This blog is about growing tropical-looking plants in the Phoenix, Arizona area

May 3, 2015

Preparing your backyard for the heat of summer

Summer is a great time to be outdoors, even in Phoenix. Of course, it does get VERY hot, so there are a few tricks that I've discovered over the years.

• Shade. Nothing is more important than shade. When I bought my house, I insisted that the backyard would be on the east side. That way, the house itself shades the yard, and the later in the afternoon it gets, the more shade there is. So I have a shady house and two nice shady trees.

• Furniture that moves. Since the sun moves, shade moves, too. So I have lightweight aluminum and plastic furniture that I can easily move. It's inexpensive, and I buy new ones every few years. The turf, by the way, is artificial.

• Cover up metal. I use towels, and those pool noodles, to cover up any exposed metal parts on my furniture. Even when it's not particularly hot, that Arizona sun really heats up metal, and it can hurt! Cover it up. I also go get new beach towels every few years.

So there you go, as you can see from the photo I took a few minutes ago, the shade hasn't quite covered the area where I want to sit and listen to my audiobook (that's an iPod on the table connected to an portable speaker, which works great, by the way). And if I'm lucky, Macintosh, the good little wiener dog, will hang out with me! Dachshunds love heat. She shivers when it gets below eighty!

Brad draws custom cartoon illustrations for publications, blogs, presentations, anything you want. You can contact him at his website
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