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Adding Shade to Outdoor Spaces


June 4, 2022

Summer is almost here and those of us in the Pacific Northwest are finally getting to enjoy some nice sunny days. Plants are growing and it’s pleasant to sit out in the garden. But even in our mild climate, it can get pretty hot. That’s why adding shade to your yard is a great way to find even more ways to savor outdoor living.

Shady Yard

When it comes to shade, purpose is an important starting point. Do you want to shade a sitting area or a garden? Does the solution need to be temporary or permanent? Is it meant to be a focal point or blend with the existing yard? With those questions in mind, here are a few ways you can approach shade in your yard.

ShelterLogic, White Cover Canopy, 10 ft. X 20 ft.

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Solo Stove Yukon + Stand Stainless Steel Fire Pit

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Umbrellas

patio shaded by umbrella

Whether you are setting up a couple of camp chairs or creating an elaborate outside living room, shade makes it more versatile. Many patio sets come with shade umbrellas built into their tables. But what if you don’t want the rigidity of a table and chairs? Today, the selection of free-standing shade umbrellas is exceptional. And just because it isn’t anchored to a weighty table doesn’t mean these umbrellas are small. Many umbrellas cast a ten foot by ten foot shadow and by using a cantilever design, the pole and base can be tucked away to the side of the area.

Shade Sails

Another idea for a semi-temporary shade solution is a shade sail. Shade sails are made of canvas or nylon cut in a triangle shape and strung up with rope to create a light shadow over an area.

shade sails over patio

Using several triangles in succession can create a visually stunning effect over a patio or gathering space. While shade sails cannot be moved as the sun moves, they can be taken down and stored for the winter.

Sun Guard Poly Mesh UV Protection Shade Cloth Tarp 10'x12'

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Sun Guard Poly Mesh UV Protection Shade Cloth Tarp 12'x16'

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Shade Trees

shade tree

For a permanent solution, you have lots of options to choose from. First things first – consider trees. Planting shade trees, especially deciduous trees – can create a beautiful space without the hard lines of a structure. And the benefit of trees that lose their leaves in the fall means that those places that were happily shaded in the heat are now open to as much sun as the climate will allow in the winter.

Wooden Wagon Wheel Bench

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Gazebos

gazebo in lush garden

A gazebo offers a semi-enclosed space that can easily become a focal point in your yard. While it won’t add shade over an existing area, it can create an effective escape from the sun in your garden. Gazebos can be built from kits in as little time as a day. And the options for size and style are endless. From simple structures to elaborate woodwork, Gazebos are a wonderful addition to any garden space.

Pergolas

pergola over patio

A more versatile pergola can offer shade without taking up real estate. It can be easily incorporated into existing gardens and can also be used as a trellis for climbing plants. With a variety of styles, a pergola can blend nicely into a modern garden as easily as a country garden. And pergolas can be sized according to space – with long narrow covers to broad square structures.

Man sitting under pergola for shade

From temporary, moveable solutions to permanent focal points, there are lots of options to add shade to your summer garden. Each one adds a unique style to your yard and can influence how and when you enjoy your outdoor spaces. So while the sun is still practicing for the main event this summer, think about where and how you want to enjoy your yard when it really shines and add some shade.

Oakley Frogskins VR46 Sunglasses OO9013-E655

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We would love to see your patio paradise, use #mywilcolife on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram and tag Wilco Stores.


ROBYN ROGERS, THE AUTHOR OF THIS BLOG IS LOCATED ON THE KITSAP PENINSULA IN WASHINGTON AND HER ADVICE IS CONSISTENT WITH THE CLIMATE THERE.
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