Elena Langlois - Compass Massachusetts, LLC



Posted by Elena Langlois on 9/10/2020

Image by Tom from Shutterstock

Energy efficiency isn’t just for the inside of your home. What you plant outside can affect the bottom line inside. Choosing the right trees, grasses, and shrubs can help.

Location, location, location

Well placed trees can help to reduce your heating and cooling bills. Trees can keep your home cooler in the summer and protected and insulated in the winter. Determine where to plant the saplings so that when they mature, they shade your roof and upper rooms. Plant leafy deciduous trees to the East, West, or South sides of your home so that the shadows fall on your house. Eventually, they’ll keep you shaded in the blistering summer months. In the winter, those trees will lose their leaves allowing warmth from the sun to reach your windows through the bare branches.

When planting trees on the north or northwest side of your house, utilize evergreens as a windbreak. They’ll reduce the amount of frigid air that hits your house in the winter. Strategically planted rows can create a windbreak for an entire side of your home. Cypress, fir, or low-branch pines create great windbreaks. Be sure to account for growth when you choose a planting location, 10 to 15 feet between each tree is a good place to start.

Efficiency

If you have central air conditioning, use shrubs and bushes to shade your condensing unit. Experts estimate that a protected A/C can boost efficiency by ten percent or more. Keep your plants and shrubs about three feet away from your condensing unit so that it has proper airflow. Trim trailing vines or branches that grow close to the equipment or ventilation.

Groundcover

Replace grass with stones or a concrete slab that reflects light and heat toward your home. That will keep your home warmer in the winter months. Dark wood chips, mulch, or green groundcover help to absorb daytime heat that is then slowly released throughout the evening and overnight. This process works to keep your home cooler during the day but adds warmth to outdoor entertainment spaces in the evening.

If you’re searching for the perfect new house, let your real estate professional know about your desire for energy efficiency. They can help you find the ideal home to put your ideas into action.




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Posted by Elena Langlois on 12/29/2016

If you have shady areas in your yard it can be difficult to find the right plants for that shady spot. There are several types of  plants that will thrive in a shady garden. Here are some plants and shrubs that will flourish in your shady spot: Leading the pack of shady perennial foliages that come to mind; hostas and heucheras. These two plants are shade-loving, leafy ornamentals. Hostas have large-leaves and come in a wide range of shades, including fragrant and variegated varieties. Heucheras, or coral bells, come in many shades of green and also have many great hues like bronze, red and pink. Small trees accustomed to growing under larger, spreading trees are a great fit for shady areas in your yard. Persimmon and pawpaws trees even add edible elements to your landscaping. You will also want to consider Paperbark maple, Eastern redbud and the White Fringe tree for the shade. Ornamental shrubs add a nice addition for shade gardeners. Consider using daphnes, mountain laurels and large and dwarfing rhododendrons. There are also many perennial flowers that love the shade. Some favorites include Lily-of-the-Valley, Bleeding heart, Astiblle, Columbine and the Crested iris. You can even plant some edible plants in your shade garden. There are some herbs, especially mint that loves shady spots. Mint will also bring a delicious smell to your garden. Plant the herb in urns or under large trees. Be careful to keep mint separate from other perennials, it spreads quickly and will choke out neighboring plants.  If your garden has some partly shady areas you can also plant lemon balm, bee balm or tarragon.  




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