Shade ideas for any backyard

When the weather warms up there’s nothing better than spending time out in your backyard. It’s the perfect place to relax or entertain friends so it’s important to have plenty of shade to protect everyone from the sun.

What to Shade

The amount of shade you need generally depends on your climate. If you live in a hot region, then you should be shading up to 75 per cent of your garden. While more variable climates need to shade about 50 per cent.

Entertaining and seating areas should be well shaded along with any plants, flowers or vegies exposed to the sun. Your trees may already cover some of these areas,but you can add some artificial shade for extra protection.

umbrella

Umbrellas

With a wide range of materials, colours and designs available, umbrellas are an easy, portable shade option. They’re easy to move about and angle to the sun’s position at any given time of day.

Market umbrellas are a smaller lightweight option. They look great and are perfect for small areas over outdoor settings or chairs. You can adjust their height and fold them up when you don’t need them.

Alternatively, cantilever umbrellas are sturdier and built to cover larger areas. They have a solid metal stand and are ideal for shading smaller decks and courtyards or kiddie pools and spas.

shade sail

Shade Sails

Perfect for larger areas like patios, pools and decks, shade sails are a flexible option because you can put them up in summer and take them down over winter. Their distinctive shape makes a terrific design feature. Plus, they’re easy to install and tailor to suit the size of your space.

Made from fabric or PVC, shade sails are designed to withstand a lot of pressure and can be easily tightened so they don’t blow around in the wind.

Before you install a sail, it’s best to check where the shadows fall in your yard so you can angle your sail to cast shade where you want it.

Gazebos

You can create some shelter anywhere you want in your backyard with a gazebo. There are portable and fixed styles, available in a range of materials and designs. They’re simple to put up and offer great protection from the elements.

Portable gazebos are ideal for gatherings in the backyard, at the beach and even as a market stall. They come in different sizes with some offering screening, side panels and even windows.

Fixed gazebos are more solid, permanent structures. They’re tough, weather resistant and come in a wide range of styles. Some even have drawback curtains that you can pull around for a bit of privacy.

pergola

Pergolas

Putting up a pergola can extend your living area to create an outdoor room. It looks great, adds value to your home and lets you spend more time outdoors.

You can build a pergola from the ground up or they come in kits with instructions for easy installation. Build one over an existing verandah or put in a deck first and build around that.

The great thing about a pergola is that you can keep adding onto it and enhance the space. Put in screening, grow some creepers across for beautiful natural shade, hang up plants or install polycarbonate roofing.

Outdoor Blinds

Shading your windows with outdoor blinds will protect your indoor furniture and help cool your house, especially on hot afternoons. You won’t need to use the air-conditioning as much, which will save you energy and money.

You’ll find roll-up, roller and retractable blinds in loads of colours and patterns, which you can also get custom made to suit the size and shape of your windows. You can even invest in some retractable awnings to wind out when you need them.

Bistro blinds cover larger areas and are easy to install, it’s a great way to enclose and protect your outdoor area. Add them to an existing pergola or gazebo to keep the weather and insects out during the hotter weather. There is a range of colours to suit your decor or you can get clear and tinted PVC to enjoy the view of your backyard.

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