Six Affordable Ways to Create Shade in your Garden

Do you find your garden becomes a bit of a suntrap in the summer months? Or perhaps you’re looking for new and creative ways to create shelter, so you can still enjoy the outdoors when the weather’s not at its best. 

Here at Big Furniture Warehouse, we’re passionate about making sure you get the most out of your home and garden — all year round. Whether you’re planning a gathering, or want a nice, shady space to get some relief from the sun, here are six affordable ways to create shade in your garden. 

1. Design a covered outdoor dining area

There’s nothing like al fresco dining when the sun comes out. Although we may not all be able to afford a trip to Paris to dine on the Seine, you can create an elegant dining space in your own garden for a fraction of the cost.

You may like to browse our range of two-person patio sets, which start from just £119.99. Paired with our 2.7 m Gozo Parasol at just £38.99, you can enjoy relaxing morning coffees or luxurious outdoor lunches for years to come. 

The Gozo can be tilted to one side, and adjusted to block the sun at any time of day. It also comes with handy wind vents, so you can relax knowing a sudden gust of wind won’t have you waving goodbye to your parasol!

And the outdoor dining doesn’t need to stop in the winter. Why not host an outdoor hot chocolate making station around Christmas, and use your parasol to shelter from any sudden snowfall?

There’s no need to invest in an expensive patio heater to enjoy your outdoor dining area, either. Simply take the advice our grandparents always gave us, and bundle up! 

An outdoor dining set, comprised of two metal chairs and a table with a mosaic top sits upon a green lawn.

2. Get gardening for some natural shade

A natural solution for creating shade in your garden could be right at your fingertips. Hedges, shrubs and flowering bushes can be a stunning way to add shady spots to your garden — and they’re kind to bees and wildlife as well.

Start scouting out your friends’ gardens for inspiration, or make a day of it at the garden centre. Orange trees, bamboo and even climbing vines with a wire structure can all help make a little oasis for you to escape to when you’re tired of the sun. 

Taller, bushier trees can also be a great natural solution, but planting them from seed means it will be a long time before you see the benefits. However, savvy online shoppers may be surprised to find that there’s a thriving online market for people who want existing trees taken away, and will happily let you take their tree for free! 

This normally means you’ll have to dig it out and take it away yourself, but it does mean that you can treat yourself to some natural shade if you have a spare afternoon to pick up and plant it.

3. Set up a reading corner with blankets and cushions

Another way to create fun outdoor spaces for you to enjoy in your garden is to use what you already have to hand. By piling cushions and pillows onto a picnic blanket with a waterproof bottom, you can create a stylish Bohemian space to read and relax. You can even bring a small table for your cup of tea. 

A parasol will help protect you from the glare, but a standard parasol like the Gozo can be tricky for smaller spaces. For a flexible, seasonal option, our Banana Parasol provides ample overhanging shade for any garden or patio area. Because it hangs from above, it doesn’t take up as much space, but still offers substantial coverage from the sun. 

Available in a selection of colours, you can match it to any outdoor furniture and decking — or even just the array of pillows you’ll bring from indoors.

A beige, pop-up parasol creates shade within a green garden, with plenty of plants.

4. Host an outdoor gathering with a pop-up gazebo

There’s always a risk when hosting outdoors with our Great British weather — will the heavens open and rain on your parade?

Rather than having to hustle everybody indoors, you could get some extra insurance with a pop-up gazebo. Ideal for barbecues, birthday parties, or as some extra all-weather shelter for your patio set, a gazebo is very useful to have to hand.

From flat to finished in just a few minutes, a pop-up gazebo is a temporary structure that gives immediate relief from the sun or the rain, with enough space to socialise and gather. With an expanding frame, this style of gazebo is easy to put up and tidy away, so you won’t be battling with it while your guests stand by and watch! 

Our Pop-Up Gazebo comes in a choice of four colours with open sides, so your guests can drift in and out as they please. It also packs away into a compact carrying bag that’s a real space-saver, and can be stored in your car, cupboard or loft. 

From just £64.99, our range of gazebos are a simple way to create shade in your garden when you want it, and space when you don’t. As simple to fold as a garden chair, make sure your next garden party won’t be a wash-out by breaking out your very own pop-up gazebo.

5. Pick up a playhouse for a bargain price

It may seem surprising to see a playhouse on a list of affordable ideas to create shade in your garden. A brand-new playhouse can certainly set you back, but there are a number of cheaper options that your kids will absolutely love.

While playhouses are normally an expensive addition to your garden, you can find them second-hand and on online marketplaces for a steal. Sometimes the people selling them just want them carted away, so you can get your family a playhouse for the price of simply renting a van!

Playhouses can keep kids occupied for hours on end, whilst giving them a little oasis to escape the heat. Playhouses cast shadows around them as well, so some well-placed garden chairs will give you a nice shady space to watch your little ones play. 

If you’re not looking for a permanent fixture in your garden, a pop-up playhouse can work just as well — and can also be found for a bargain online. After all, there will always be families with children who have outgrown them. 

An attractive wooden children's playhouse, painted sage green sits in a well-cared for garden.

6. Create an eye-catching fabric canopy

If you’d prefer a dreamy, yet stylish addition to your garden (which can also be collapsed when needed), you could get crafty and create your own fabric canopy. Yards of patterned fabric can be picked up at very reasonable prices from sewing shops, outdoor markets, and even second-hand shops if you’re really hunting for bargains. 

For light cover that gives a gorgeous, floaty effect when there’s a breeze, choose sheer materials like chiffon or linen. If you’d prefer more shade in your garden, choose heavier fabrics like thick cotton or canvas, which will be more effective at blocking out the sun. 

Once you have your fabric, you can use a number of materials to make a structure for your canopy. Bamboo is a useful, lightweight garden item you may already have to hand, or if you’d like a permanent feature, you could build a frame out of scrap wood that can be used all year round.

Once you have your structure, you can secure your fabric with push-pins or clothes pegs and enjoy a Pinterest-worthy fabric canopy that won’t cost you an arm and a leg.

Making the most of your garden — all year round

At Big Furniture Warehouse, we believe that your garden shouldn’t just be a place for you to spend time in the summer months. Being outdoors and enjoying the wildlife that’s right there on your doorstep shouldn’t be restricted to a single season, which is why we offer affordable solutions to help you the most of your garden — every month of the year. 

Feel free to browse our full range of garden furniture, including gazebos, patio sets, benches, and more. And if you’re looking to upgrade your home as well, visit our online furniture store for furniture and homeware that is affordable, as well as stylish.

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