With the climate getting warmer and the summers becoming drier and longer, you might find it hard to find a cool and shady spot in the garden. With an increased need for sprinklers during the hot months, you might be looking to create a permanent solution so you can enjoy cooler temperatures inside the house and outside. Below you’ll find a few tips on how to transform your outdoor space into a shady paradise where you can spend your weekends, entertain your friends, and cool down on hot days.
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If you would like to create natural shade in your garden, you might simply have to erect a pergola. These are great for providing sanctuary from the shade. Select plants that are able to withstand direct sunlight, hot temperatures, and dryness, and you can not only create a decorative garden feature on a budget, but also add more shade to your outdoor space. You might buy a pergola at your local home store, or – if you are good at DIY – make it yourself.
Water will not only help you cool down the air, but also calm your nerves and make you feel more relaxed. No matter if you opt for a small fountain, a pond with shrubs and greenery around, you will love this little nook in the garden that will help you feel less of the heat and more of the tranquility. Alternatively, you can construct your own small water feature, using a simple sprinkler and some DIY tools. Create a statue or make a waterfall on the garden wall, so you feel cooler on your patio.
Shaded and Covered Up Pool
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If you’d rather not spend your days in the local swimming pool, you might build your own. No matter how big space you have, you will have to ensure that you provide a cover for the pool, so you don’t get burnt by the sun when enjoying the cool water. At least cover one part of the swimming pool. This will make keeping it clean easier. Remember, though, that you will still have to keep the water clean. You might have to search for reviews on the best robotic pool cleaner that will do the job for while you are not using the pool.
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If you have a patio, the best way to keep it cool and shaded is by adding shrubs. If you get potted ones initially, they will grow large enough in a couple of years’ time to be planted outside. Further, if your living room suffers from direct sunshine and heat, you can protect your indoors by having small trays and pots in front of the window to provide shade. You have to look for fast growing shrubs so you can make the most out of the shade they provide.
You might even decide to surround your patio or seating area, your pool, or water feature by a hedge. Pick a variety that lets air through, but is thick enough to give you plenty of shade if needed. You can look for various conifers that will smell great when you’re sitting outside and maintain the moisture in the air at the same time. You can also have colorful shrubs and small decorative trees that you can train to grow over your patio and provide you a shade from above, as well.
A great way of making the most out of the greenery and the shading of your garden is getting runner plants to surround your seating area or even grow on your garden wall. You might have to make or buy some trellis and create a roof frame. Any variety of grape wine, runner bean, or pergola plant will be happy to grow over the roof and give you shade. Water the plants regularly, and you will be able to sit outside, even in the middle of the day and enjoy a well deserved glass of cool drink.
If you are planning long term, and would like to have plants in your garden that are good at preserving water and stay lush in every season, you will have to find evergreens that can be shaped in any form you want them to. They live very well in clay soil, and their roots don’t really care about big or small stones. They provide their own shade to make the water stay close to their roots, and their leaves will provide a natural barrier for the heat on the ground, too.
Watering at Night and Early Morning
One of the main misconceptions beginner gardeners have is that watering during the day can cool down the garden. In fact, most of the water coming from your sprinklers will evaporate in the air. You’re not doing your lawn or plants any favors if you are watering them in the heat, as their roots and leaves might burn out. The best time to water your plants and your lawn is late night or early morning. This will give your greenery a chance to absorb the moisture and the water to get down to the roots instead of staying on the leaves.
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While sprinklers are convenient and easy to operate, they don’t deliver the best results when it comes to keeping your plants hydrated. Instead of the regular sprinkling, you can save water and money by creating an irrigation system. Some people have their own DIY water collection containers that hold the rainwater coming from the roof and use it for irrigation. It is better to use this water than the one full of chloride, anyway. You can irrigate your vegetable or flower patches in the morning, even create a system with a built in timer.
Bark, shredded wood, or pebbles; you choose the decorative items that will keep the moisture in the ground and keep your soil well hydrated for longer. You will not only be able to combat weeds, but also provide a protective cover for the roots of the young plants. This method is great for dry climate, and you can find some really good looking materials you can use to cover the flower beds or the borders where your shrubs and bushes by mulching using organic or inorganic materials.
Growing Large Vegetables for Shade
There are some vegetables that can be grown vertically. One of the main benefits of a vertical garden is saving space. The other one is that it can provide you with more shade. You can choose to grow tomatoes, peppers, cucumbers, runner beans, and other vegetables and fruit and create a natural heat barrier. With the increased impact of climate change and the threat of food shortages around the world, growing your own vegetables and fruit makes financial and practical sense.
If you’d rather not focus on keeping your entire garden cool, you can find a way to create a shaded hideaway. Plant a decorative tree and place a bench or garden seat under it. You can try fruit trees or some jasmine bushes that can smell lovely in the breeze and are great to look at, too. Eucalyptus can be great for dry and sunny spots, and it provides you with enough shade to escape from the heat. Add a water feature or a small fountain, and you’ve got a perfect place to read a book, have an intimate conversation with your friends, or enjoy a glass of wine.
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In case you don’t want to keep your garden cool all the time, you might want to invest in portable or expandable shades. Gazebos are great for patios, but you might not be able to enjoy the sun when you feel like. Flexible shades that can be extended and retracted when needed are practical and elegant at the same time. Alternatively, you can get some large portable parasols for when you are inviting your friends around for a garden party and want to stay out of the direct sunshine.
Build a Shaded Terrace
If you would like to enjoy having a barbecue outside in the fresh air and have a permanent place where you can eat breakfast or dinner with your family enjoying the views and avoiding the heat, you might want to build a shaded terrace. Choose your roof carefully; there are glass fiber solutions that are lightweight but don’t keep their color too long. Alternatively, you can use reed, provided that it is securely attached and you don’t live in a hurricane-prone region. Make your terrace a continuation of your indoor space and connect it with the interior through large patio doors.
Staying cool in the garden and enjoying a barbecue with friends in the middle of the day is becoming more challenging every year, due to the impact of climate change. The above tips will help you keep your garden shaded and well hydrated, while creating a space to be proud of and enjoy despite the increased strength of the sun.