The product tested, the Kookaburra® 3.6m Triangle Green Waterproof Woven Shade Sail, came out on top thanks to its 50+ UPF protection, waterproofing for unpredictable weather and eye-catching nautical style. The stainless steel rings were a plus, allowing owners to attach their sail shades pretty much wherever they wanted, and the huge range of styles and colours means there are hundreds of best buys just waiting to be discovered.
What is a 50+ UPF rating?
UPF is a way of rating the effectiveness of sun protective fabrics, like SPF is for sun cream. SPF numbers are a kind of multiplier of the number of minutes sun cream is expected to be effective against UVB rays only. So SPF 15 means you can stay in the sun 15 times longer than you could without sun cream. Progressively less effective the sunnier it is.
UPF numbers on the other hand describe a factor of how many of the sun’s harmful UVB and UVA rays are being kept away. Roughly, multiply the number by 2 to find out what percentage of protection you’re being offered – so UPF 50+ means upwards of 98% of burning rays are blocked by our waterproof sail shades. No matter how sunny it is.
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.
A gazebois 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 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.
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 Parasolis an elegant style that can be adjusted and tilted as required.
Shade sailsare 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!
George 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.
Sail shades are one of the most versatile ways to add shade to your garden. You can use them in lieu of an awning or gazebo, to create temporary or permanent shading. You can pair multiple sails together for an eye-catching centerpiece or simple to extend the shelter. With so many shapes and sizes on offer, it can be daunting to know where to start. So we’ve gathered a few inspirational shade sail setups to put you on the right track.
Pair square and triangular shade sails to keep a wider area completely covered – great for keeping decks and patios shady and dry. Mix and match colours for a stylish final look.
This modern alternative to a traditional gazebo is a stylish way to cover larger areas. Use a combination of sail shade poles and matching sized triangles.
Keep a patio or deck covered with a rectangular shade sail and posts. Perfect for creating a porch area that’s cool in the summer and dry in the winter.
Make a place for rest and relaxation on your patio with triangular sail shades. Criss-cross a pair of different sizes for a stylish alternative to an awning on a patio or deck.
Combine several shade sails for true versatility, perfect for large outdoor events like weddings and festivals. Mix-and-match a variety of shapes and sizes to cover a wider space – the only limit is your imagination!
You can even finish off a summerhouse or playhouse with a shade sail or two so you can keep cool and dry while enjoying your garden. Use existing structures to keep your shade sails taught and save money on fixtures and fittings.