Awnings, Garden Design, Outdoor Living, Scott

Welcome to our ultimate guide to awnings. Read on for some great advice on choosing an awning, installation and set up as well as cleaning tips.

Awning for shade

What is an awning?

In its simplest form, an awning is a sheet of canvas or other material that is stretched across a frame to provide shade from the sun or protection from the rain. 

How can I benefit from an awning?

A garden awning can increase the comfort levels of a seating area by making it a location suited to all weathers. It can shield you from harsh sunlight but also keep you dry in the rain, allowing you to extend the time spent outside. 

You can also transform your planting options by introducing more shade. Shade-loving plants like ferns become a viable option when you can easily block out the strong midday sun. 

What types of awning are there?

By our simple definition, an awning could be interpreted as anything that provides shade or shelter on a frame; this could include gazebos, marquees and shade sails. For this guide, however, we’re going to be talking about mounted patio awnings. This is typically what we think of when we say an awning and is the variety you may often associate with shop windows, cafes and coffee houses. 

What kinds of mounted awning are there?

There are a lot of things you can consider when selecting a mounted awning. Size, material, special qualities like waterproof material of extra UV protection but the first way we categorise our awnings is how they retract.

Full cassette -this means that when the awning is retracted, all of the material will be concealed in the cassette case.

Half cassette – this means that when the awning is retracted, only the back of the sheet will be concealed in the cassette case.

Standard – this means that the awning will simply roll up on retraction, without being held in a cassette case. 

Primrose Awnings Certified Shop

How do I fit a mounted awning?

The preparation for installing an awning can usually be completed by one person. You will, however, require assistance when lifting the awning into position. 

You can install most of our standard awnings by following the basic instructions below. For specific instructions, you can find the required PDfs here: https://www.primrose-awnings.co.uk/instructions.php

Required equipment:

  • Step ladder
  • Tape measure
  • Drill
  • Pencil or sharpie for marking the wall
  • Screwdriver (optional for starting screws off)

Basic installation guide:

  1. Determine the position of your awning on the wall. It’s best to position it between 8 and 11 feet off the ground. Bear in mind that the awning will extend out at a diagonal so the furthest end will be lower than the starting height.
  2. Measuring out the awning and mark the position on your wall for where the brackets will be positioned.
  3. Drill holes for fixing your brackets to the wall. Be sure to drill into brick and not the mortar as this will be too weak. Most awnings will only need 8 holes to be drilled with 4 on each side (large awnings may require more holes to be drilled)
  4. Attach your wall brackets.
  5. Lift the main awning into position and fix to the bracket. This is the step you should never attempt on your own and is best done with assistance. 
  6. Slowly extend the awning out to ensure everything operates correctly. 
  7. Enjoy your awning!

How do I clean an awning?

Washing Awning

Extending your awning when it’s raining will do a lot of the hard work for you but it’s good to give a regular clean once every 6 months or so. This will keep it looking fresh and new but will also help prolong its lifespan. With a step ladder you can clean your awning in 4 easy steps:

  1. Use a long-handled broom or brush to remove any debris from the awning fabric.
  2. Use a simple solution of washing up liquid and water in a spray bottle to lightly soak your awning fabric and brush with a soft brush.
  3. Rinse off with a hose and leave the awning extended to dry naturally in the air.
  4. Use a cloth and some of the liquid solution to clean the cassette casing. 

Do awnings need planning permission?

Residential properties generally do not require planning permission to install an awning. Commercial properties such as cafes and shops will usually need permission, however.

We hope you’ve enjoyed this ultimate guide to all things awning!

 

 

Awnings, Gazebos, Marquees, Outdoor Living, Sail Shades

All year, we long for the glorious summer days. Sometimes, however, the full heat of the sun can be overwhelming, and there is a need for a shady spot. There are a whole host of shade solutions that can provide shelter for your outdoor space. You can sit comfortably with your family and friends, having protection from UV rays. Read on to discover the top shade solutions for your garden.

Gazeboes

Gazebo for shade

gazebo is an outdoor structure perfect for entertainment. It offers a roof for shade and gives a wide view of your surrounding garden. They provide both protection from rain and shaded comfort on those hotter days. They are perfect for social parties but can also be used as permanent structures to create a covered seating area for use year-round. 

Awnings

Awning for shade

Awnings are versatile shade solutions for your garden. They are generally made from canvas or other material that is stretched onto a frame. They are ideal for giving shade to a patio or seating area. Many of these are retractable, so you can wind them in or out depending on your changing needs. Visit our sister site Primrose Awnings for our full selection.

