Once you’ve found (or built) the perfect Utah home, it’s time to begin designing and creating the ideal landscape to complement your home. While many different kinds of landscaping can be aesthetically pleasing, one of the biggest considerations in this desert state is how your outdoor design affects the efficiency of your home.
Here are five landscaping elements that can help regulate your home’s climate control and keep your carbon footprint (and energy bills) as small as possible.
1. Shade Trees
Direct sunlight can cause significant heat transfer, especially at higher altitudes. This heat transfer may make it difficult to maintain a cool interior temperature during the summer months. Luckily, the low humidity in Utah makes it easy to counteract this phenomenon by simply providing strategic shade. Plant shade trees or climbing vines to cast shadows over these vulnerable areas:
2. Wind Breaks
Utah is classified as a cool, high-altitude desert environment. However, the microclimates (climate found in your immediate area, which may be as small as your yard) found in Utah are extremely diverse. Evaluate how wind moves through your yard to determine your microclimate’s specific needs.
With a little strategic planning and planting, you can block cold seasonal winds and funnel cool summertime breezes directly into your windows.
3. Dead Spaces
Unlike your phone’s “dead zones,” dead space in your yard is actually a good thing. Dead space refers to an area where natural wind is almost entirely blocked. While your wind breaks can direct gales your home and funnel seasonal breezes inside, dead spaces are a landscaping element which completely block off sections of your yard from external airflow. You can create dead spaces using dense shrubs or short evergreen trees.
Dead space several feet wide around your home supplements the insulation in your walls. And, just like your interior insulation, dead spaces protect your home from the harshest temperatures in every season by regulating the temperature immediately around your home, upping your home’s energy efficiency.
4. Smart Irrigation
In desert climates, water costs can soar quickly, especially during the summer months. In addition to your in-home water conservation efforts, implement these irrigation strategies to keep your yard green without wasting water:
5. Native Plants
One of the easiest ways to prevent wasted water is to plant native plants. In Utah and other dry states, native plants are hardy and need less water than imported flowers and shrubs. Consider adding these native plants to your garden:
For more native plants and ideas for growing a Utah garden, check out PlantNative.org.
Whether your personal aesthetic calls for a gorgeous green lawn and flowering perennials or a quirky cactus garden, you have options for creating the perfect outdoor space for your new home. Use these tactics to make your space attractive and environmentally friendly.