Adding shade to your garden this summer

July 19, 2021

Getting out in the garden has become one of life’s real pleasures and with many of us planning to swap international holidays for time off at home this year, making your outside space as usable as possible has become a priority.

Deciding to add a form of shade to your garden can prolong the amount of time you can sit outside comfortably – and provide somewhere to entertain even if there’s a sharp summer downpour. What type of shade you opt for will depend on your aim, approach to building work and budget.

What do you want to take shelter from?

A traditional British summer can include sun, rain showers and even stormy conditions so with this in mind, decide what you want protection from the most. If, where you frequently sit outside, enjoys full sun, shade can create a cool spot to set up a dining table or outside sofa when the temperature rises. Go one step further by making your shade waterproof and you will stop having to scuttle back inside every time the heavens open. 

A pergola with a wood or metal frame and a transparent plastic roof will be waterproof but may not provide cover from the sun, while growing a dense canopy of plants over the top of a pergola will do the reverse – give shade but will let water in. If you want protection from all of the elements, choose a pergola with a retractable waterproof shade or opt for an adjustable louvre roof, allowing you to adjust the angle of the slats according to the weather conditions. A retractable awning fixed to a wall is another option, as is a sail shade made of waterproof fabric stretched between fixed posts.

Do you want a permanent structure?

The UK is no stranger to blustery conditions and a permanent structure is the safest way of providing shade that will withstand a summer storm. Bear in mind that tenants would need permission from their landlord before adding any form of permanent shade to the garden.

Pop-up gazebos and canopy parasols offer a temporary shade solution but they will need weighting down to give them stability; they can suffer damage if subjected to high winds, so factor in collapsing these items and storing them inside on a frequent basis. A pergola, sail shade or awning will require building works to ensure the structure and fixings are solid, and you’ll need to check the frame’s dimensions don’t break any planning restrictions. 

What is your budget?

You can pop to Argos and pick up an inexpensive, pack-away gazebo but it’s unlikely to be of a quality that can be left outside year round. Likewise, garden parasols and umbrellas vary widely in cost, and it will be a case of you get what you pay for. A permanent structure will involve an investment in materials and labour but you will be repaid with peace-of-mind that your shade won’t blow away into next door’s garden and that the structure can be utilised all year round.  

If moving home is on your list of summer activities, let us find your perfect property match. Contact us for a list of available properties, some of which will come complete with shaded garden areas.

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