Parasols

Parasol for shade

Not just for the beach, parasols are a great way to add instant shade to your garden. Their portable nature means they can be placed anywhere in your garden to create shade over a seating area or patio. The options on the market today are more advanced than the standard beach parasol, with variation in colour, shape, and leaning. The Norfolk Leisure Geisha-Style Cantilever Parasol is an elegant style that can be adjusted and tilted as required.

Shade Sails

Shade Sail for shade

Shade sails are essentially large pieces of fabric that fit onto buildings, fences, or poles to add shade over a section of your garden. They are perfect for patios, or seated areas of your garden. Easy to install, they come in a variety of shapes and sizes. They are handy for all kinds of uses from giving shade to social areas, children’s play areas or even creating a spot in your garden for more shade-tolerant plants. Check out this post for some inspirations shade sail setups.

Arbours

Arbour for shade

An arbour is a great way to combine plant life with shade offering. These handy structures are both delightful seating areas and a framework for climbing plants to grow over. You can train a variety of climbing plants onto an arbour to create a truly special place to relax and unwind. 

Trees

Trees for shade

If you’re looking for a natural option to provide shade in your garden, the solution is simple: trees! Not only do they provide a long-term source of shade, but planting trees is also great for the environment. However, this is not an instant fix, as trees will take time to establish, and you will need to spend time researching varieties and choosing your spot as they are not easy to uproot. Good, relatively fast-growing, trees for providing shade are the American sweetgum, red maple, silver maple, and northern red oak.

Which shade solutions for your garden are you using? Let us know on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram!

 

Awnings, Garden Design, George, How To, Sail Shades

how to shade a pool

If you’re lucky enough to have a swimming pool in your garden, you’ll want to create the best possible environment to enjoy it. You’ve got your loungers, inflatables, maybe even a minibar – but what about some shelter from the sun? It’s an important consideration, with growing concern about sun damage and skin cancer. Basic shading can offer UV reduction of up to 75%, with specialist materials increasing protection up to 98%.

Aside from the health reasons, pool shading can also be a spectacular design feature. A stylish shade structure can elevate the appearance of your pool and turn the whole area into a classy feature. So dive in and find out how to shade a pool in your garden.

Ways to shade your swimming pool

1 – Shade sail

With their oceanic connection, shade sails are the perfect fit for pool shading. There are many options you can choose from in terms of shape, colour, size – and even combining multiple shades – which make them a really flexible option for creating your desired appearance.

For safety, go for a permanent fitting option to ensure the sail will endure our variable weather conditions. The best option will probably be support poles on each side of the pool, with the sail (or sails) stretching taut across the water.

shade sail over pool

2 – Parasol

If you’re looking for some instant shade at a pool party, parasols make for an affordable and convenient option. While the shade coverage they provide is limited, the advantage is they are easy to shift round the pool as the sun moves so you can usually have a shady spot to rest in.

Parasols are great for shade around the water as well as in it – they make the perfect pairing with a sun lounger or a poolside bar.

parasol by pool

3 – Pergola

Though not often associated with garden swimming pools, a pergola spanning the water can make a magnificent feature. You can install them over an end of the pool, and cover the top with retractable shade material, wooden slats or trailing plants to create some dappled shelter from the sun.

This option is one of the most significant investments for your garden in terms of money and permanence, so it’s worth spending time on the design and checking any local planning restrictions.

pergola by swimming pool

4 – Retractable enclosure

Another elaborate option is a pool enclosure, a greenhouse-like structure that covers the whole pool and can usually be telescopically retracted. While these are often constructed to provide protection from the elements and extra warmth, they can also offer shade when paired with blinds or obscured glass.

swimming pool enclosure

5 – Floating umbrella

If you’re looking for pool shade that follows you round, free from restrictions, then why not try a floating umbrella? The shady umbrella is usually attached to a buoy to float and a weight to keep it upright. Some even have inbuilt cup holders to keep your drinks right on hand. You can’t get more relaxing than that!

floating umbrella

6 – Awning

A retractable awning is one of the most classic ways to bring shade into your garden, though due to the need to be fixed to a wall, you’re more likely to choose an awning for poolside shade than actually in the water. Unless of course your pool is very close to your house or another garden building.

You can, however, choose a freestanding awning. This is a solid frame with a double-sided retractable canopy. Place this next to the pool and then unwind the awning whenever you require a bit more shade. You can even move it around once it’s assembled to track with the sun.

awning by swimming pool

7 – Tree

Finally we come to the most natural form of shading in the garden: trees. While these are perfect for a natural garden aesthetic, you do have to be careful planting them around swimming pools. Firstly, as the trees grow (which can take a long time to become big enough for adequate shading), their roots may interfere with the pool foundations. Secondly, debris – leaves, bird mess etc – will fall from the tree and require even more pool-cleaning time.

