When designing how your lawn will fit in with your landscape garden, consider the position of sunlight and shade at different times of the day and different times of the year is an important piece of information. You'll need a basic knowledge of the movement of the sun in relation to the garden's features. Understanding this movement will help in deciding the placement and choice of plants. The sun rises north of the east-west line in the summer, exposing all sides of a house to a certain amount of sunlight. It's high in the sky, producing short shadows from buildings and plants. In the winter, the sun rises south of the east-west line, producing long shadows from structures and plants.
Choose plants that will best suit the natural effects of exposure. The sun can have different effects throughout the day. The introduction of shade provides relief for plants and daily movement of color and mood. A plant needing full sun may do well even if it is shaded for a few hours in the late afternoon, but a shade-loving plant might burn if it receives a few hours of sun during the afternoon.
A garden in the morning has characteristics that may not be evident during the later, shady hours. During a summer day when the sun is rising, parts of a shady garden may light up with sunlight and then give way to dappled shade as the sun rises higher in the sky. Plant and construction materials appear to take on different textures as the angle of the sun changes. Sun and shade are constantly changing patterns, changing the feel of the garden from hour to hour and season to season.
People are attracted to movement in the garden. Water cascading into a pool, for instance, always attracts attention. Grow plants that will attract visitors: Butterflies and hummingbirds are among the easiest and prettiest guests to entice. You'll have to allow some natural food for the caterpillars and plenty of flowers that provide nectar for hummingbirds, but the activity in the garden is wonderful.
Use plants to accentuate the movement of the wind as it blows through the garden. Plants with paper-thin leaves flutter like birds, creating interest through movement. Many plants -- particularly ornamental grasses with flowers and seed heads high atop tall, slender stalks -- produce a quiet rustle with seed against seed creating a natural wind chime. Summer breezes add romance to a garden, carrying the fragrance of phlox or moonvine through the air. Scent is one of the garden's most subtle delights. As fragrance drifts through the garden, the garden visitor will feel inspired and refreshed.
In the next section, you'll learn about how to add lawn accents to your landscape.
For more information on lawn care and related topics, try these:
- Lawn Problems: We explore the most common reasons why lawns struggle.
- Gardening: Make a garden part of your home's landscape.
- Types of Lawnmowers: Which mower is best for your lawn?