Bamboo's fast growth rate makes it a good building material that does not impact the environment as much as other materials, like wood. The strength and weight of bamboo makes it easier to work with than wood, but structures made from bamboo are still incredibly sturdy. If you want to add a shade structure in your yard, consider bamboo, which is actually a grass, for an environmentally friendly and long-lasting wood alternative.
An arbor made of bamboo consists of a framework of sturdy upright bamboo poles crisscrossed with a grid of thinner bamboo to create trelliswork on two sides, leaving the center open to walk through. Poles span the top of the framework, creating an open roof. To block out the sun, vines are allowed to grow up the trellis and across the top to fill in the roof. Such bamboo structures provide shade and an eye-catching entry into a rustic or Asian-themed backyard garden. Unlike metal frames you might use for such structures, bamboo does not rust or wear out in the elements.
To create shade with bamboo inside a structure, use bamboo blinds along the glass windows. Theses blinds give you control over the amount of light entering the greenhouse. Look for bamboo blinds from specialty window treatment stores, or make your own by tying split pieces of bamboo parallel to each other to create a long set of blinds you can raise or lower with a string attached to a pulley.
Construct a gazebo with open walls and a roof out of bamboo. These shady garden focal points are best for larger yards. Large bamboo poles -- at least 4 inches in diameter -- are needed for the supporting beams in the sides of the gazebo. Choose a grass roof for a tropical look to your structure. To make your gazebo a gathering spot for barbecues, set up a bar under it, created from bamboo with wood panels attached for the front, sides and top of the bar.
Use bamboo fencing for the walls of a wood-framed shade structure. Place two pieces of fence parallel to each other with the third at a perpendicular angle to both at the end to create an open box. Cover the top of the structure with lightweight fabric, or another fencing panel, to reduce the strength of the sun's rays while still letting light into the shade structure. Such a spot can be used to keep a garden workbench so you can work near the garden and remain in the shade. Bamboo fencing, sold by the roll, is easily attached to existing structures, like chain-link fencing and wood or metal pergolas with open roofs, to provide a more attractive look as well as instant shade