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5 Ways to Shade Your Backyard

Entertain outside even when the sun is at its peak with a shade structure you made yourself. Here are some creative ideas.


Make a cabana

If your porch or deck has a roof, a simple way to bring in ambience and shade is to hang outdoor curtains for a cabana-style outdoor room. Make sure to use a stud-finder to attach heavy-duty curtain rods, and use sun- or weatherproof fabric or special outdoor curtains. Make outdoor curtains the bargain-basement way by hanging inexpensive painting canvas drop cloths, which come in a variety of sizes at home improvement stores. Extra credit: stencil them with a pretty pattern.

Next: Install a canopy awning »

  • Make a cabana
  • Install a canopy awning
  • Build a pergola
  • Build a “green screen”
  • Go with another green option

Make sure the trees you plant and the vines you train up shade structures aren’t heavy pollen producers. Dogwood, English holly, and crepe myrtles are good candidates; jasmine vine and wisteria are not. Check with your nursery for more climate-appropriate anti-allergenic plants.