Shade Ideas for a Backyard

Shade yourself from the glaring afternoon sun with a vine-covered pergola. Use the space as a backyard dining area for entertaining friends or simply relaxing with your favorite read. Shaded areas will be your refuge in the warmer months or a spot to enjoy when you want to be cozy on a cool evening. Trees, with their long and inviting branches, will beckon you to sit under under their canopy.


Install a vine-covered wood pergola in your backyard to create a shady tunnel. Beneath the structure, place an outdoor patio set to use to dine outdoors. Pergolas are weather-resistant and ideal for growing flowering vines like wisteria and morning glories. Plant the vines in the soil at the base of the pergola posts; one to two vines per post is ideal. As the tiny tendrils shoot up, gently wrap the vine around the post with outdoor wire. They have a natural tendency to grasp onto the surface, so you don't need a lot of wire to secure them. Over time, the vines will create a shady spot to enjoy throughout the season.

Fruit Trees

Who doesn't love fresh fruit? A delicious way to create shade in a backyard is to grow fruit trees. Fruit trees, especially apple trees, can reach heights of more than 30 feet and more than 10 feet wide. The sprawling branches, fresh with flowers or ripe with fruit, will create a shaded spot in your backyard. Flowering cherry and pear trees also create shade while bringing in lovely foliage and ethereal spring flowers. Plant the fruit trees together and create a mini orchard in your backyard.

Outdoor Umbrellas

Umbrellas provide an inviting shaded area in a backyard. They can be taken down and stored away in the winter and popped back open in the hot summer. Strong and durable, umbrellas are available in a variety of colors, shapes and material. Choose a color that enhances your backyard landscape. Darker material will show less dirt but can be warmer in the summer. Oranges and yellow umbrellas provide color but won't pack a lot of heat. Many umbrellas are made from vinyl or cotton, while some are made from fabrics that can block UV rays. Place the umbrella along a patio to help extend your time outside.

Keywords: shade ideas, backyard shade, pergola

About this Author

Callie Barber is a writer and photographer in North Carolina. Her work has appeared in Forbes and Automotive News magazine. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in international studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.