Micro Climates

A friend in Naco recently developed a micro-climate around his place. He began by building a wall which enclosed the yard - then came patio pavers which separated the small planting areas. Trellises were constructed with slatted tops to allow vines to climb which created mottled shaded areas that give a feeling of soft protection.

In our county these micro-climates are practical since you choose plants which grow well, offer shade, and actually require little water once established. Rain water from the eaves of buildings is an added bonus to these inclusive areas.

This graceful patio was established in less than two years. Plants growing success fully there include: African sumac, olive tree, cat's claw, trump, and jasmine vines - almost any vine grows well here - succulents and cacti in containers, and in the shaded areas, violets and begonias. Roses, liriope, day lilies, and mums add color.

You, too, can create such a microenvironment. And if constructing a privacy wall seems too large a project to consider, then just stack some block or brick or stone or use some of the strong shade screen material you can now purchase in any store that carries gardening supplies. You could also use metal posts with wire mesh fencing or almost any material to make a barrier to give you the desired effect. Now is the planning and constructing season.

Barbara Kishbaugh
November, 1992