Gardens and Plants

Living Walls for Cooling and Beauty

Small leafed tropical climbing vine

The vine shown in this photo grows well in the tropics on just about any material, such as the raw concrete block wall shown here. Plants are excellent for absorbing the infrared light that we feel as heat. Of course you must have noticed how much cooler it is in the shade of a tree. Plants don’t just block light, but also they continually perspire, and this evaporation is an “endothermic” which means that it cools the water vapor down. Green Plants for Beauty Covering a few walls of your house, or perhaps some normally ugly retaining walls, will beautifyRead the Rest…

Trees and How to Use Them

Sustainable Construction with trees

Trees seem like they must be nature’s greatest gift when it comes to green building in the tropics, but when I compiled a list of the positives and negatives, there were actually more negatives, as shown below. However, in the bigger picture of trying to create a beautiful dream eco home, the positives still far outweigh the negatives. In general, beautiful jungle trees are for most people one of the principal attractions of the tropics, and many people fantasize about living in one, Tarzan style, when they first come to Costa Rica. But most will settle for living among them.Read the Rest…