Creating Shade

Shade is essential to make your outdoor living space more pleasant and comfortable so you will be able to enjoy it more often, even on the hottest days. Whether your yard already has some natural shade or you need to shade an entire sunny oasis, there are many options to choose from.

Map the Light

Before you put up a new structure or plant trees for shade, study where the shade already is in your yard. How does the sunlight change throughout the day or in different seasons? Is there natural shade you can make use of? How intense is the sunlight in different spots? Also take note if you’d like to keep some sun in your space so you don’t create too much shade.

10 Great Ways to Add Shade to Your Outdoor Living Space

Depending on the size and shape of your space and how much shade you want, there are many ways to keep out some or all of the sunlight.

  1. Plants – Natural shade is great for any space, but if you don’t want to wait years for a tree to grow, choose fast-growing shrubs or privacy options such as bamboo or tall fountain grasses. You can also add large hanging pots of flowers and ferns for instant shade.
  2. Structures – All types of yard structures can add shade to your space. A gazebo, pavilion, pergola, trellis, or arbor can provide shade, and you can add climbing vines to the structure to thicken the shade and soften its lines for a more natural feel.
  3. Umbrellas – Adding an umbrella is an instant way to create shade in your space. Umbrellas come in different sizes, and some have articulating hinges to be tilted at different angles for the best shade in different seasons.
  4. Awnings – A classic way to shade a deck or patio, awnings can be permanent fixtures or may fold or retract when not in use, giving more flexibility to your space. Awnings may be canvas, fabric, or even metal.
  5. Curtains – Breezy fabric walls and curtains can shade your space without making it feel enclosed or contained. Choose loose, sheer fabrics or even lace for light shade, or heavier, solid draperies for thicker, cooler shade.
  6. Shade Sails – Tightly stretched, triangular shade sails add shade to your space with a sleek, modern touch. These sails come in different colors and sizes, and can be oriented to shade even awkward spaces.
  7. Vertical Shades – When the angle of the sun drops, vertical shades can be perfect for cutting glare and keeping your space shaded. Rolling blinds or Roman shades are popular, and different panels can be adjusted individually for more versatility.
  8. Canopies – A simple canopy immediately shades space under a pergola or other open roof, or a temporary canopy can be erected on a simple frame. Different colors and weights of canvas and fabrics can be used for canopies, and they can retract on wires to open the space when desired.
  9. Cabanas – A fun way to add shade to a poolside patio or tropical oasis is with a thatched cabana. These peaked roofs still offer some air circulation, and can be made thick or thin for different levels of shade.
  10. Mix and Match – There’s no need to settle for one type of shade in your outdoor living space. Choose the different options that meet your needs and match your style, and you’ll be able to enjoy plenty of comfortable shade all year round.

Posted on May 02, 2020 by International Garden Center