Saturday, June 11, 2011

Farm life - living shade

I got the idea reading this article in the Asahi Shimbun (a Tokyo newspaper). It talks about charity organizations giving out seeds so that people can plant shade curtains near their house.

These living curtains, usually made of fast growing vines like squash or morning glory, shade the wall from the sun and the heat of the day - reducing the need for air-conditioning and lowering the internal temperature between 2 to 5 degrees.

For me, the great thing about them is how beautiful they are. The air can flow right through them, creating a gentle rustling sound and a cooling breeze. I think it's a great idea.

Sadly, I can't grow a curtain of shade outside my bedroom window. It gets the full brunt of the sun in the evenings making it the hottest room in the house (by at least 4 degrees) in the summer. So my solution...

...Hanging baskets. This city is famous for them after all. Though, to be completely honest, I don't much like them. Too many flowers! They tend to be just too showy and think they are better than they are.

So, instead, I bought leafy plants that will hang down and provide a different sort of living shade. They are all sun to part sun plants that can withstand some mild drought. Not as fragile as most of the plants they were selling for hanging baskets.

Oh, and by the way - no, I don't speak Japanese. I get the English version of that newspaper on my Kindle.

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