30 Foolproof Garden Shade Ideas

Gardens are a great place for relaxing or entertaining friends and family on a warm, sunny day, whether it’s in a summerhouse or by the pool. 

But what if the sun becomes unbearably hot? You need to make sure there’s some shade to cool off in. 

That’s why we’ve found the 30 best solutions for creating shade in your garden from around the web, whether it’s natural or by design. 

Let’s take a look!

1 – Retractable Canopy

The main perk of a retractable canopy is the flexibility to adjust the sun exposure at any time. You can retract the roof to allow more sunshine on a sunny morning, then extend it to block the hot sun during the warmer midday hours.

a white, thin canopy on a string in a garden that can be retracted

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2 – Net Trellis

A super simple way to create some shade along your pathway, whilst giving vine plants the perfect place to thrive.

a net attached to a roof and the ground diagonally slanted with vines growing on it spanning the perimeter of a grass lawn

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3 – Shade Cover for Plants

Too much sun can lead to poor growth or spoiled produce in plants, so protect them from those harsh sun rays with a shade cloth. 

a plant/flower bed covered by a tarpaulin suspended above the plants to cover them from the sun and create shade with wooden poles at each corner

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4 – Sail Canopy Cover

Simple but stylish, sail canopies come in different shapes and sizes to create the perfect spot of shade in your garden. 

a square beige piece of cloth known as a sail canopy covering some decking

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5 – DIY Patio Cover

If you prefer a fully shaded area to relax in your backyard, add a cover to your pergola to provide shelter from both the sun and rain.

a pergola or canopy with some tarpaulin/a sheet of cloth draped on top to protect the garden furniture underneath and the belongings from the sun and anyone who's sitting there

(Image Credit)

6 – Triangular Cover

Sometimes all it takes is a strategically-placed sail to give you the shade you crave during the hottest hours of the day.

a triangular piece of cloth covering a blue patio with a table, chairs and furniture underneath in a floral garden with a pond and lots of leaves, plants and bushes

(Image Credit)

7 – Pergola with Lights

Pergolas provide some light relief on hot, sunny days. You can continue enjoying your garden into the evening by adding some hanging lights. 

lightbulbs hanging down from a wooden pergola with slats spanning the width of the roof

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8 – Wooden Curtains

For a really unique way to stay cool on summer days, add wooden blinds to your pergola that can be rearranged at your leisure. 

brown mahogany wooden pieces of material acting as blinds for some garden furniture in a garden making for a shady area

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9 – Corner Triangular Canopy

If it’s just a shaded corner you’re looking for, a triangular sail will work perfectly. 

a triangular sail canopy in the corner of a garden covering some decking and creating shade

(Image Credit)

10 – Simple Rollable Canopy

Simple but stylish, rollable blinds give you the flexibility to choose whether you’d like to enjoy the sun or grab some shade to cool off without having to move seats.

a rollable white canopy on some strings attached to a red wall that looks like a shower curtain but can provide shade or sun at the owners will

(Image Credit)

11 – DIY Canopy with Lights

Add some string lights under your canopy to create an amazing spot to enjoy a warm evening with friends.

string lights along the perimeter of a triangular canopy that is covering a table and chairs in a garden

(Image Credit)

12 – Modern Garden Tent

This contemporary design will help you gain some shade whilst still enjoying the warmth of the sun. 

a half-cylinder on it's side with wooden plank cladding with gaps in between the planks to provide shade and sunlight at the same time, covering some garden furniture such as a sofa and a table in the middle of a garden

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13 – Small Grey Bench

A cosy arbour will provide the perfect spot for an afternoon cuppa in the shade. 

a grey bench in a little birds house type shelter with a roof and a wall at the back but no wall at the front

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14 – Knitted Wooden Canopy

A simple and budget-friendly hack to create some shade in your garden. 

wood in a cylindrical archway formation over a path with some tree bark on the ground

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15 – Embellished Shade Sail

Protect yourself from the heat without giving up the light with a pale-coloured sail.

a white triangular sheet which is quite transparent allowing light in but reducing heat over some colourful cushions on an outdoor sofa in a tropical garden

(Image Credit)

16 – Wooden Trellis and Sail

Create your own stylish seating area in the shade with some trellis-style fencing and climbing plants, plus some modern sails to protect you from the sun’s rays.

a dark wooden old looking trellis in a japanese-style garden with stepping stones and stone decking with some concrete groundwork and a table, chairs, plantpots and a beige cloth covering the area to create shade.

