Enjoying your outdoor living can sometimes be a struggle on those hot days when you want to enjoy the warm weather but stay out of the sun. Luckily, there’s lots of ways to add shade to your landscape.


An umbrella may seem like a simple solution, but it’s also a versatile one because of how many ways you can use it. They can be bought with a table to help keep the sun away as you eat or chat, or they can also be set up individually. A portable patio umbrella has been designed to stand on its own, and you can move it around to follow wherever you lounge. Unlike a table umbrella, which will usually be large enough to cover the table, the moveable ones can be twice as large to even cover an outdoor seating area.


When you want some protection from the elements but to not completely block out the sun, a pergola will be your best bet. They are typically built with slats of wood on the top, and the space between them will decide the amount of coverage the area gets. They are a sturdy structure typically built into the patio, so they are a little more rooted than a moveable umbrella stand. Plus, with some sun still able to get through, you can also use it to grow your plants that thrive better without direct sunlight. Plus, those slats can be then used to hang lights if you want to utilize the space at night too.


There are a couple different types you can have for your backyard. They typically are built to the home to extend out onto a patio, and they can be stationary or retractable. The technology for these has come a long way, so there are many electric ones on the market that will extend or retract with the push of a button. They’re also made to last, but sometimes the fabric can be damaged during severe weather.


These are similar to pergolas where they have four columns to hold it up, so they are still open to the outdoors, but they will have a roof for complete protection. These are ideal for outdoor kitchen and dining areas so you can still entertain even if it’s a rainy day. If you prefer full shade for your outdoor living, then this will be the best way to get some shade and still enjoy your outdoor living features.

Our experts would be happy to start discussing your landscape additions if you’re interested in improving your outdoor living. Outdoor Innovations has served the Twin Cities since 2007, and we have over 100 years of combined experience through our owners, management, and installation staff.