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In most yards, the light patterns change dramatically throughout the day. As a result, it will be constantly hungry and not grow as well as it should. It's that critical. As a gardener, you must understand a fundamental principle of plant life. I'm often amazed how well most people get around. We use cookies to personalise content and ads, to provide social media features and to analyse our traffic. In these circumstances Designer Bachman Brown Clem gravitates towards hues that are just as intense. The western exposure is part sun. Here's what you should know about various directional exposures so you can orient a new house the right way on a lot, or deal with the windows you've already been dealt. But highly personalized window treatments can mitigate the intensity: “Some clients love to wake up with the sun, in which case we’d match them with a high-transparency roller shade and decorative drapery. The sun rises in the east and sets in the west. But, here's the rub. (Photo from Chris Granger, NOLA.com| The Times-Picayune archive). Designers tend to agree: Southern exposure is harsh. Next, you will need to determine the growing conditions for your garden. I mean the compass directions. The eastern exposure receives several hours of direct sun in the cooler morning hours and provides part shade. If there is a Miss Congeniality award, it would probably go to northern exposure. A cool-tone kitchen—like this one by Frampton Co.—would buffer warmer tones that will filter in from western exposure. Since we live in the northern hemisphere, the tilt of the earth's axis puts the sun in the southern sky as it crosses from east to west. North-facing views provide lighting that is consistent throughout the day, never too harsh or too dull. Though it is always a positive, not all views are created equal—not in terms of what’s outside the window, but rather which direction the window faces. 10 Notorious Instances of Foreclosure Fraud, Information about the device's operating system, Information about other identifiers assigned to the device, The IP address from which the device accesses a client's website or mobile application, Information about the user's activity on that device, including web pages and mobile apps visited or used, Information about the geographic location of the device when it accesses a website or mobile application. You consent to our cookies if you continue to use our website. Part sun: Receives about four to six hours of afternoon sun. for information on the tilt). Soil, drainage and climate are, of course, important to plant health. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners who may combine it with other information that you’ve provided to them or that they’ve collected from your use of their services. Dan Gill is a horticulturist with the LSU AgCenter. But, it has everything to do with providing the right light for our plants. Because of the sun's position in the southern sky, shadows are cast to the north. First, let's look at what part shade means. The northern exposure is shade. Because the sun always crosses the sky south of directly overhead, the southern exposure gets sun most of the day and is considered full sun. This sugar is used, along with tiny amounts of minerals absorbed from the soil (such as nitrogen and calcium), to power the biological processes and build the body of the plant. California-based designer Kelly Hinchman loves working with Western light in her clients’ homes, but is quick to warn, “The afternoon sun will flood the room with golden overtones… I would stay away from oranges and reds in the west [or] your home will be on fire!”. How to Calculate the Sun Exposure in a Yard. How much should you save before buying a house? Other questions:subscriberservices@theadvocate.com. In the car or on foot, I can get lost effortlessly unless I'm very familiar with where I am. There, my sense of direction never fails. To complicate matters, the sun moves differently in the different seasons, and light conditions may change. Ad Choices, And how to soften the harsh light from certain orientations. Follow his stories at www.nola.com/homegarden, on Facebook and @nolahomegardenon Instagram. Being aware of the compass directions isn't needed to find your way around your yard. Eastern exposure in a bedroom can be softened with strategic window treatments—roller shades being a must, as in this Houston guest room by Bruce Budd. But do you know your directions? Southern Exposure Face the long, front side of the home within 20 degrees either side of true south. Light conditions also can change slowly but significantly as young shade trees grow large and mature -- or change suddenly when mature trees are lost to storms. Here are some good working definitions of the terms we commonly use to denote light conditions in our landscapes: Full sun: Indicates locations that receive eight hours or more of direct sun daily. Designers tend to agree: Southern exposure is harsh. You can read up on a plant and find that it's best grown in part shade. Natural light exposure within a home is all about perspective. Northern exposure? “Generally north light is calming," Frampton explains. Schoolchildren can tell you that the sun rises in the east and sets in the west – and if this were strictly true, building orientation would be fairly simple. The bold peacock blue of this Bachman Brown-designed living room holds its own against the strong natural light pouring through. This happens because the Earth is a sphere and spins on an axis that is tilted 23 degrees (see "What Causes the Seasons?" In these circumstances Designer Bachman Brown Clem gravitates towards hues … The eastern exposure receives several hours of direct sun in the cooler morning hours and provides part shade. Let’s take a closer look at this technique for optimal sun exposure. The movement of the sun interacting with various structures (such as your home), trees, walls and larger shrubs creates light conditions that may vary through the day. Unfortunately, you can't simply go out and evaluate the light conditions in different parts of your yard just before you head to the nursery. They use light energy to build sugar out of carbon dioxide and water. Expressed as a percentage, this is the number we print above the packing date on Southern Exposure … The western exposure, like the eastern exposure, receives several hours of direct sun. The sun moves, but houses stay put. Assess light patterns every hour or two throughout the course of a day, noting where shadows fall and for how long. Email questions to dgill@agcenter.lsu.edu or add them to the comment section below. Please allow me a moment of botany. Each exposure has its own distinct temperament, and as with all strong personalities, it’s better to work with them than against. On December 21st, 9.00 a.m., the sun has risen in the east and is low in the southern sky. The idea of a germination test is to take a random sample of seeds from your lot or package, put them in the conditions that make them most likely to germinate, and see how many develop into healthy sprouts. Knowing the compass directions is important in understanding these changes. But nothing else matters if you don't get the plant's light requirements right. To evaluate light conditions, you should spend at least one day walking around all parts of your landscape noting what kind of light each area receives (how many hours of direct sun and when they occur). To revisit this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories. And knowing the compass directions of your property can help greatly. If you can't, you need find a compass and go outside. How compass directions can improve your plants' health, Dan Gill, The Times-Picayune garden columnist. Like top-of-the-line appliances and perfectly patinaed hardwood floors, natural light is in that echelon of amenities that make even the most jaded homeowner swoon. Figure out how much sun you get in the sunniest part of your garden and in the shadiest part. Frampton Co., for example, set up its office in a northern-facing room. You can start to understand sun exposure by figuring out which direction your growing area faces. “Morning light may be delicate in a space—as long as it’s not shining into a bedroom,” says designer Elena Frampton of Frampton Co. Everyone knows what it’s like to have their precious extra sleep time thwarted by beams of light puncturing cheap wooden blinds—which will be the case if you have a bedroom that faces east (where, as you know, the sun rises). It's easy to download a compass app on your phone if you don't already have one. Keep in mind that in spring, bare-branched trees may give the illusion of sunny spots beneath, but once they leaf out, they often create heavy shade during summer and into fall. A Manhattan apartment by Michael S. Smith featuring both northern and southern exposures. Plants consume light to provide the energy they need to power and build their bodies. Not all plants are created equal when it comes to their sunlight requirements. Of course, some like to control the sun, in which case there are many blackout options available, even programmable," she says. Southern exposure? © 2020 Condé Nast. Then we will see how the compass directions influence where different light conditions occur in the landscape. North facing patios will get the most shade. Can you stand anywhere in your yard and point north, south, east and west? On June 21st, at the same time of the day, it is higher in the sky. Southern Exposure. All rights reserved. So, evaluating the light is an ongoing process of observation over time. If a plant does not receive enough light, it cannot make enough food. The sugar molecules created by photosynthesis store the energy of light (generally from the sun) in their molecular bonds. North facing sun exposure.

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