5 great ways to create shade in your garden

In the hopes of the arrival of our long-anticipated summer we give you our best ideas for shady gardens

Our solutions for creating shade in the garden will make an outdoor dining or seating area a pleasure to use on the bright days of summer:

1. Barely there

Timber structures have long made favourite garden shelters, and there is a vast choice of styles beyond the standard summerhouse. This contemporary pergola by Modular Design, 020 7253 1222, offers a private place to sit away from the gaze of neighbours, yet its simple red cedar slatted framework feels light and airy, and seems to float in the space.

2. Bright in the shade

A solid parasole, the likes of which are used by restaurants and hotels will be a practical solution for a patio and won’t wobble and fall over as soon as the wind picks up. Weight it down with concrete for extra stability.

3. Moveable feast


A simple fabric canopy creates shade wherever and whenever it is needed, and choosing a bright colour and pattern will make it a ‘destination’ in a large garden too. Outdoor fabrics have the benefit of being showerproof, strain-resistant, UV and fade-resistant, but an improvised shade in a sturdy interiors fabric will stand up to occasional use too.

4. Serene in green

Enclosing patio seating in lush planting, not only cools the area, it has a cocooning effect that will envelop the space in scent, colour and the sound of breeze through the leaves. This space was designed by US interior design firm Handman Associates, and includes a Stingray freestanding sail by Tuuci (available at Global Parasols), for fine-tuning the shade on the sunniest days.

5. Wall to wall

A wall mounted parasol is a great solution for a small patio garden and offers flexibility for angling to protect from the sun. Global Parasols have a good range.

Visit the Ideal Home garden shop

Love your garden? Take advantage of our special offers on plants at the Ideal Home garden shop. Our curated collection of beautiful flowers and shrubs is guaranteed to add colour and charm to your outdoor space.

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