Magazine article Sunset

Arizona's Ramada Idea Makes Sense in Almost Any Climate

Magazine article Sunset

Arizona's Ramada Idea Makes Sense in Almost Any Climate

Article excerpt

Arizona's ramada idea makes sense in almost any climate Simple structures, rustic or modern, that provide shelter from the sun, ramadas make sense in any climate. They can extend living space in seasons when it's pleasant to be outdoors; or they can create a completely separate outdoor room. And they give instant sun control in new gardens, long before a tree can grow to shade-giving size.

Derived from a Spanish word meaning arbor, the ramada was traditionally erected by Native Americans as a shady resting place during the harvest. Built of mesquite or cottonwood poles and ocotillo stems, these shelters were open on at least three sides to take advantage of breezes.

Modern versions are permanent structures, either freestanding or attached to houses. Though Southwestern in origin, the ramada idea translates well in many other regions. Materials can vary according to the design of the house and garden. If you're using wood in a hot climate, it should be substantial enough to withstand the sun of many summers. …

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