5 things you can do with landscaping to keep your cool in a heatwave

Boy, oh boy. It certainly was a hot one last week.

And no one feels the outdoor heat more than your faithful outdoor laborers and masters of paving: PVM Concrete & Pavers!

Depending on where you live in the US, this last week was a record setting heat wave, and depending on your work it might not have had any impact on your life, but for many it has been intense.

Where does that leave us now?

Fourth of July weekend, and no matter how hot it is outside, America is going to go out and party. Be it in the comfort & privacy of their back yards, at the beach, a public swimming pool, parks, or what have you. After a year of COVID restrictions, we want out, heatwave or not!

And Summer has JUST begun, literally last week. What if there are more heatwaves?

This does bring up an interesting point of conversation for the home-owner: how can I enjoy this Summer outdoors and not be broiled alive by any other heat waves?

The solution, of course, is in landscaping.

Take a walk with me.

1 – Your property needs more arbors

Can you recall that satisfying feeling of stepping from direct sunlight into the shade? It is a noticeable shift in temperature, around 10-20 degrees in fact. Now, we all know that adding trees to a property gives you more shade, and the same is true with patio covers, pavilions and other shade structures. But, there is additional cooling factor a tree provides. It is called ‘transpiration cooling’, basically the tree causes the air to be cooler around it, as a result of water evaporating from the tree. Ever drive by a forest or a wood, and feel suddenly a bit cooler? That is the same factor at work. Want a cooler backyard? Start by adding some trees.

2 – Stay cool with a misting system

Here is something you see often at restaurants and rarely in residential outdoor living spaces: misting systems. You have, of course walked by these at malls, restaurants and other venues, and you can’t deny the satisfying feeling! Well, you too can own one of these technological marvels! Not only will they help cool you and your guests down while enjoying your patio/deck, they are also very affordable and pretty simple to install. If you have a pergola or outdoor umbrella you can just slap it on. The only concern would be consumption of water. So, if you are environmentally apprehensive this may not be for you, especially if your region is suffering from a drought.

3 - The color of your pavers

There is a good reason why the majority of concrete and paver flooring are light in color. If they are dark in color they act as a griddle, and anything that enters into their space gets heated up considerably. The sun’s light gets absorbed, and you get cooked. The solution of course is to use light colored pavers such as a polished travertine, which will just bounce the sunlight back, it still gets hot but not nearly as hot as blacktop asphalt. Therefore, if you are going to have hardscaping on your property and you don’t want to be cooked, opt for a lighter color.

4 – Let mother nature take the heat

It’s not just the trees that ‘breathe’ cool air into your space, plants do the same! Imagine if your entire backyard space was concrete or paved. That would be quite hot indeed. But, if you break things up a bit with a couple flower beds, a lawn, and shrubs, you’re going to have a much cooler space. These of course will require water to stay alive, so if you are in a drought-stricken area or an arid environment, you may have to resort to succulents and native plants as opposed to grass. And remember the more plants you add to your space the more CO2 they can gobble up, which is always a nice bonus.

5 – Beyond just pools

California has more pools, in total, than any other state in the US. That is unsurprising. Outdoor living is part of the California experience. But a pool is not only a large financial commitment, it is also an enormous space commitment. You are saying goodbye to a large slice of your property square footage. And with real estate prices being as absurd as they are in CA, you may not want to convert your backyard to an unusable body of water, when you could have a patio, bbq, fire pit and pergola. Therefore, if you don’t want a pool, but you DO want a water feature, what are you to do? The answer is simple, you need a ‘spool’ or a cocktail pool. They measure in around 10x10 and while much smaller than a normal pool, they still provide you with the functional purpose of a pool, which is to be able to sit in water.


There are many things you can do with landscaping to bring down the temperature of your backyard several degrees, this article is by no mean exhaustive. If you need some help with ideas on how to turn your home from bland to grand, reach out to us, we’d love to help: (800) 495-0148
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