With all the changes that have gone on in the world lately, it should be comforting noticing the things that never change, except, of course, if you’re talking about summer weather! Even though the calendar pages have barely flipped over into May, we desert dwellers know summer has arrived, and boy is it HOT! It takes a certain type of person to survive these vicious temperatures, and if you’ve survived at least one summer here, we consider you the “right” type! You’ve probably already learned the secrets of staying cool during this season of torture; you have programmable thermostats in your houses, a swimming pool in your yard, and have discovered the joys of layering. Tank tops and loose pants and/or skirts, topped with a sweater make the transition from scorching to subzero air conditioning bearable on a personal level, as black out curtains, dual paned windows, and ceiling fans help keep you cool and comfortable inside your own house.
There is more you can do, however, to enjoy a cooler summer season when outside in your backyard, and this guide to spectacular shade structures is the perfect way to start! Dropping the mercury while offering an idyllic beauty to what could be a bland and boring landscape, these structures offer another tool to help homeowners deal with the scorching summer heat!
Sometimes the simplest answers are all you need and planting a tree or two in your backyard can help shelter you from the heat as it helps save the environment. Planting a shade tree near the home, but not so close as to have root and plumbing issues, can also help drive down summer electric bills as the shade keeps the house cooler. There are, of course, other things you must consider, such as do you really want leaves in your pool, and any allergies you or your family members might suffer from, but at the end of a day, a beautiful tree can offer shade and style to your yard.
Use Patio Umbrellas as Shade Structures
Another, less permanent, idea, would be the addition of a patio umbrella. Designed to provide shade wherever it is placed and easily movable, these compact structures can be just the pop of color your yard needs. Monsoon storms, or any storms for that matter, can be a problem, especially if you forget to crank it down and put it somewhere safe from the winds or risk unintentionally gifting your neighbors with a new patio umbrella.
Install a Pavilion
Similar to a gazebo, a pavilion can be a semi-permanent solution to the lack of shade on your property. Generally constructed of aluminum, it is open to the elements and extra shade is provided with material; sheer curtains are beautiful, but lack the shade blocking abilities that a sturdier canvas fabric has, and so canvas is the more commonly used material in the desert. These sweet structures are often used in movies as spots for romantic dinners and have twinkle lights strung along the posts for an even more romantic atmosphere.
Make It Permanent with A Pergola
Pergolas resemble a pavilion, only they are usually constructed of wood, generally offer wood beams in the roof area that allow dappled light in from above and will be a permanent addition to your yard. Their versatility make them popular choices, as you can leave them uncovered during the cooler months or cover the with canvas to create the shade you desire in the summer. Planting flowering ivy around the posts will enhance the beauty and if you choose a jasmine or other aromatic plant, the scent will bring you peace whenever you spend time under its canopy.
Build a Gazebo
These permanent structures can be constructed as elaborately as you like or as simple as your budget can afford. Also known as pagodas, they don’t just offer a shaded spot in your yard; they are the perfect spot for hanging out wrapped in towels after spending time in the pool, enjoying an ice cream cone without leaving a sticky mess in the house, and even eating breakfast on a lazy Saturday morning. Stylish and inviting, these beautiful hardscape items can be the central focus of your yard, even with a pool fighting for acknowledgement!
A Taste of the Tropics
Resembling a tiki hut, a palapa is permanent structure topped with open beams and a thatched roof. Drinking mojitos under these structures is almost a law in many places, and the look of a palapa will give your yard the appeal of a tropical oasis in the desert. Blend your favorite adult beverage, tuck a flower behind your ear, and prepare for some cool relaxation on a hot summer night. The only possible downfall to this permanent structure is the thatching can dry out and need to be replaced periodically.
Believe It or Not There’s More!
We at New Image Landscape and Pools have been in the business a long time and know all the tricks to keeping cool on the hottest days of the year. Give us a call today and we can discuss the options listed as well as some we didn’t have the time to mention!