New Meanings to Shade-scaping

Posted by on Mar 7, 2014 in Blog | No Comments
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Click the image above to see the effects of shade-scaping


Shade and sunshine are environmental conditions that can make or break a good landscape design. Today, with the aid of technology and good design practices, we are able to focus the best attributes of each to create drama, spotlight beauty, and even provide refuge. 

With today’s technology, landscape architects can design using time-lapsed environment rendering models to demonstrate sun and shade patterns throughout the day or season. Tools that help identify potentially problematic sun and shade areas and allow architects to design effectively (planting the right plant in the right place) potentially save thousands on incompatible plantings due to dramatic seasonal sunlight changes throughout the year.

Here are a few examples of how working with sun and shade can improve outdoor living environments.

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Creating Pattern Graffiti

Positioning plants in the path of the sun can create dramatic shadows and shading effects. In this project we created “pattern graffiti” with shade. We effectively altered the look & feel of the space in a creative way by changing a bright, uninteresting paved surface into a more attractive and actively interesting medium. With the slightest breeze, the palm fronds create ‘moving’ shadows on the paving. It all works together creating shade, movement, and a non choreographed shade dance.

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Creating Natural Spot Lights

Even the darkest of shaded areas can create an interesting and functional garden refuge when spotlighted with a beam of sun light. In this project we were challenged with a dark canopy of leaves and branches that obliterated sunlight and washed out all color. By pruning out strategic branches of the shade tree, we were able to create a spot light effect that directed the view out of the dark and into the light, towards a beautiful and dramatic tree garden filled with hanging orchids.

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Morning Sunlight

Creating Beauty and Utility with Sun & Shade

The biggest challenge of a new pool installation is understanding the home environment and its orientation with the sun, pool and home roofline. The roofline cast shadow was extremely important in the relationship to this new pool. Although the studies were primarily for the new plantings, it was just as important to study the positioning of terraces for outdoor seating areas to ensure that the seating did not end up in an unanticipated shade area due to the rooflines of the house and its very important orientation to the sun. Outdoor living in Florida during the winter months can make all the difference between a space that is too cold for morning coffee and a space that is effectively warmed by the morning sun—or too hot in the afternoon for entertaining.

Afternoon Shade

Our boutique sized team of award winning landscape designers & architects can guide you to envisioning your home’s landscape project from start to finish, taking into account the seasonal changes of sun and shade patterns for a custom design that fits your lifestyle of entertaining, relaxing and enjoyment. Contact us today for an initial consultation. 

Ask about our 2D rendering and 3D modeling services.