So if you’re looking for quick and easy way to shade your swimming pool, a tree probably isn’t your best option!

trees by pool

George at PrimroseGeorge works in the Primrose marketing team. As a lover of all things filmic, he also gets involved with our TV ads and web videos.

George’s idea of the perfect time in the garden is a long afternoon sitting in the shade with a good book. A cool breeze, peace and quiet… But of course, he’s usually disturbed by his energetic wire fox terrier, Poppy!

He writes about his misadventures in repotting plants and new discoveries about cat repellers.

See all of George’s posts.

Awnings, Current Issues, Guest Posts, New Products, Watering

smart technology garden

When smart technology first arrived, many just thought it was something that controlled thermostats and helped save on HVAC costs.

Then it morphed into motion detectors, smart doorbells and security systems. As you know, smart technology applications continue to grow at a rapid pace, and if you want to keep your garden growing also, check out the latest innovations:

Smart irrigation

Whether you live in an apartment in Eugene, Oregon or a penthouse in London’s Notting Hill neighborhood, we know you can get your plants to grow and keep your grass green by simply standing outside with the hose and watering by hand, but by using a smart app, you can control when you water and why you water.

A good smart system that is integrated with your sprinkler configuration can tell you when it is the best time to water. Those in hot climates know that random watering done during the heat of the day is wasteful since there is a lot of evaporation, and a smart app can pin down the correct times to give your plants a good drink. The best innovations can interface with the weather so that you don’t water when it is raining.

smart irrigation

Smart mower

Wouldn’t it be great to just sit on the lawn chair while you grass is being cut? This is now possible with robot lawn mowing systems, and of course, these can be controlled from your mobile device.

Here’s how it works; available for lawns of all shapes and sizes, robot lawn mowers are relatively easy to set up and program. They’re powered by rechargeable batteries, so you don’t have to keep buying fresh batteries. Plus, they’re super quiet, which means you can turn them on at any hour of the day without bothering the neighbors. You’ll use bluetooth or Wi-Fi connectivity, and a mobile app to get them set up and get to work. Remember, if you have a large lawn, you’ll need to purchase a model that can handle larger areas and things that get in the way such as flower beds, trees, and bushes.

smart mower

Smart garden hub

These gizmos, such as GreenIQ, put it all together:

  • Soil temperature
  • Garden lights
  • Smoke alarms
  • Motion detectors
  • Personal weather stations

A smart garden hub will capture this information, interpret it, and allow your app to dictate plant watering cycles.

GreenIQ Smart Garden Hub, specifically, supports various Smart Home Integrations such as Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Nest, and Apple Watch and allows you to complete your Smart Home with a full Smart Garden experience.

The system factors in weather data from public weather stations or private like ones, Netatmo and Davis. It detects pipe leaks and clogs when connected to a flow meter. If you want your GreenIQ to factor in the soil moisture level, add a soil sensor to your system.

The possibilities are endless with smart garden hubs like GreenIQ!

Soil condition

Do you want to know your soil moisture content, fertilizer readings, temperature, light intensity, and what to do about it?

A soil sensor like Spiio can provide all of this information and your app can advise you of any corrective action that may be necessary.

With a good soil sensor and an integrated app, you will no longer have to guess about which fertilizer will adjust your lawn’s pH to the proper level for the type of plants you are growing.

smart soil

Smart awnings

Electric awnings have transformed the garden shade experience into something that can be managed with ease. You can extend your awning at the touch of a button and retract it the moment the conditions become too blustery. But now electric awnings have entered the modern age with the adoption of smart technology – you can set them up to be controlled from you mobile phone.

Camera

This is simple, but totally necessary if you go on vacation. A friend of ours was a great gardener but lived in the hot southwest and was afraid to go on vacation in July because three days without water would be a disaster for his garden.

One year, he had to leave for a wedding and primitively set up a mechanically timed DIY sprinkler system. It was set to go on twice a day. Our friend left for a week and hoped for the best. When he came home, he found out that while his concocted sprinkler system worked, it had also rained every day, and our guy came home to a flooded backyard.

With a simple camera, he could have seen from his mobile device that the sprinkler system needed to be turned off, and he could have asked his neighbor to help. Since he didn’t know what was going on, he had to clean up the mess.

The moral? Even if you don’t want to invest in a smart watering or gardening system, at least set up a smart camera so you can see what your yard looks like when you are gone, and subsequently take action where needed.

garden camera

RadbilSam Radbil is the lead writer for ABODO Apartments, an online real estate marketplace with available apartments from small towns like Eugene, Oregon to big cities like New York City. ABODO’s research and writing has been featured nationally in Curbed, Forbes, Realtor.com, HousingWire and more.