Wednesday, 15 January 2014

life in a heatwave: dreaming of shade and keeping cool

Keeping cool has become a full-time occupation.  Victoria's heatwave has been unrelenting, with temperatures into the 30s until late at night.  We've had a few days of over 40 degrees now and continuing until Friday.  We are lucky to have a reverse cycle air conditioning unit in our main living room.  We open the doors to the rest of the house and try to direct it around, keeping everyone as cool as we can.  Fans in the bedrooms are helping us sleep, although we only have two at the moment and tend to rotate them around (pardon the pun!). 
Long term garden planning is coming under scrutiny in the wake of this heat.  Although we can see major progress over the past 12 months (with a couple of before and after shots for your viewing pleasure!), we still have a lot to do.  We have two lovely large ash trees and an apricot towards the back of our block, providing wonderful shade for the trampoline and sandpit.  Closer to the house, we stand out like a pimple on a rock.  We've planted a few trees along the side of the house, but it's become clear we need more.
We need something of a tunnel of trees along this side bit of the house - towards the red garage door.  It's going to be a while until we can afford a verandah here, so we will work on a mix of trees, large shrubs and climbers to screen the house during these hotter months.  Keep an eye out over the next while as work towards budget friendly shading solutions - and please fill free to share your own ideas with us!  Every bit helps!

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