August 14


August 14, 2019

Are you looking to create a shaded area in your backyard? Do you overheat or get sunburn when you spend a lot of time outdoors? If you live in a hot and sunny climate then there is every reason to have some shade. 

It can be more comfortable but also prevents you from experiencing some of the perils of too much sun.

In this post, we’re looking at five best ways to bring shade into your yard. These tips are incredibly simple and easy.

Spruce Up With Plants, Trees and Foliage

You may enjoy gardening anyway. Simply making a few different decisions on how you go about gardening can lead to more shade. Instead of focusing on smaller flowers and plants, you can opt for bigger trees and foliage to create a shaded yet tranquil area.

outdoor entertaining in the backyard

Trees are great for this, though they may take a while to grow. Conifers and other tall plants can do the job, and don’t take quite as long to grow tall enough to provide decent shade.

If you go for trees, make your selection carefully. Some trees have a lot more luscious leaves and provide more coverage as a result. This great list of trees for creating shade shows some of the best options based on how quickly they grow and the area they can cover.

Trees and foliage along one side of a garden can provide different levels of shade and different areas of shade throughout the day. This is great if you have a pond, for instance, since many aquatic plants such as water lilies will flourish with minimum of 4-6 hours of sunlight a day.

Try a Trellis and Vines

Vines such as Arabella clematis plants can grow brilliantly up and around a trellis. As well as looking great, this can provide some extra shade. Trellis can be added to fences or used to create a specific shaded area.

While plants and trees will take a long time to grow, vines on trellises can be a lot quicker. If you aren’t in a position to plan years ahead, this could be a solution.

vines on a trellis

Another great benefit of foliage like this is the fact that it can create partial shade. You may not want to block out all of the sunlight, just soften it. 

Trellis with vines growing along may still let some of the sun through without creating a harsh totally shaded area. Whether this is suitable for your backyard will depend on what you are looking for from your shade.

Install a Door Canopy or Awning

A canopy or an awning can be a brilliant way to create shade in a specific area of your yard. 

Awnings tend to be installed on the side of a building. For this reason, they are often used to create shade on a patio such as this beautiful flagstone patio design. This is a good way to ensure you always have control over where the shade is. 

Some awnings are even adjustable so that you can quickly and easily increase the amount of covered space. Install these over a seating area for guaranteed shade when you sit down to eat or relax.

Door canopies are another similar design which can cover doors and windows. They protect doors or windows from the elements, including rain, but if you get a big enough door canopy it can provide a small shaded area, too.

Go for a Sail Shade

A sail shade creates an outdoor shade by utilizing the same design as the sail on a ship or boat. This is how it gets its name. This design can be suitable for almost any backyard as they’re relatively simple to put up. Also, they come with their own anchor points, usually in the form of poles. This means you don’t need a suitable wall, you can install it anywhere in your backyard with relative ease.

Most of these shades have a good level of UV protection and can give a cooler area for you to relax within. Some sail shade’s even come with different configurations so you can choose where you want the shade to face, controlling the way the sunlight reaches your yard.

Buy a Gazebo 

Gazebos are available in a variety of designs and there is bound to be something to suit your needs. For instance, if you want a more permanent structure than a rugged, durable hardtop gazebo can be a suitable addition to your backyard.

hard top gazebo

Many gazebos are “pop up” in design, meaning they are easy to put up and take down again. This can be more of a temporary way to create shade. It means that when you are entertaining guests or serving food outdoors you can add a shaded area for people to sit underneath to enjoy food, drink and a cooler climate.

Pop up designs aren’t the only option if you think you might need to move your gazebo in the future. Often, the more permanent designs are also relatively simple to take down ready to be reconstructed in another spot.

Gazebos can provide the added bonus of being resistant to other forms of weather such as rain. They can help in the seasons which are not quite so sunny, and give somewhere to shield away from the rain, or even a spot for your next BBQ.

Gazebos are a little different to a lot of the other types of shade and shelter we’ve recommended in this guide. They can have sides which give a shielding and allow you to shut an area off. You can effectively make your own extra outdoor room with the right gazebo design.

Utilize Parasols and Umbrellas

If you’re most worried about shielding yourself from the sun rather than creating large shaded areas then a parasol can do a good job. The type you would take to the beach might be a little flimsy, but you can buy some effective (and big) parasols for the garden.

One benefit of parasols is the fact you can move them around, so if you want to sit in a different part of the garden, you’re not stuck!

A parasol is designed like a large umbrella but is for shade rather than rain protection. Also, they tend to have a tilt feature to let you control the angle. This way you can ensure it is positioned best to protect you from the sun.


Have you enjoyed our guide? Are you inspired to create a shaded area in your backyard? Maybe you have your own tips to share. If so, please leave your own thoughts in the comments and let us know what you think of the tips we’ve offered here.

About the author


I love being outdoors and hands on DIY. If you share my passion, you are in the right place. If I can help one person surprise themselves with the success of a project, then this website is a success.

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  1. Thank you very much. I live in a hot and sunny climate and sometimes my backyard doesn’t have any shade. This article will be helpful for me so that I can create shade in my backyard. I like the idea of using the shade from trees and plants. I also like the sail shade and I think that my dad would like that too because he likes sailing.
    Gazebos and umbrellas are always good too. Thanks for this great article and it reminds me to enjoy my backyard. Also having a space with shade would allow me to work on my online business while I sit outside.

  2. What I wouldn’t give for a Gazebo in my yard! We have a large yard with a big, ugly, area of nothing that is so brutally sunny. I’ve been trying for months to convince my husband to get a gazebo for the space so we can turn the eyesore into a nice shaded reading area. We live in an area that gets a very strong amount of sun in the summer and a gazebo would be perfect for some relief from the sun. My husband sadly disagrees.

    I love the idea of utilizing a trellis with vines to create some shade. I think a trellis in combination with a few of the trees that you mentioned would be a great way to fill in an empty area and create some shade. I agree that it will take a bit of time for the trees to grow in (we would probably be buying younger trees to save some money), but you never regret planting a tree, right? Maybe my husband will go for that idea.

    These are great ideas! I can see how each one could make an outdoor space so much more inviting and comfortable. I want to incorporate them all in our yard! I’m going to have to go bug my husband for each one. This is going to be fun!

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