Awnings, Garden Design, Garden Screening, George, Sail Shades

As the sun finally comes out, our thoughts turn to the burning question of British summers… how can we get some shade? To help you escape the heat we’ve answered that very question with our complete list of garden shade ideas and advice. Enjoy!

garden shade ideas

Ways to make shade in your garden

1 – Awnings

The gold standard of outdoor shading, you can’t beat an awning. Generally you’ll need to fix an awning to the side of your house, so they’re perfect for making shade in an area where you spend a lot of time, like a patio. They come in a multitude of sizes and colours to suit the space you need. When you need some shade you just have to unwind the awning – this can either be done via a handle or a remote for an electric model. As well as sheltering you outdoors, these have the added benefit of shading rooms inside, keeping them cool and protecting furnishings from fading in the sun.

2 – Shade sails

A very contemporary form of shade, sails can be bright and fun or cool and classy. Layer different sails for complete shading in whichever part of the garden you need and you can make striking designs. Shade sails originated in the heat of Australia, where they’re made from breathable fabric to keep you cool. But in the UK you can also buy waterproof versions as our weather isn’t quite as reliable!

shade sails

3 – Pergolas and climbing plants

Perfect for creating a private getaway in a corner of the garden for sitting or eating under. Build your wooden structure to allow enough room underneath for whatever activity you’d like to do there. Then plant some climbers like clematis, roses or jasmine to trail over the pergola. Over time this should grow into a lovely leafy canopy offering dappled shade. You could even hang some outdoor curtains on the side of the pergola for added shade and privacy.

4 – Garden screening

Not all sun comes from directly overhead. A stylish way to add some horizontal shading to your garden is through decorative screening. Simply fix the screening rolls of your desired material (from bamboo to artificial ivy) to wire fences or balconies for instant shade. Not only will these look great, they can also make your outdoor space more private.

tree shade

5 – Trees

If you want the natural solution to escaping the sun, look no further than trees. Yes, they may take many years to grow into a fully mature source of shelter but it will be worth the wait. You’ll have a beautiful, environmentally-conscious addition to the garden offering a perfect spot for a shaded bench or table. Of course the downside is you won’t be able to move the tree to wherever you want shade, so choose your position carefully!

6 – Gazebos and marquees

Whether you’re hosting a royal wedding or family BBQ, a gazebo is the perfect pop-up outdoor room. You get shelter come rain or shine and depending on the size you choose, enough space for a dinner table or dance floor. Adding side walls to your party tent can give you some extra protection against cool breezes, which is a definite bonus as the sun goes down. If you’re keen to entertain in style this summer, look no further than our brand new Indian-style marquees.

7 – Parasols

If you’re limited on space, particularly for storage, then a parasol is likely your shade essential. Compact and stylish, it’ll fit right in the centre of your patio table or stand on the side. Many modern versions have the ability to tilt to help place the shade where you want it, but compared to the other ideas in this list, parasols usually offer a limited area of protection that can leave family members fighting over space in the shadow on a hot day.

parasol shade

Why you need garden shade

Outdoor dining

As soon as the sun comes out, we love to embrace the luxury of eating outside. But it doesn’t take long to realise that getting sticky in the heat isn’t much fun for diners or the food. Keeping your guests comfortable is key to great entertaining, so it’s worth investing in sufficient shading for your table and all the chairs. It will also help keep your food from spoiling in the sun.

Our top recommendations: awnings, marquees, parasols.

Reading or working

A good book or a bit of focused time on the laptop is wonderful when the weather permits you to take it out into the garden. Neither is ideal, however, in the glare of the sun, which makes it hard to concentrate on the page or screen. The heat can also cause headaches that just make it even harder. So naturally – shade is essential!

Our top recommendations: awnings, shade sails, parasols, trees.

reading in shade

Sun protection

As we become more aware of the potentially dangerous effects of the sun’s rays, it’s natural to want to protect ourselves outdoors. So if you want to enjoy your garden from the shade without worrying about skin cancer, then pay close attention to the UV protection rating of the shading you look at.

Our top recommendations: Primrose shade sails and awnings offer up to 98% UV protection, equivalent to UPF 50+.

