Garden structures: Creating shade and shelter outdoors

DDenver October 10, 2023 8:17 AM

Whether you have a sprawling backyard or a cozy patio, creating shade and shelter in your outdoor space can make it more comfortable and versatile. From trendy pergolas to functional greenhouses, garden structures can be both stylish and functional. Let's explore some popular types of garden structures, how to choose the right one for your space, and tips for creating your own shade and shelter.

Types of garden structures

There's a wide range of garden structures to choose from, depending on your needs, style, and budget. Here are some popular options:

  • Pergolas: These are open structures with a roof made of horizontal trelliswork. They are ideal for hanging plants or climbing vines and can provide a moderate amount of shade.

  • Gazebos: With a solid roof and open sides, gazebos offer a good balance between shade and exposure, making them perfect for seating areas or outdoor dining.

  • Arbors: These are typically smaller than pergolas and are often used as an entrance to a garden or a shaded seating area.

  • Greenhouses: These enclosed structures are designed for growing plants that require controlled climatic conditions. They can also serve as shelter in rainy or cold weather.

Choosing the right garden structure

When selecting a garden structure, consider the following factors:

  1. Purpose: What do you want to achieve with your garden structure? If you're looking to create a seating area, a gazebo might be a good choice. For a gardening enthusiast, a greenhouse could be ideal.

  2. Space: How much space do you have? If your garden is small, a simple arbor might be enough. However, if you have a large outdoor area, you may want to consider a pergola or even a combination of structures.

  3. Budget: Garden structures can range from inexpensive DIY projects to costly custom installations. Determine how much you're willing to spend before making a decision.

  4. Style: Consider the style of your home and garden. A modern metal pergola might suit a contemporary home, while a wooden gazebo could complement a traditional garden.

Creating shade and shelter

Once you've chosen your garden structure, the next step is to create the shade or shelter. Here are some ideas:

  • Climbing plants: Plant climbing vines like wisteria or grapevines around your pergola or arbor. As they grow, they will provide natural shade and a beautiful aesthetic.

  • Shade sails: These are large pieces of fabric that can be attached to poles or your home to create shade. They come in various shapes, sizes, and colors to suit any outdoor space.

  • Outdoor curtains: Attach these to your pergola or gazebo for a touch of elegance and extra shade.

  • Portable umbrellas: If you want a flexible solution, portable umbrellas can be moved to where the shade is needed most.

Remember that the goal of any garden structure is to enhance your outdoor living experience, so choose something that suits your lifestyle and complements your garden's design. With the right planning and ideas, you can create a charming and functional outdoor space that you can enjoy in any weather.

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