(Image Credit)

17 – White Pergola with Flowers

A classic wooden pergola with beautiful climbing flowers creates a magical escape from the summer heat.

white pergola in a flowery garden during spring with all the blossom on the ground and the pergola made out of wood

(Image Credit)

18 – Simple Canopy and Curtain

If you’re on a budget, fashion yourself a simple DIY canopy with some bamboo rolls and curtains to protect you from the sun. 

canopy covering two deck chairs in a garden with some colourful mirrors hanging from the wall above and covered by a pair of thin satin curtains held up by some wooden wood bamboo rolls.

(Image Credit)

19 – Trellis Tent

Build yourself a one-of-a-kind tent and weave some climbing plants into the trellis. It will take some time to flourish into a fully shaded space but it will be worth the wait!

a teepee/wigwam made out of long wooden sticks from trees all slanted diagonally and meeting in the middle, with a child underneath with a woven basket. the teepee has spider web like strings woven around it to create a shelter and climbing plants climbing up it and a light blue house in the background and it is on some grass

(Image Credit)

20 – Wooden Corner Cabin

Add some cushions to create a comfortable seating area with added privacy using a corner-shaped pergola.

a grey pergola in a corner with two walls and a triangular shaped grey roof with some seats inside and some colourful green blue and red cushions.

(Image Credit)

21 – Small Corner with Table

A small corner-shaped pergola with some leafy greenery works great for shading a small bistro set. 

a corner shaped pergola made out of wooden beams set on some concrete patio with some garden table and chairs and lots of plants and greenery and a hanging basket.

(Image Credit)

22 – Large DIY Shade Sail

Fit a large sail to cover your whole garden and grant you shade all day.

a large black tarpaulin sail covering a whole garden including a dark brown sofa, a light brown table and lots of plants in the background

(Image Credit)

23 – Modern Wooden Shelter

Create a comfortable but chic outdoor lounge on your decking, and add some privacy and roof panels to protect you from the sun and heat.

a garden with some rattan chairs, a coffee table, fake grass and a corner style pergola with some woven wood design and light still being allowed through.

(Image Credit)

24 – High Walls in Narrow Garden

If your garden is on the narrow side, add some extra fencing above your walls to create shade and additional privacy.

fencing above white stone walls covered in climbing plants and moss on a stone patio in a posh garden

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25 – Tree Bench

If you’re lucky enough to have a tree in your garden, make the most of the natural shade underneath it! Add some seating to relax on hot, sunny days.

a woven bench made out of different strips of wood in a circular cylinder shape wrapped around the bottom of a thick tree trunk with backs to the continuous seat

(Image Credit)

26 – Modern Tall Corner

Add some modern seating and translucent glass for an amazing oriental finish.

two comfy rattan chairs and a small table covered by an opaque triangular corner shaped wooden pergola held up by a single plank of wood at the tip of the triangle, with some translucent glass on the two walls and a shingle pathway leading up to it

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27 – Tree Shade

Make the most out of trees and other natural shade sources in your garden. 

Tree garden shade ideas

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28 – Rustic Trellis Pergola

Climbing plants that grow around your pergola are a simple way to provide soft shade for your dining area. 

a wooden pergola/canopy with wooden beams spanning the roof, covered by climbing plants, moss and trees and on some decking with a table in the middle and some metal gating around the outside of the decking

(Image Credit)

29 – Slide on Wire Hung Canopy

A good way to cast a large amount of shade on your garden is to elevate the canopy. When you want to catch some rays, just open it up!

yellow tarpaulin/cloth/material suspended high off the ground on a large wooden pergola, covering a table and chairs outside a large house

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30 – Vertical Garden Shed

Some plants are shade-lovers, so design the perfect home for them under a canopy. You can even hang some pots from the roof!

plants inside a small wooden canopy next to a wall in a back garden

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Shading is a great way to keep yourself or your shade-loving plants cool in the summer months, and it doesn’t need to be expensive.

We hope this range of shade ideas will give you some inspiration to suit your garden and your budget!

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