Sun, Sun and More Sun

By Amy Grant | March 10, 2022
Image by PaulMaguire
by Amy Grant
March 10, 2022

My last landscape was a comfortable mix of full sun/shade…until the trees grew. Then, it was shade central with just a sliver of full sun; enough for a tiny veggie garden. 

Our next move brought us to a home that was inundated on all sides by sun. I loved it. My houseplants loved it. I was excited to dive into landscaping my new yard. 

The upside to all this sun is most plants love it. The downside is that many don’t. The veggies, fruit trees and brambles thrive, but my beloved shade lovers like coral bell, ferns, astilbe, ligularia, hellebore and the like would absolutely fry in my yard. 

Adapting to Sun

I was used to a Pacific Northwest coastal environment but this was something entirely different. 

So I did what all species do. I adapted. Finally I was able to grow ginormous sunflowers and sweet corn, two plants I’d previously only dreamt of growing. The peppers, both sweet and hot thrived and the tomatoes, well the tomatoes were exceptional. 

Tender plants such as basil had to be partially shaded; I grow it where the big squash leaves shelter the herb for part of the day. On particularly hot days we use shade cloth during the hottest part of the day to protect new or otherwise fragile plant babies. 

Even so, last summer’s temperatures were so high (107!) for days on end that the apples and pears dropped from their respective trees. It wasn’t exactly a plague of locusts, but it did feel somewhat like a biblical disaster on a personal scale. 

The good news is the trees are starting to get big enough to shade part of the backyard. Argh, the trees again…

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