I’ll never look at my garden the same way again.
Only a few pages into Sue Reed’s Energy-Wise Landscape Design: A New Approach for your Home and Garden (New Society Press, 2010) I started glancing around my yard with a new eye. How well did our trees funnel summer breezes and block winter ones? Were deciduous trees and conifers planted in the optimal places?
Well, I already knew the answer to that one: no. I’ve got five large spruce grouped on the east and south-east side of the house, and while they do a marvelous job of keeping us cool during heat waves (like the one last week), they do an equally good job of blocking winter sunlight and preventing passive solar warming of the house. And by large, I mean fifty or sixty feet tall–much, much taller than our two-story house.
You can see the relative size in the photo above. This is the east side of our house –or it would be if you could see it behind the spruce. Note the other evergreens in the background. We’re surrounded!
So I have long wished that the pine beetles (which do take out the occasional spruce) would adopt one or two of the five (preferably those on the south-east corner of the property) thus relieving me of both the guilt and responsibility that would assail me should I ever screw up the courage to remove them myself..