How to Design Your Landscape Around Natural Light

Utilizing Natural Light to Enhance Your Landscape

Where the natural light hits your landscape and for how many hours of the day can play a significant role in the design process. If you have an east facing yard you will likely only receive direct sunlight in the morning, and west facing yards will only start to receive direct sunlight later in the afternoon. There may be other features, too, that mean only certain areas of your landscape receive direct sunlight.

That’s why it’s important to consider where each of your landscape features will go in relation to the natural light. Here’s a quick guide to help you design your landscape around the sunlight.

Creating Shade

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While it’s nice to have open spaces to soak up the sun in your yard, it’s just as important to ensure you have a nice, shaded area to escape the direct sun. Gazebos and pergolas are wonderful features to add to your landscape with many benefits: they provide a shaded area to enjoy the fresh air, they can offer privacy, they look great, and they can increase your home’s market value.

Your landscape is your own, so it makes sense that you would tailor it to suit your own desires. If you can’t wait for that summer sunshine to hit so that you can soak up every ray then you’ll probably want to design a fairly open landscape, whereas those who enjoy the fresh air but need some refuge from the sun will likely want to design a landscape with plenty of features that introduce shade, such as a porch with a roof, or tall shrubbery.

Hours of Sunlight

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Before fulfilling any landscape projects it’s good to monitor the sunlight received in your outdoor area to ensure you’re making the best use of your space. It would be counter-productive to construct a garden in an area of your yard that only receives one hour of direct sunlight per day. It’s recommended to consider the natural light available and how this may impact each of the ways you plan to utilize your landscape.

If your outdoor area doesn’t receive much direct sunlight each day, you can brighten up the space by adding light colored wood and stone features. You should also avoid having a lot of darker shrubs and plants as they can emphasize the lack of light.


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A great way to enhance the light on your landscape is to incorporate reflective surfaces, such as water features. Water features come in all shapes, sizes, and designs, and there’s one to satisfy all budgets. Water features also increase the value of the home.

Reflections will enhance your outdoor space by creating new dimensions, and reflections are great at making spaces appear bigger in size.

If you would like to discuss designs for your landscape, or if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to give us a call here at Verdant Landscaping Design.

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