Rain protection

As great as British summers can be, they’re not that reliable. We’ve all been there when a lovely sunny party is thrown into jeopardy by an unexpected shower. But what if your garden shade could also offer shelter from these other elements? Unsurprisingly, the thing you’ve got to look out for is waterproof fabric. And of course the extra consideration when planning the best shelter for your gathering – will it be able to cover enough people should the heavens open? Bear in mind too that most of these products will only provide shelter from light showers, not downpours.

Our top recommendations: waterproof shade sails, gazebos and Primrose awnings, which are all waterproof.

garden rain

Other ways to keep cool in the heat

If even the shade is leaving you in a sweat, what else can you do to keep cool? Luckily we’ve published a whole list of suggestions, from swimming pools to summer houses.

So throw some shade, escape the heat and embrace your summer in the garden!

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.

Amie, Events, New Products, News, Sail Shades

Primrose Exclusive: Brand New Rose Pattern Shade Sail Launch

Good news everybody, the sun is set to make a glorious appearance again this week. So what better way to create some garden shade than with a shade sail!

With over 300 shade sails in our extensive range, you’d be forgiven for thinking we had exhausted the options available to shelter you from the sun. However, we’ve recently launched a brand new rose-patterned shade sail, which will be a delight to any garden, and fit in any colour scheme you might have.

OL4003SST

Available in 3m triangle, this shade sail will protect you from the sun all day long. Should the British weather change (which is always a strong possibility), then this particular shade sail has the added benefit of being waterproof.

AmieAmie is a marketing enthusiast, having worked at Primrose since graduating from Reading University in 2014.

She enjoys all things sport. A keen football fan, Amie follows Tottenham Hotspur FC, and regularly plays for her local 5 a side football team.

Amie also writes restaurant reviews on  Barnard’s Burger Blog.

Sail Shades, TV

Kookaburra Sail Shades on ITV!

Alan Titchmarch recently demonstrated how sail shades can help transform an unattractive part of your garden into a modern, shaded sitting area.

Kookaburra Sail Shades

Using one of Primrose’s Kookaburra sail shades, he turned a neglected corner of the garden into a lovely secluded area to relax and unwind. He put up the sail in less than an hour, with the help of the home-owner, demonstrating how quick and simple these things are to get set up.

You can catch up with Alan on his programme “Love Your Garden” through the ITV website HERE (only available until Aug 14), and if you just want to jump to the relevant bits, then skip to 11:10 to 15:05, and 18:40 to 19:30 to see this amazing product in action!

Awnings, Gazebos, Sail Shades

Shelter in the Garden

Well, after all that lovely hot weather we had in spring, the summer so far has been a bit disappointing! Sometimes hot, sometimes fresh, often humid – we’ve even had thunderstorms!

However, even though it hasn’t quite been the summer we might have hoped for, there’s still no reason why you shouldn’t continue to enjoy your garden. Whether the sun is shining intensely or the odd droplet of water is falling, if you still fancy some fresh air, what you really need is some shade or shelter to offer a bit of protection from the elements – and there are lots of options to choose from!

One of the most cost-effective options and also one of the most flexible are shade sails. These are waterproof canvases that also protect against UV rays that you can set up anywhere in your garden – all you have to do is attach each corner to a pole, post or tree, making sure it is at the correct angle and covering the required area. As soon as it’s up, you can start relaxing underneath its protection!

An alternative to a shade sail is to invest in an awning. These naturally attach to the wall of your home so don’t have quite as much flexibility as a sail shade which doesn’t have to be placed against your house. However, awnings are very robust and long-lasting, look great and are perfect for providing shelter over a patio area.

Of course, awnings and shade sails only provide overhead shelter. For a different look and more all-round shelter, you may like to consider a small garden house or a gazebo. Often made of wood such as willow or hazel, gazebos will naturally blend in to your garden while creating an attractive spot for relaxation. Large enough to hold some garden furniture such as a few garden chairs and a table, a gazebo can offer some respite from the hot sun as well as greater privacy than an awning or shade sail.

The main point to check, however, is whether the gazebo is waterproof. While the fabric used for awnings and shade sails is waterproof, some wooden gazebos may have small gaps between the woven wood which could allow rain water to pass through.