It is hot outside. No need to tell you that. So hot, that stepping outside soon makes you long for air conditioning inside.

With shade, however, you can enjoy even steamy summer days in your own backyard.

If you do not already have enough shade, here are three easy way to create it.

1. Plant your shade

Plants and trees provide idyllic dappled shade. Make a plan to group your plantings to create appealing islands of shade, destinations for play and relaxation.

  • Trees create a canopy that gently shades your lawn. Consider planting fast growing red oak or crape myrtles.
  • Short shrubs, one to three feet tall, placed along pathways cast shade and coolness under foot.
  • Taller shrubs and flowers direct light and heat off patios and play areas. Incorporate flowerbeds close to the places you would like to linger.
  • Vines trained on a trellis or arbors provide lush shade as well as privacy.

2. Use cloth for quick, flexible shade

If you do not wish to permanently shade an area, consider shade cloth like canopies, awnings, and umbrellas. Easy to install and remove, they provide quick, temporary shade.

  • Three-point shade sails are an easy way to quickly cast shade over a patio or a pool. Stretched and fixed with rope, they create an instant canopy. They make a great solution for your next outdoor gathering.
  • Wall-mounted parasols take less space than a standing umbrella and work especially well to shade small areas, like an outdoor dining space, efficiently.
  • Retractable awnings provide flexible sun protection. Side awnings quickly provide a panel of vertical shade and privacy.

3. Build your shade into the landscape

Gracious structures like pergolas and gazebos add a focal point to your garden design. Both expand your living space and create a shady retreat.

A classic pergola shades without completely blocking the sun. Consider a simple wooden pergola covered in vines. For more flexible sun protection, consider an aluminum structure equipped with electrical louvers to control sun and rain. Both create an outdoor living space for a host of activities and entertaining.

If you would like help determining the best shade solution or combination for your needs, let us know. We are always happy to help!