In 2020, outdoor space quickly became a commodity with everyone forced to limit their movements and stay home.
The value of having a garden where you could take a walk to get your daily dose of Vitamin D or relax after a long work-from-home day was and still is very much treasured.
With all that extra time at home, nurseries in Malaysia reported experiencing an influx in sales from people looking to spruce up their garden, try their hand at gardening, entertain the kids or to ensure some amount of food security for the immediate future.
3 Benefits Of Good Orientation
1) A Heaven for Gardeners
If your home is oriented to take advantage of the glorious Malaysian sun, with a little planning, you can have a garden that will allow your plants to thrive and show off your green thumb.
2) Save Energy, Save Money
Good orientation can increase the energy efficiency of your home during the blazing afternoon sun, so your house doesn’t bake and is shielded from the heat of the day. Coupled with good airflow, you’re looking at less aircon usage and more money in the bank.
3) Sustainable Living for the Eco-conscious
Adequate sunlight throughout the day not only helps you cultivate a luscious garden but also reduces the use of lights inside. Throw in some solar panel lights to illuminate your garden and you can be on your way to an eco-friendly house.
Pros And Cons Of Different Orientations For Your Garden
East facing houses
For the early riser, the morning sun cascading over the garden can be a welcome sight to start the day.
The location of your garden in relation to your surroundings determines how much of sun your garden gets during the morning and throughout the day.
This correlates to what you will be able to grow in different parts of your garden as the day progresses.
A good time to view an east-facing property is on a hot sunny day between 11 am to 1 pm to get an idea of how much sun the garden gets during the hottest part of the day.
West facing houses
Most would avoid a West facing house because the sun rises in the East and sets in the West which means bearing with the heat. But this isn’t exactly true.
From March to September, the sun rises and sets towards the North-West and from September to March it is from the South-West direction.
The beauty of a West-facing house is in beautiful sunsets that you can enjoy from your garden and if you grow some mango and palm trees, your house can be shaded from intense heat during the hotter months.
North-South facing houses
This orientation is great if you have gardens flanking your property.
You will be able to take advantage of the morning sun by growing herbs and edibles that need some direct sunlight during the early part of the day such as morning glory, mint and some root vegetables, but are better shaded from the afternoon sun.
A garden to the east can be used to grow fruit trees, hibiscus, and hardy ornamental plants like bougainvillaea to add a pop of colour to your yard.
If you live in an apartment and don’t receive any direct sunlight, consider growing edibles that do well with indirect sunlight or cultivate microgreens from greens such as kailan and spinach.
Increase oxygen levels and keep your home cool with some money plants and mother-in-law’s tongue that do really well with minimal sunlight and care.
South-East facing houses
This orientation takes advantage of the morning sun from September to March which works well for those who relish having a cup of coffee while watching the first rays of light touch their landscape.
Plants that like partial shade and are sheltered from the torrential downpours will do well in these spaces.
This is a great area for leafy greens, carrots, lowland strawberries, and tomatoes. All the ingredients you need for a colourful and nutritious salad. The kids will love helping you harvest and prepare this meal. Talk about getting them excited to eat veggies!
North-East facing houses
Budding gardeners with a North-East garden orientation can consider growing lettuce, kale, mint and other edibles that do well with a few hours of sun.
To make the most out of small spaces like condo balconies, grow vertically to maximise exposure of your plants to the sun and increase your production.
You can grow spring onions, celery, carrot leaves, and basil to gauge how well you will be able to cultivate these edibles with the amount of sunlight your garden receives.
A handy trick to try out to know if certain kitchen staples can be grown in your space is to try propagating or regrowing edibles bought from the store.
We are blessed with perfect growing weather all year round and it's high time we take advantage of the sun and rain as free resources to improve our quality of life, reduce our carbon footprint and eat a healthier diet grown from the fruits of our labour.