Summers are best spent outdoors. But it has to be a place where you can relax and eat comfortably. This can be achieved with shade.
Adding shade in your outdoor space will keep direct sunlight away from you and your fragile plants, as well as keep them cool.
Here are 10 ways you can create shade in your garden or outdoor area:
- Plant a tree
Gardens and even balconies have to have trees. But you need to choose the right kind of tree that fits the space.
If you have a small balcony and can hang baskets from the roof, plant broad-leafed plants that will provide a canopy and shade without taking up space below.
You can have both shade and privacy by positioning planters with a tall sprawling shrub or bamboo. You could bring in a potted palm to transform a small city apartment or unit into a calming space.
There are several factors to consider if you’re considering planting in the ground, including how tall the tree is going to be, what impact it will have on the view of the neighbours, are there pipes that the roots will block, etc.
- Outdoor umbrellas
For small outdoor spaces, an umbrella is perfect because it is inexpensive, simple and temporary.
There are many options available, including collapsible cantilever umbrellas and artsy collections of suspended Japanese style paper umbrellas.
- Build a tent
If your taste runs to the bohemian style, but you prefer something temporary, build a canvas or cotton canopy or tent above an outdoor seating area or build a teepee with some cushions on the ground. For added shade, use drapes and curtains.
- Install a canopy
A hot day can be bearable with a simple canopy hang between trees. You can install a more permanent canopy that can serve as a blind and let the sun in when you need it.
- Make a trellis
Another great idea is an overhead wooden trellis with a matchstick blind or a dark screen as cover. A climbing plant like wisteria is a good idea as it lets in the sun during cool weather but still provides greenery and shade during the summer.
- Hang a shade cloth
For a streamlined contemporary look, an affordable, simple option is by hanging a sail of shade cloth between two posts. This is perfect for courtyards or on a pergola.
You may need to talk to an expert since it is a structure that needs to be firmly attached so that it won’t be blown away by a strong wind or during a storm.
- Use DIY screens and shades
DIY screens and shades are available in different styles at your local hardware store. Options include traditional lattice, more modern laser-cut metals, decorative screens and outdoor blinds.
- Create a green wall
Plant a high green wall along the western border of your property to block out the harshest sun. Make sure to follow council rules on fence height. Lastly, choose the right sun-resistant plants.
- Construct a gazebo
A small gazebo or rotunda is worth considering if your yard has enough space. Aside from providing shade, it could also be a feature in your garden.
You have the option to purchase them flatpack and DIY, or have one custom made.
- Construct a verandah or pergola
A verandah or a pergola is the most effective and functional shade, but not the most economical. It can prevent your house from getting natural light and it requires painting and maintenance. You also need to secure planning permission before you can build this type of structure.
So there you have it. 10 great ways to create a little shade in your backyard.