Summer is a great time to enjoy your garden. You want to make sure there’s enough shade for the kids to play, and to enjoy a BBQ. A nice shaded area can also bring your garden temperature down, which is good for your plants.
1. Where do you need shade?
Watch how the sun moves through your garden to see which areas need shade most.
Every garden needs some amount of shade. Gardens in dry climates, with long hot summers, need 75% shade. If you live in an area with warm summers and chilly winters, your garden needs about 50% shade and in tropical gardens about 80% shade.
When it comes to shading your home, remember the sun shines hottest on your western side. Make sure you keep this area well shaded to keep the heat down in your home.
2. Pergolas and outdoor rooms
Pergolas and outdoor rooms are great for shade or shelter from the rain, and add real value to your home. Pergolas are easy to build and can become a feature when you train climbing plants, like grape or star jasmine, over them. Be sure to choose a climber that suits your climate. Note: roofed structures and outdoor rooms will need planning permits from your council.
3. Shade sails
Putting up a shade sail is a simple but effective idea. Made from shade cloth or PVC, they are easy to install and can be taken down in winter. And you can cut them to any shape you like.
4. Pop-up gazebo canopy
Ready in a few minutes, this is an easy way to add shade where you need it. Made of stretched fabric, they are held up with corner poles, and come in rectangular or square shapes. Plus, they are easy to store away.
Perfect for shading a small space, and adding some colour, umbrellas come in a huge range of colours and styles. You can move them easily around the garden or fit them into the centre hole of your outdoor table. Just make sure you secure them so they don’t blow away in a gust of wind.
Trees are a great way to create natural shade.
Deciduous trees (that drop their leaves in winter) provide good shade in summer and let light into your garden in winter.
Make sure you check how high tree will grow so it’s not too big for your garden. Choose trees with plenty of foliage and horizontal branches to give you the most shade.
Trees next to a fence can give you privacy and small trees or shrubs next to windows can keep your home cool.