Aussies Living Simply

Shade structures

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    Eira Clapton

    We built a new pergola on the north side of the house last year, and planted two grapevines.

    This year they have started growing high enough to cover the pergola’s horizontal structure -I reckon they will achieve this in a couple of weeks, just in time for the height of our Perth summer. It is such a gorgeous green screen! The view from inside the house is fantastic -and we get grapes as well.

    The thing is, we have known for years that a pergola on the north side, with a deciduous vine, would be a good idea for passive cooling in our climate, and for letting winter sun inside. Yet it took us years to get it all together – I guess we were focussed on other things.

    I would be interested to know what other kinds of passive cooling you are achieving at your place -so that you don’t need air conditioning all the time.


    I am growing a wisteria for that very purpose. I know they can be a bit invasive but with our climate if any thing grows it is a bonus.


    To try and stop the kangaroos eating everything we have put shade cloth all around the orchard. The theory being they cant see what is on the other side therefore they won’t jump over the fence. Will update whether it works or not but so far so good. The young fruit trees have been decimated by the rotten roos if there is no more damage I will re plant the ones lost.

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