When temperatures climb to uncomfortably high levels during the summer, the intense heat can interfere with enjoying outdoor spaces. For this reason, blocking the sunlight from your patio is a good idea. You will be not only more comfortable, but also protected from harmful UV rays.
One way to provide shade from the sun is by planting trees. The leafy canopies of shade trees, i.e. the popular maple, sycamore, elm and oak, give natural protection from the sun. If you don't want to wait to grow the trees from seeds or seedlings, you can purchase mature trees. These are more costly, but they can provide shade right away instead of years in the future. Avoid planting your shade trees close to the home; the roots may cause damage to the foundation, or the tree's canopy may catch fire from chimney sparks.
Another option is to put up an awning, which is a structure consisting canvas stretched across a frame. Awnings usually extend off the roof of the home to cover patio or deck, and they are very helpful at cooling the shaded areas they cover. You can find awnings are in many sizes, colors, and styles. A similar idea is the installation of a shade sail. Shade sails, like ships' sails, are sheets of canvas stretched between moorings, but they provide shade instead of movement. Unlike awnings, shade sails do not extend off a roof; they can be placed over any area that you shaded.
An eye-catching way to bring shade to your patio is with an arbor, pergola or trellis: a structure usually built of wood and consisting of beams and or latticework stretched between posts set in the ground. Training flowering or fruiting vines such as grapes and roses to grow over the latticework provides additional, or you can add a roof for a faster solution. Arbors, pergolas and trellises provide beauty and add visual interest to your patio.