I came across this nice post at one of my research sessions. The concept is simple. You provide good back cover for the trees and shrubs that like it warm.
Remi van Beekum is a sustainable entrepreneur who helps sustainable companies with marketing with his ‘Kiemfabriek’. But he also wrote this nice article about the ‘Suntrap’.
The best book you could turn to to learn more about it is Gaia’s Garden: A Guide to Home-Scale Permaculture by Toby Hemenway. But this blog also tells you a lot about it.
A sun trap is a design to capture as much solar energy as possible in a part of a garden or landscape. In practice, that is a half ellipse of plants with the open side towards the sun. In the narrow northern part, the plants are tall. The sides slope down slowly.
When the sun rises in the east in the morning and is low in the sky, it can shine directly into the trap and warm the ground there. The sun rotates from the south to the west and can thus shine in the area all day long. Because hardly any wind can get in, the heat can’t blow out and so it stays in the trap. By planting the north-east side in particular with dense and/or evergreen plants, you can block the cold winter wind to prevent frost damage. The wind from the south and southwest remains. You could stop that with a not too high girth on that side.
Do you want to know how he went about it step by step? Read more about it here.