Umbrellas can help add shade to your Arizona yard

Simple & Elegant Shading Options for Your Yard

Living in the desert, especially in the summer, has taught us more than a few life lessons. Electric bills are outrageously high, pools make the heat bearable, and how shade, precious shade, can save our skin are just a few that come to mind! We have also learned that you can save on those electric bills simply by shading the house. Shade comes in many forms, adding a touch of cool to the scorching days of summer. This guide to all the ways you can bring shade in your life can bring you relief and respite as you continue on your plan to turn your Arizona yard into the oasis you have always dreamed it could be.


One of the least expensive options for creating shade is the umbrella. Propped up in the center of a patio table or stuck into a hole on either side of your pool, these basic contraptions are colorful choices that are portable and perfect for even the smallest of yards. Even those who live in apartments can pick up an umbrella for their balcony or uncovered patio, relaxing under its cover on the hottest days of the year. The only downside to umbrellas is their lack of stability during monsoon storms, especially when placed in the center of a glass table. Homeowners need to remember to close the umbrella prior to a big storm or risk having a flying table whose glass top shatters into a million tiny pieces.

Sun Shade Sails

Simply put, the sun shade sail is another inexpensive way to add shade to your yard, with costs starting in the $20 range and increasing with the size of the sail. Coming in a variety of colors, homeowners can choose something subtle that blends with their home or go bright and cheerful to create a summer sanctuary in the backyard. Made from a fabric that blocks 90 percent of UV rays, it is also easy to install; simply attach the ropes on any of the ends to the house, a tree, or pole. Spread out over the yard, it can provide a haven of cool, and when tied over your pool, it can let guests stay in the pool longer with less chance of vicious sunburns.

Planting a Tree

This all-natural method of creating shade in your yard can be super cheap if you start with a seed, but most people don’t have the patience for that seed to sprout into a full-grown tree, so most desert dwellers want to start with a tree that is already partially grown. Nurseries will sell gallon, five-gallon, and various sizes boxes of whatever tree you prefer, with prices starting in the same range as sun sails and increasing exponentially with the size of the box you purchase. Planting trees near your house offers multiple benefits, as they shade your home and help clean the air. SRP is currently offering a free tree program to those who decide to go this route. You are limited to a small selection of trees, all of which are drought tolerant and do not require a lot of watering, but overall, it is an excellent program in which to participate.

Building a Pergola in Your Arizona Yard

A pergola is a popular yard structure that is adds beauty, elegance, and of course shade to any yard. Usually built of wood (there are other types of materials used in construction, but wood is the most common) it generally consists of four posts topped by a grid of planks that are left open to the elements. You can stop at this point and it will still offer a hint of shade, but many homeowners prefer planting flowering ivy which will add to its charm as it provides even more life-saving shade. Another option is to cover the open area with canvas and perhaps add some curtains on each of the post, creating a space that is perfect for al fresco dining.

Creating an Oasis with a Gazebo

The ultimate shade structure, a gazebo, can provide hours of entertainment in your backyard in addition, of course, to providing the shade we all seek! This structure is similar to a pergola but is built with a roof, allowing the opportunity to be used no matter whatever the weather conditions. This is the spot you can place an outdoor table and chairs or add electricity and hang a ceiling fan from its peak for additional cooling options. Many pergola owners tuck away a television in the rafters, add a mini fridge, and seriously turn this shade structure into a secondary living space.

Summer Has Arrived

We desert dwellers know that the calendar does not dictate the seasons, and that even though we are living in the season traditionally known as spring, summer has arrived. Give us a call today and let our expert employees at New Image Landscape and Pools help shade you from the heat!