Creating Shade in the Garden

Shade is one of those things we often don't think about until we need it - like half an hour before a BBQ. If you want a comfortable outdoor space that you can use on scorching days as well as cooler ones, then you need shade in your garden.

Brendan's personal favourite shade solution is a beautiful tree. But if you haven't got one and you haven't got time to wait for one to grow, then there are a few other shade options to help cool you down.

At the top of the range is the vergola. This is a fully operable louvre system comprised of an opening and closing roof. It provides good shade while simultaneously allowing air flow. You'll often see them in sea side caf├ęs but they can suit many a home just as well. The motorised steel louvers can be set to rotate and close automatically if it starts raining! Perfect for keeping the sun off yet letting the breeze in.

From the sublime to the less sublime you might say, but the humble umbrella does a very good job at providing shade and has been used for centuries all over the world for just this purpose. Its easy on the budget and keeps the rain off as well - just add a few cushions, a good book, find a cool beer and you've created your very own oasis in the desert.

Natureed canopy
Another of Brendan's personal favourites is a naturereed canopy - a fern and wire cladding that is perfect for a simple overhead awning. Natural materials are a real winner when it comes to making shade because they not only keep the sun but also help create a tranquil atmosphere. Similarly, bamboo roller blinds on your balcony or verandah will help keep the sun at bay while allowing some airflow.

Remember when you were a kid and there was nothing more exciting than creating a cubby house out of sheets and furniture? Well, consider making an adult version. Build a simple pergola construction with bamboo or tent poles and drape muslin over it. It's light and airy but provides great shade for very little money. Wet the muslin and you have instant air conditioning!

Equipment and Suppliers

Larcombe & Solomon Architects
117 Resevoir St
Surry Hills NSW 2010
Tel : 02 9212 6935

Seasalt Restaurant
1 Donellan Circuit
Clovelly Beach NSW 2034
Tel : 02 9664 5344

Showroom 7, Tepko Rd
Terrey Hills NSW 2084
Tel : 1800 802 955

Dinosaur designs
585 Elizabeth St,
Strawberry Hills NSW 2012
Tel : 02 9698 3500

  • Green resin plates

202 Oxford St
Paddington NSW 2021
Tel : 02 9365 3900
drum chair - $420

Tolle 'N Crowe
48 Sailors Bay Rd
Northbridge, NSW 2063
Tel : 02 9967 9111

  • umbrella - $399
  • napkins - $11.94 (4 pack)

  • glasses - $3.95

  • cocktail glass - $5.50

  • Citrus candle

  • Hula food cover

  • Zulu table runner

House of Bamboo
13 Erith St
Botany NSW 2019
Tel : 02 9666 5703
  • bamboo

Ici Et La
588 Bourke St
Redfern, NSW 2010
Tel : 02 9699 4266
  • cushions

  • red dye or red muslin

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