The Importance of Your Home’s Orientation

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It’s the summer time. The weather is heating up, the kids are getting out of school, and you are probably planning some outdoor landscaping projects. Whether you are considering installing some shade trees, changing out a few plants, or even planting just one plant, this blog is essential to make sure that you pick the right plant for the right place.

The most important factor when planting a plant is sun exposure. How much light does the plant require and what areas of your yard provide the most or the least light? The sunny and shady areas of your yard are determined by two primary factors. Firstly, and most importantly, what angle is your home to the sun? A simple google search of your address will show you how your house is oriented: north, south, east, west, or somewhere in between.

Because we are in the northern hemisphere, the sun, and therefore, the light, is coming from the south. This means that if your front door is pointed due south, your backyard is going be shady, because the walls of your house provide protection from the sun. The degree of this shade, or how far your home’s shadow is cast, depends on the time of day. The morning and evening hours see more shade than at high noon.

The second factor is the height of your home. The taller your house, the longer the shadow and the more shade. There are other factors, like trees, especially older, large canopied trees, that should also be taken into consideration, as well as other structures.

To give you a quick example of one application of sun angles, let’s pretend one of your summer projects is to plant an agapanthus. Agapanthuses are beautiful plants that have a large purple or white spherical flower that blooms on the end of a large shoot from the base of the plant. This plant does best in full sun. If you lived in the first home in the image, home A, you would want to plant your agapanthus in the back yard, where it would get plenty of sunlight. If you lived across the street, in the second, identical home, you would plant your agapanthus in the front yard, as your home faces south. Now, if you lived in home B and you really wanted to plant it in the backyard, you still could, but you would want to plant it away from the house so that it would still get plenty of sunlight.


If you have any questions or would like to schedule a free estimate, email us or call us at 407-935-9151.