Creating spectacular landscapes in small spaces

Creating a cool oasis in your backyard

by Janet Banks

If you are currently searing in the Australian summer you might be looking for ways to make your garden cooler. Here are some of the landscaping tricks and hacks you can use to keep the backyard as cool as possible in summer. 

Lots of shade

When you are planning a garden you want to make sure there is as much natural shade as possible. Be sure to consider the movement of the sun throughout the day so that you don't just have a shady oasis at midday and hot sun all morning and afternoon. You can use a range of object for shade, from natural shade from greenery such as trees and shrubs, planned shade from existing structures such as houses and fences and artificial installed shade such as shade sails and umbrellas. Deciduous greenery that lose their leaves in winter can be a great option, as the trees are shady in the hot months and let more light in in the cooler months. 

Water features

Water features can be another beautiful way to cool down the garden. Flowing water can not only create a calming noise but also helps to cool the surrounding area as the water evaporates. Integrating the water feature with seats or a flat, shaded area can help create a small space that you can use as a reflection point or simply a location to relax with a cool drink. 

Green space

Green space, including lawn, has been shown to be much cooler than other surfaces including artificial turfs and dry soil or pavers. In fact this effect also continues over night and can impact the coolness of your home over night as the green spaces radiate less heat as the ambient temperature decreases. It is useful to consider which species to get of grass as well, as species that fare well in summer and don't turn brown are likely to be the coolest options. 

If you have some large structures which do tend to absorb heat that you need to work with, such as a dark brick wall to a garage or shed, you can look at planting a climbing vine on this area.  This can also help absorb some of the heat and cool down the structure and surrounding area. 

If you are looking to landscape your yard to create a cool oasis, why not contact a professional landscaping firm? They can turn your yard into a cool place to hang out year round.