Outdoor Blog

Guide to Your Outdoor Shading Options

Guide to Your Outdoor Shading Options


Designed to provide the right amount of shade in even the hottest of weathers, pergolas have attracted a great deal of attention recently. We all know the feeling; we look forward to sitting in the sun but then it just becomes too much after about five minutes are we’re forced back inside. With a pergola from Green Thumb Landscaping & Design you can sit in the shade in your backyard and enjoy the fine weather without getting that overwhelmed feeling.


What’s more, this freestanding structure will also help during fall and winter as long as it has a solid roof. With some newer models, they come with insulated sides which means you can stay warm even in the mild conditions to enjoy your backyard as we all should. Depending on what you have available, you could have a pergola on a walking space, patio, or outdoor deck/kitchen within the dining area. Typically, it will boast open sides to enjoy the weather but a solid/slatted roof as not to overwhelm you.


Patio Covers –  If you are dealing with the Houston, Texas head then you know that a patio cover is a must. With patio covers, they have the same goal but they’re attached to the house. Of course, the main advantage to this is that a patio cover will have your house for support so will be cheaper than a freestanding pergola.


Gazebos – With a gazebo, you have a tent-like appearance with a roof and normally four legs which can be held into the ground with pegs. Once again, the sides will be open and they’re most commonly found in traditional English and French gardens. Sadly, the many cheap options means they now have a negative reputation but they can be high-quality, affordable, and attractive for your backyard needs.


Screened Porches – Normally, these will be attached to the back door of your home and they offer a small porch with screens to protect you from bugs and the weather. If you have enough space, they can be used for dining and some prefer the porch to a deck because they can eat without constantly swatting away flies and yellow jackets.


Shade Sails – Compared to some other options we have discussed, shade sails are a fairly new idea but the design is simple. Essentially, a piece of fabric is stretched between the tops of three or four poles. Not only do they look attractive and full of color, they will cover a patio space; many people choose them because they look artistic and interesting for guests.


Sunrooms – Finally, a sunroom will be an addition to your home and they can be insulated and protected with double-glass windows. With this in mind, they can help all-year round so you can watch the wildlife of the world pass you by without worrying about getting too hot from the sun or ill from the cold. Typically, it will have large windows so you can sit with a cup of tea and relax.


In our capacity working with professionals at Green Thumb, we hear tips and advice all the time which is what you’ll see in the next section. As well as explaining the common mistakes to avoid, they help you to decide which of the above is right for you. You will find advice on;


  • How open and solid patio covers differ and which would suit your needs and garden
  • Where to find custom pergola kits to better suit your backyard
  • The best materials for all of the above including pergolas
  • Finding the right size to suit your backyard without making it look cramped
  • 10 vines for when you want to add color, shade, and function to your backyard
  • Various costs involved with aluminum patio covers and the benefits of each
  • Patio cover ideas for a modern look (minimalistic)
  • Most popular and functional wood types, finding kits with everything you need included, and custom-building a patio cover
  • How to consider bugs and weather in your decision
  • How to become efficient with solar panels so your cover stores energy and releases it when the sun goes down
  • Which shape, color, design, and style fabric sails you should consider
  • How to add lighting to your backyard to complement the shaded areas
  • Assessing accessories such as water misters, ceiling fans, and outdoor heaters