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white pergola

How To Create Shade In Your Backyard

Published Date: May 9, 2016

The season is quickly shifting from spring to summer, and those warm months will be here before you know it. The rise in temperature is perfect for getting a glowing tan and enjoying lazy afternoons by the pool. It also signals time for homeowners to make some backyard adjustments, namely projects that help you beat the heat. After all, you don't want to spend every moment of the summer soaking up those rays. Say goodbye to sunburn city and hello to these lounge-worthy ideas for creating shade: Pergolas Pergolas make a great addition to any backyard design. They shape the layout of the space, create aesthetic appeal and are functional to boot! While these structures are typically open, you can create a roof yourself with climbing plants, which will create a natural source of shade. HGTV listed several options just for this purpose. Lilac solanum will not only wind its way up and over the pergola, but it also adds a brilliant purple hue that will complement yellow stone pavers. Meanwhile, clematis, wisteria and golden hops also provide excellent options for creating shade. If you're not looking to add landscaping maintenance to your homeowner duties, you can also weave a canopy through the rafters to block out the sun.

Looking to kick this upgrade up a notch? Add a swing from the pergola! Not only does it provide extra seating in the yard, but sitting on the bench while moving back and forth will create a nice breeze for those especially hot days.

"Parasols aren't just for shielding yourself from the rain."

Umbrellas Parasols aren't just for shielding yourself from the rain. For homeowners, umbrellas are also great shade makers. In fact, you can buy ones specifically for the backyard, as these umbrellas are much larger than your standard hand-held ones. They often come with a sturdy base that allows you to station them anywhere in the yard, such as near the pool or over paved walkways. You can also get umbrellas that slide into the center of outdoor dining tables to provide shade during those summertime backyard barbecues.

backyard with pavers and pool

Shade sails A hot commodity for hot days, shade sails are a great way to block out the sun's rays over larger areas. As Wicked Shade's Tres Jones explained to Houzz, this trend is picking up because shade sails are essentially functional pieces of art. With high-density polypropylene mesh fabric, these sculpture-like covers can lower the temperature by as much as 20 degrees. Depending on the available posts in your yard, shade sails can be free-standing or stretch between trees.

Natural sources If you can't create shade, just set up seating areas at an already-covered spot in the yard. For example, make use of that oak tree in your backyard by setting up a bench amid a garden beneath its branches. If part of your yard catches the shadow of a nearby mountain as the sun sets, put some patio furniture in that area.

paver patio, retaining wall, and pergola

Don't limit yourself to the indoor air conditioning when temperatures creep up to the 90's this summer. Having spaces to escape the heat outdoors allows you to get more use out of your backyard.

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