Staying cool when the sun is beating down can be a real challenge. The best option for beating the heat is to use your outdoor space to create a sanctuary where you can enjoy a cool breeze and plenty of shade from the sun when you need it.

What is the best way to beat the summer in your backyard?

There are lots of ingenious and attractive ways to create some shade. If you search 12 x 12 pergola for yard, for instance, you will be instantly inspired by the designs and the versatility that a pergola can offer to enhance your living space and keep you cool.

Here’s a look at some ways to get that much-needed shade in your backyard, and why you need it.

Too much exposure to the sun can be harmful

It is worth saying that aside from the obvious comfort advantage of having a shady spot in your backyard you can retreat to, there are some obvious health advantages attached to creating a protected area.

You need some sunshine to get your required level of Vitamin D, but it is a delicate balance between that and exposing yourself to harmful rays that could raise the risk of skin cancer.

Some sun exposure is good for you, but over-exposure creates potential health issues. There is also the issue of staying cool and feeling comfortable on hot days.

That’s why creating a shady spot in your backyard is almost the perfect solution.

It gives you the chance to enjoy the sun’s rays but on your terms. Fitting a pergola is also a great idea because it provides that all-important shade but also allows a nice cooling breeze to run through. A pergola can keep you both safe and comfortable.

Creating shade in your backyard

You can use a combination of natural planting and a pergola to create a shaded area that stays cool and provides the perfect sanctuary from the blazing heat of the sun.

A lot of people tend to use a pergola as a place to retreat to when they want to relax outdoors and escape the sun’s harmful rays. Fitting a pergola won’t actually make a difference to air temperatures, which remain constant outdoors. However, a key benefit is that its cooling effects make this shaded area feel like it’s a good ten to fifteen degrees lower.

The amount of shade you get is determined by the style of pergola that you decide to fit.

Modern pergolas put you firmly in control

You have numerous design options when you decide to install a pergola in your backyard.

You can have a pergola that has a more open roof structure that allows more light and sun into the area or you can have a pergola with a solid roof. You can also get a more hi-tech version that allows you to control the sun and shade balance by controlling the louvered roof to open or close to a level you want.

A solid roof pergola will give you permanent shade if that is what you want. A modern hi-tech pergola gives you more versatility when it comes to controlling the cooling effects you enjoy from the structure.

Many ways to enhance your pergola

You can talk to your chosen pergola supplier about your design and feature options. There is bound to be a pergola that fits your needs. You can also get them designed to fit a specific space if you don’t have what you would call a more conventional space in your backyard where you could fit a regular-sized decking area and pergola.

In addition to choosing the right size and design for your pergola that is just right for your space, you also have lots of options to enhance your outdoor living space.

You can have your pergola fitted with LED lighting. You can also enjoy the benefits of motorized retractable sun shades, and you can even integrate some patio fans into the design if that’s what you want.

Smart technology has also influenced pergola designs and options. You can use a voice-activated system to control the adjustment of the roof slats. There is even the option of using smart sensors to measure the weather and make automated adjustments to provide you with continuous protection.

If you don’t have an available power source nearby for your smart pergola you can also get solar panels that can be integrated into the design.

Great ways to create some natural shade 

Your new pergola will look even better with a bit of natural landscaping to make your backyard even more attractive and cooling.

Some plants excel in shaded areas and others need direct sunlight. It makes sense to do some research or talk to a garden plant supplier for guidance on the types of plants that would thrive in shaded or sunny areas.

Planting some new trees around your pergola won’t provide more shade instantly. New trees need time to grow, but some species grow quicker than others. Hybrid poplars are renowned for their quick growth. Some good trees to consider when landscaping your garden for shade would be the American sycamore, red maple, and paper birch.

If you decide to go for a traditional open pergola you could plant a vine. It will give you great coverage over your roof and provide a wonderful shady sanctuary that looks and feels amazingly natural.

Another option to consider would be climbing beans and peas. They are a mainstay of home vegetable gardens and they are great for vertical cultivation, which is what you want for your pergola.

If you are looking for more colorful planting options to enhance your pergola you could look at honeysuckle, clematis, or climbing roses.

These ideas for a pergola and some natural planting options should provide you with enough inspiration to be able to transform your backyard. Creating shade can be considered an important step in allowing you to spend more time outside, even when the sun is at its hottest.

Fitting a stunning pergola in your backyard is the first step in creating a cooling outdoor environment that will quickly become one of your favorite places to spend time in.

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