Ideally there will be deciduous trees planted in front of southern exposure windows, and coniferous trees in front of northern facing windows. Deciduous trees provide shade in the summer, and allow sunshine through to provide solar heat in the winter. Coniferous trees provide shade in the summer and act as a barrier in the winter to cold, northern winds. Native plants are more eco-friendly and require less water and pesticides to flourish. Awnings provide shade to windows that receive direct sunlight, and could reduce home operating costs by reducing the need for air conditioning.
Decking materials should ideally be locally sourced to be the most eco-friendly. Treated wood, such as old railway ties, should not be used as they are laced with toxic chemicals.