Foundation Planting Tips for Your Cape Cod Home

Your Cape Code Property Looks Better with Colorful Nature

Enhancement of the simple lines and cozy ambiance of your Cape Cod style home is the goal when planning the landscaping surrounding your residence. Foundation plantings can add to the charm and comfort of your cedar shake-sided abode if planned with the architectural details and overall look of your property always in mind.

Cape Cod home with shrubs and flowers
Luxury Home in Chatham, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, USA. Beautifully landscaped front yard with flowers, lush grass and bushes is in foreground. Chairs are on the porch. Trees frame the house on both sides.

The Cape Cod style is cozy, but with clean lines catching the eye. Typically the door centers the front facade, with two pairs of multi-paned windows on either side. Shutters match the door color contrast if the door echoes the siding. A low-slung roof overhangs the area directly abutting the house.

Perennial landscaping offers permanence and chance for limited maintenance if you choose plants with care. Because it takes several seasons for bushes, trees, and accent plants to reach mature size, research, patience, and discipline are necessary when planting.

The wall of windows facing the curb invites the outdoors in,  requiring informed imaging of how plants below the sills eventually look as they grow. Taller specimens can anchor the edges of the house, pulling the frame into the landscape without blocking panes or interesting architectural details. Plants below windows need either compact growth habits or pruning and shaping to control their size.

An American flag flies from the open porch and gardens surround a small single family home on a Spring afternoon on Cape Cod on the Massachusetts coast.

The symmetry of a classic Cape Cod tempts homeowners to mirror foundation plantings on either side of the door. Keep in mind that sunlight penetration other conditions vary, affecting the height and spread of identical plants. Consider balancing the effect with container or annual plants or choosing varieties that are less sensitive to differences.

Leave a space between the exterior wall and the plants that is at least two to five feet wide. Damage to foundation walls and cedar shakes is possible if plants and their roots or moisture from irrigation can infiltrate the structural components.

Green New Hampshire

Green New Hampshire

Renewable Portfolio Standard
Energy Efficient Buildings
Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)
Renewable Portfolio Standard

Under the New Hampshire Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), established in May 2007, the state’s electricity providers (with the exception of municipal utilities) must provide 24.8% of retail electricity sold to end-use customers from renewable sources. This is done by purchasing or acquiring certificates – known as renewable energy certificates (RECs) – that represent renewable energy generated.

New Hampshire’s RPS includes four distinct standards for different types of energy resources, including new renewable energy, new solar energy, existing biomass/methane power, and existing small hydroelectric.

The NH Public Utilities Commission provides more information on the RPS and different classes of energy resources.

Energy Efficient Buildings

New Hampshire adopted the 2009 International Energy Conservation Code (IECC) as the new statewide building code effective April 1, 2010. This encourages energy conservation through efficiency in envelope design, mechanical systems, lighting systems, and the use of new materials and construction techniques. In 2009, Governor John Lynch made the assurance that NH would achieve 90% compliance with the 2009 IECC by the year 2017. To help achieve this goal, the NH Office of Energy and Planning worked with GDS Associates to develop the NH Building Energy Code Compliance Roadmap.

Local governments may adopt different requirements only if those requirements are more stringent than the state code. The New Hampshire Public Utilities Commission (PUC) has the rulemaking authority to change the standards of the code.

For official information about New Hampshire’s building codes, visit www.state.nh.us/safety/boardsandcommissions/bldgcode/nhstatebldgcode.html.

Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is a nine-state agreement that requires major power producers to buy allowances at auction for each ton of carbon dioxide (CO2) they emit. The program is a boon to the economy, improving the bottom line for businesses and saving consumers on electricity bills at home. RGGI is attracting billions of dollars in new investments while creating a cleaner, more efficient, and more reliable power system.

New Hampshire has gained $17 million in net value to its local economy from RGGI, and added nearly 500 new jobs according to a report from the Analysis Group. Across the RGGI states of New England, Delaware, Maryland, and New York, the Analysis Group forecasts $1.6 billion in net economic value added to the regional economy and 16,000 new jobs.

Click here for more information on the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative

Massachusetts Green Energy

Massachusetts

Massachusetts is a regional leader in clean energy, serving as a critical model for success in the region. The Bay State has acted as a testing ground for breakthrough policies including the Green Communities Act, the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, the Green Jobs Act of 2008, and energy efficient building measures like the Boston

Building Energy Rating ordinance introduced by Boston Mayor Michael Menino.

