2008-07-04 / Columnists

The Diary Of A Green Thumb

The Answer To Cooling Off Your Home Lies Right In Your Own Backyard
Commentary By Danielle McShane Danielle's Rockaway Florist

DANIELLE McSHANE DANIELLE McSHANE We are finally starting to feel the heat of the summer creep in, and with the cost of everything on the rise, it may be time to think about a long-term, alternative option to cooling down the house. We are all trying to find different ways to cool off, and lucky for us, the answer might just be in our own backyard! The trees around our deck and patio may lend a helping hand. Rather than trimming back the trees in your yard, allow them to grow a little fuller than usual. Those with height will create a canopy of shade and shadows that will cool off your home.

The sun beating on your rooftop, or shining through your windows can cause a dramatic increase in temperature. It is amazing to see what a difference the shade from your trees and shrubs can make. Walls that are covered can be up to 15 degrees cooler! There are trees that bear fruit, and some that show colorful blooms for our enjoyment, so not only are they beautiful, but they create shade and absorb the solar radiation into their leaves, making our home a cooler place this summer! If you will be adding to your landscape this year, it may be a good idea to choose a deciduous tree such as a maple, that bears full leaves in the summer, thereby protecting from the heat. They lose their leaves in the fall, allowing the sunlight to beam in the winter when we need to warm up our home! Flowering vines or ivy can be trained to grow up a trellis or arbor in front of a sunny window, rather than having the air conditioner pumping all day to cool off the room.

Hoping that we help you to save money, and add to the landscape in the yard for you to enjoy! Feel free to write to us with tips for our readers, or gardening questions @ 436 Beach 129 Street, Belle Harbor, N.Y. 11694.

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