In the summertime, your own backyard can become a sweltering punishment, rather than a pleasant respite. You can’t get out and enjoy the summer weather if you’re sweating in it the entire time. Find ways to make your backyard shadier and cooler, and make your backyard summer-friendly.
Cool It Down
Hot backyard? If you get very little shade in your outdoor space, the sunlight will scorch you and everything else in the area. If you’ve got a hot backyard, you’ve got to find ways to cool it down so you can actually get out and enjoy it.
Install a fan: In your home, you use ceiling fans to circulate cooling air. You can do the same outdoors if you have a porch or deck roof. Install a ceiling fan, and cool down your sitting areas. Always be careful when installing a new fixture in your home, and get professional help if you’re unsure how to complete the project. If a ceiling fan is too much, try a standing fan or two. They can be set up on decks and patios. You will have to manage the cords used to power the fans, however, so keep this in mind.
Add a water feature: Build your own DIY pond or fountain and create an instant cooling effect. Add plants around the perimeter of the pond to shade the water and keep it cooler, and you could lower the area around the pond by a full 10 degrees.
Make your own breeze: Hot backyard? Switch to swings and swinging seats. This way, you can make your own breeze while you sit and enjoy the outdoors. Even this simple change can make you feel more comfortable when you’re outside in the summer heat.
Shade It Well
One of the best ways to cool down the backyard is to add shade. Maybe you can’t plant a tree and wait for it to grow, but you can still make your own DIY features to shade the backyard areas of your home.
DIY shade arbor: Use 2 x 4s or even PVC pipe to build a shade arbor. Build a simple frame in a curved arch or a square shape. Be sure to bury to support posts at least 4 inches into the ground to keep the structure steady. Plant vining plants around the base of the arbor so they’ll grow up the supports and over the roof of the arbor. This will create shade and give your backyard a distinctive feature as well.
DIY Awning/Gazebo: You don’t have to do a lot of building to get the shade you want. With canvas material or a similar sturdy fabric, it’s not hard to create a DIY awning or even a gazebo. Use pipe or wood to build the supports, or use trees to create natural support. Place water-repellent fabric over the supports or on tree branches, tack it into place, and you’ve got a shady spot to call your own.
Add umbrellas: One of the simplest shading solutions is to simply add umbrellas to the backyard. Place them over tables, chairs and anywhere else you want to get more shade.
Cool down your backyard and give it shade to make it a nicer place to be this summer. After all, what’s the point of having a backyard if you can’t put it to good use?