs and flowers.
If an area receives full shade, choose plants for shade.
Some areas get dappled shade from young trees and deciduous trees. These are the areas where you can plant flowers and shrubs for partial shade.
Lots of wind in your garden? Wind can evaporate water from soil, cause soil erosion, and take off flower buds and leaves. Therefore, choose hardy plants for these areas or consider creating a windbreak with plants.
Frost can damage delicate plants. If you have plants that flower early in the spring or that prefer warmer climates, consider placing these plants in the highest areas of your yard. Cold air is heavy, so it “drains” downhill and can form frost pockets at the bottom of slopes.