Need to add some shade to your garden? We don't blame you – this heat is getting a bit much for a lot of us, and if you garden is south- or west-facing, you'll really be feeling the heat of the summer sun. Fortunately, there are many ways to add shade to your garden, ranging from simply installing a parasol to more permanent solutions. Browse our top buys for making your garden shadier – and cooler – below.
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1. A garden parasol for a tropical vibe
What could be more effortless than a lovely garden parasol? Some parasols screw into garden tables, though we prefer freestanding ones that you can fit into its own base and then move around as you please. The Palma parasol from Maisons du Monde (£108.50) also tilts, which means you can get exactly as much shade as you want.
Browse more of the best parasols in our buying guide.
2. A shade sail for smaller gardens
A garden shade sail is the perfect non-bulky solution that you can simply tie to the corners of your house, fence, or garden outbuilding. Corner sails, like the Argos sail shade/gazebo (£189.99, above), or the basic Chateau Chic sail from Waytfair (£30.99), will suit small patios and decking areas. If you have a larger area to cover, a rectangular sail, like Kobart sail from Wayfair (£101.99) shown below, will look better and give you more shade. And when the summer's over, simply fold it away and put in your shed.
3. A pergola for a more permanent solution
If you have a south-facing garden and need shade permanently, or if you're planning an outdoor room, a pergola is a great solution that's more permanent than parasols or sails. You can buy a basic structure, like the Randi Manufactured Wood Pergola(£469.99), build a pergola yourself (B&Q's basic Blooma Rafter pergola is just £60), or invest in a fancier pergola with electric shade, like the gorgeous one from Indian Ocean, shown below.
The beauty of pergolas is that they're a bit like a blank canvas of garden shades: you can train climbing plants up them to create a living green shade, cover them with a fabric shade and decorate with lights, or even make them permanently shady by covering the top with wood or reeds.
4. A sun lounger with a shade
Like a bit of sun, just not in your face? Sun worshippers who don't like getting their visage burnt will appreciate a sun lounger with adjustable shade, like the colourful and practical Songmics Sun Lounger (£77.99; one of our best sun loungers, by the way).
5. An awning for fuss-free retractable shade
The fact of British summers is that burning hot sun will be replaced by grey and rainy weather in the matter of a few days, and a garden awning gives you flexibility: just retract it when you want more light. Awnings also have a slightly continental vibe to them that goes well with a patio. This awning (£284.99) is from Primrose Awnings.