Policies like these are critical for businesses in the state to reduce energy consumption and improve the bottom line, freeing funds to create jobs and invest in the local clean economy.

  • Renewable Portfolio Standard
  • Energy Efficient Buildings
  • Green Communities Act
  • Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative
  • Green Jobs Act of 2008

Renewable Portfolio Standard

Under the Massachusetts Renewable Portfolio Standard (RPS), all retail electricity suppliers in the state must provide a minimum of 15% of their electricity from eligible renewable energy resources by 2020. For each year after 2020, this percentage increases by 1% each year. Eligible resources include photovoltaics, solar thermal-electric energy, wind energy, ocean thermal, wave or tidal energy, and other sources.

For more information on the Massachusetts RPS, see: http://www.dsireusa.org/incentives/incentive.cfm?Incentive_Code=MA05R&re=0&ee=0

Energy Efficient Buildings

“The state is already adopting the highest standards of energy efficiency for its building code, but some municipalities would like to go further. An alternative code that is 20 to 30 percent more efficient they can adopt as an option will give cities and towns the tool they are looking for to reduce their community’s carbon footprint as development moves forward.”

–  Gov. Deval Patrick, November 2008, announcing his commitment to developing the nation’s first ‘stretch’ energy code

Buildings account for approximately 40 percent of energy use, prompting Governor Deval Patrick’s administration to place standards that make buildings more efficient, more comfortable to live and work in, and save occupants and owners on energy costs.

Massachusetts has multiple building energy policies in place geared toward saving energy, including the MA stretch code, up-to-date building codes, Leading by Example, High Performance Schools, and the Zero Net Energy Task Force.

For more information on Massachusetts’ energy efficient buildings programs, visit the MA Businesses for a Clean Economy website at http://www.mabizforcleanenergy.com/ma-supports-clean-energy/

Green Communities Act

“The clean energy industry grew nearly 7% in Massachusetts last year, and added thousands of kilowatts of renewable generation and thousands of jobs – not by accident but because we passed the Green Communities Act and joined the world’s fundamental shift towards efficiency and renewable energy.”

–Governor Deval Patrick, in his State of the Commonwealth speech on January 23, 2012

The Massachusetts Green Communities Act was passed in 2008 to increase the use of energy efficiency and renewable energy, as a means to improve the local economy and environment. The Act focuses on energy efficiency goals, less costly energy resources, a renewable portfolio standard, net metering, and green communities.

The impact of the Green Communities Act is evident in the Commonwealth’s 64,000 clean energy jobs, from weatherization technicians to photovoltaic engineers, and in Massachusetts’ economy that’s growing more quickly than the national growth rate.

For more information on the Green Communities Act, visit the MA Businesses for a Clean Economy website at http://www.mabizforcleanenergy.com/ma-supports-clean-energy/

Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI)

The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is a nine-state agreement that requires major power producers to buy allowances at auction for each ton of carbon dioxide (CO2) they emit. The program is a boon to the economy, improving the bottom line for businesses and saving consumers on electricity bills at home. RGGI is attracting billions of dollars in new investments while creating a cleaner, more efficient, and more reliable power system.

Massachusetts has gained $498 million in net value to its local economy from RGGI, and added 3,791 new jobs according to a report from the Analysis Group. Across the RGGI states of New England, Delaware, Maryland, and New York, the Analysis Group forecasts $1.6 billion in net economic value added to the regional economy, and 16,000 new jobs.

For more information on the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, visit the MA Businesses for a Clean Economy website at http://www.mabizforcleanenergy.com/ma-supports-clean-energy/

The Green Jobs Act of 2008

The Green Jobs Act of 2008 created the first-of-its-kind state authority in the U.S. devoted exclusively to job creation and economic development in the clean-energy sector, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center (MassCEC). The MassCEClink is a resource to local workers and businesses alike, providing training programs designed to meet the industry’s needs for skilled workers.

The Green Jobs Act also created the Alternative and Clean Energy Investment Fund, focused on stimulating the growth of the state’s clean economy through funding for a seed grant program, a workforce development grant program, and pathways out of poverty initiative.

For more information on the Green Jobs Act of 2008, visit the MA Businesses for a Clean Economy website at http://www.mabizforcleanenergy.com/ma-supports-clean-energy/

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