Keeping Cool Outdoors
Updated: Jul 17
Outdoor Shading Ideas
When it comes to designing gardens, people often forget the importance of creating shady spaces. In summer especially, it is essential to use shady spots to create an oasis of coolness which helps you relax after a hectic day at work. With rising temperatures, it can be challenging to find solutions that don’t add additional costs or take up much-needed outdoor space. Outdoor shading ideas can save you money and stress while keeping your cooling costs at a minimum. We don't all have massive acreage to accommodate weeping willow trees next to ponds. But, you can use natural shading as well as artificial shade solutions that are budget friendly and easy to install. Continue reading for some ideas on how you can do just that:
A pergola is a freestanding structure, usually made of wood, that provides a large, entertainment area. They can an excellent structure to put a climbing vine on like star jasmine, ivy, or bougainvillaea. They come in a variety of materials, each with their own pros and cons. For example, wood pergolas need to be stained or sealed every one to two years to remain in good condition. If you are looking for a low-maintenance option, metal pergolas are a good choice. If you have a deck or patio, a pergola can provide shade and make the area feel more like a sitting and gathering spot.
An arbour is a somewhat smaller version of a Pergola and is a perfect way to connect two areas for example connecting your patio with a deck or just as a decorative garden feature, like a seating area or a beautiful place to display climbing flowers and plants. You can build an arbour out of a variety of materials, including wood, metal, brick, or stone.
Shade Sails or Canopies
You can install a shade sail (usually triangular) or canopy (covers more area, usually rectangular or square) to define an outdoor living or gathering space. You can put one over a patio, deck, seating area or even over an outdoor kitchen. One of the biggest benefits of a these is that they create a shaded outdoor living space that is protected from the sun and showers.
If you already have a patio, an umbrella can be an inexpensive way to create shade. Patio umbrellas come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials, including wood, aluminium, steel and fabric. Patio umbrellas are easy to set up and take down and are a great way to shade a patio or porch during the hot summer months. If you have a patio, an umbrella is a relatively inexpensive way to bring some shade and comfort to your outdoor living space.
Solid Shading Ideas
If you are looking for a simple way to add shade while also blocking out your yard’s view from the neighbours, a solid panel can be a great option. You can build a solid panel using wood, metal, or even fabric. You can build a panel that either sits on the ground or is hung from the roof. The roof is a great place for a solid shade structure because it blocks out the sun, but it also keeps the structure out of the way. A solid panel is a good option if you want a quick and easy project that provides shade but doesn’t require much work or materials.
Tall Leafy Plants or Trees
These are an excellent way to bring shade to your yard. While they can’t provide the same level of protection as a permanent structure, they can still provide some relief from the sun while also adding beauty and charm to your landscape. Many of these trees and plants produce a lot of shade, but they also let enough sunlight through to help your other plants grow and thrive. If you still want light to come through in the Winter months then pick from one of the many deciduous varieties available.
If you want to bring some shade to your patio, a screened patio is a great option. This screening can be made from wood, metal or even plastic, and it can be hung from a structure or wall. A screened patio can be a great place for outdoor dining or for just hanging out and relaxing. Screened patios are a great way to bring some shade to your outdoor space while also protecting yourself from insects like mosquitoes and other pests. A screened patio can be a great addition to any outdoor space, especially if you want to create an outdoor dining area or lounge space which allows an indoor/outdoor feel which can make your home appear larger than it is. There's even the option to use mosquito screening to stop the bugs and moths during your outdoor dining experiences.
Whether you have an outdoor space in your home or office, above are plenty of options to bring some cooling relief to your home whilst also providing some beautiful architecture or trees that enhances visual appeal of your home. Planning is the key and now that we’re moving in to Spring, it’s the ideal time for it before the warmer months hit us.