Outdoor living adds appeal and value to your house, so focusing time and energy into your patio is a worthwhile investment. Unfortunately, if your patio receives an overabundance of sun, spending the day relaxing and entertaining outdoors can be uncomfortable.
Adding shade around your patio will reduce your exposure to the sun, making your time outdoors more enjoyable. Of course, you may not know where to begin. Using these simple solutions, you can create shade around your sunny patio to make your outdoor space more appealing and comfortable.
To add shade without a great deal of work, consider adding a retractable awning over your patio. This solution is best suited for patios that sit close to your house, since you will need a structure to mount the awning to.
When selecting the awning, be sure to choose a size that will offer sufficient coverage over the seating area of your patio. After selecting the awning that suits your desired size and look, you can mount the bracket onto a section of your home's exterior.
Once the mount is in place, slide the awning into the bracket. Lock it in place and open the awning material to ensure it retracts properly.
When you want shade while hanging out on your patio, pull the awning out to cover you and your guests. Retract the awning back up against the house in the evening or when you prefer the sun.
Landscaping around your patio will not only increase the value and look of your outdoor space, but it can also decrease your home's air conditioning costs.
While surprising for many homeowners to learn, planting trees around the eastern, western, and northwestern parts of your home and outdoor living space can decrease cooling costs up to 35 percent. Utilizing these trees around your sunny patio will also give you the shade that you desire.
To get started, you should create a large bed around the exterior of your patio. Use a can of spray paint to mark the design of your bed. Once marked, you can begin digging out the grass and dirt using a shovel or an excavator.
Spread a generous amount of topsoil into the new bed around your patio. (You can purchase some topsoil from a company like Purdy Topsoil & Gravel.) Be sure to use your rake to spread the soil evenly. Also, use the rake to break up any clumps of soil in the bed before installing your plants and trees.
It is important to plant trees that will produce shade without the worry of wide growth that may decrease the usable space of your patio. In addition, many trees require an overwhelming system of roots to establish and grow. These roots may grow up under your patio, increasing the risk of damage to the concrete or stone patio in the future.
Here are a few shade-producing trees that do not require an involved root system:
- Japanese Maple - The rich foliage of the Japanese Maple tree adds color and shade to your patio. The Atropurpureum species offers a height of up to 30 feet, making it a great option for appeal and shade around your patio.
- Dogwood - The flowering dogwood tree is also an option to consider for the bed around your patio. Dogwoods can bloom in the spring and summer, creating a colorful accent in your yard while also providing you with some shade.
Dig holes in the topsoil and dirt that are a few times the size of your tree's root ball. Remove the container holding the tree and gently massage the roots. This will loosen the soil, allowing the roots to spread and grow once planted. Place the root ball into the ground and surround the tree's base with additional topsoil. Plant small shrubs, ornamental grasses, and flowers in the landscaping bed around your patio, as well. This will increase the appeal of your landscape design, but also add value to your home.
After planting, fill in the remaining area of your bed with mulch, pine straw, or landscaping gravel. Water the entire bed and plants generously.
The sun can limit the amount of time you spend on your patio, but you can make this space more comfortable with a bit of shade. With this guide, you can create the shade needed to make your patio more enjoyable.