How to Cultivate Outdoor Shade and Cool Your Yard This Summer

Summer is on its way and it’s bringing scorching temps and intense sun with it. Is your outdoor living space prepared for the change in seasons? If you want to maximize your outside time this summer without suffering the consequences of the heat, then it’s time to plan for outdoor shade and comfort. 

How to Integrate Outdoor Shade Into Your Backyard 

When trying to beat the heat, the most important thing to integrate into your backyard living space design is outdoor shade. There are multiple ways to integrate shade into your existing design and the sky’s the limit. Here are some of the most popular ways to get the outdoor shade you need to still enjoy your yard this summer. 

Pool Houses

Pool houses offer a stylish and practical source of shade, providing a cool retreat from the summer heat. They enhance your outdoor living space with comfort and convenience, making your pool area more enjoyable and functional.


Awnings are attached to your home and stretch out into your yard or over your deck to give you outdoor shade. You’ll have tons of designs to match your existing aesthetic, and you can even install retractable awnings that can be pulled back in when you actually want some sun. 


Pergolas are a more permanent but very rewarding way to get the outdoor shade you crave in your backyard. Pergolas come in so many designs that it can be hard to choose – be sure to narrow down the aesthetic, flooring, and amount of shade you want before you start your build.

Sun Shades or Sails 

Sun shades and sails are somewhat similar to awnings but have a unique shape that can be more accommodating in small spaces. They’re minimalist and will fit into any design aesthetic, but are durable enough to give you the outdoor shade you need all summer. 

However, if green design is a little bit more your speed, we’ve got suggestions on how to integrate the right landscaping for maximized outdoor shade. 

What About Trees and Plants for Shade? 

Plants, trees, and shrubs are another excellent way to bring outdoor shade into your backyard space. Here are some of our favorite trees at Hometown Landscaping to consider for shade: 

Oak Trees

Oak trees grow quite large and can provide shade rather quickly. They can stretch up past 50 feet tall, and generally start providing shade at around five years of age. Further, oaks are hardy and tolerate both heat and cold well, and you’ll have beautiful foliage in the fall. 

Maple Trees

Maple trees also stretch up in terms of height, usually reaching 40 feet or taller, and will give you shade within five years. They’re low-maintenance options that can handle extreme temperatures and, like oaks, give you incredible foliage in the fall. 

Crab Apple Trees

If you want something a little smaller to meet your outdoor shade goals, Crab Apple trees are a great option. They typically don’t get any taller than 35 feet and are extremely hardy, even thriving in urban environments. They have beautiful, long-lasting blooms that span shades of pink, white, and red for a pop of color in your outdoor living space. 

Dogwood Trees

Dogwood trees are a great smaller option for your backyard living space, and they also have long-lasting blooms in shades of pink or white. Dogwood trees produce fruit that attracts pollinators (great for your garden) and won’t get larger than 35 feet tall. 

What Are the Best Plants for Shade?

If you’re uninterested in planting a tree in your backyard to achieve that outdoor shade, plants are also a great option. You can easily build a green canopy using a pergola, or build one using wire, guiding flowers, and vines, with branches to provide shade. Tall shrubs can produce shade when the sun is at an angle, and even a well-tended crop of tall sunflowers can give you some respite on a hot summer afternoon. 

Cool Off Your Outdoor Living Space Before Summer Arrives With Hometown Landscape 

Ready to prepare your yard for the summer sun? Let us help you get all the outdoor shade and more that you need. Contact Hometown Landscape today for a consultation.