Using permaculture ethics & design principles to transform an old energy guzzling bungalow into a showcase of sustainable design. It's about energy cycling, building community, self-reliance,creatively using & reusing materials... all without spending heaps of money.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Some shade please - now!

Principle 12: Creatively use and respond to change

It's been hot this summer, bloody hot - and virtually no rain for months.

While we wait for our grapes to grow up our new trellis I added shade cloth to give some protection from the harsh sun. It's made quite a difference, helping to keep the deck cooler, reducing reflection inside and while ugly it's going to stay there for the summer.

On really hot days 35ยบ+ we close all the windows and curtains in the house. The pelmets and curtains inside work well, but we wanted to improve on that by reducing the amount of reflected heat coming in through the windows. Once the heat is inside, that's where it stays until we open up the house at night when the weather cools down.

Playing around with shade cloth has helped me envisage what the future may hold for us, after our plants have established themselves. I'm thinking of what to plant on the west side of the house after experienceing the impact of the shade cloth that I've set up there. I'm sure that the plants will perform better than the shade cloth, with greater shade, dappled light, evaporative cooling effect and much more aesthetically pleasing, while also provinding us with a harvest.

Shade cloth added to reo-trellis while we wait for the grape vines to grow.

Shade cloth added to west side of house to help shade the small west window during a string of really hot days.

Our plum and cumquat tree are beginning to give some shade to the water tank and cellar

3 comments:

Linda said...

Gee we've struggled with the heat Richard! This week has been such a relief and the garden is much happier. I can't wait until one of our trees on the west get big enough for shade. Btw I loved the new site you told me about! It looks great.

Anonymous said...

Please bend those sharp free ends of reo up and out of the kids and visitors eyes. A cork is only going to fall off and is the perfect size to fit into an eyeball socket.
Grab a short length of pipe and slide over the free end. It will make bending the free ends up and over a simple exercise.
Ramsey

Richard Telford said...

The reo ends are 8mm steel and have been grinded down so there are no sharp edges. None of the corks have fallen off as yet, though in time they probably will.
The ends were left on with the thought that they would help support the vines that are growing up the reo.