Create a Shady Retreat

Beat the heat this summer with a shady retreat. We'll show you a variety of ideas so you can plan your own personal getaway.

Make it Easy

Enjoy a shady retreat in any corner of your yard (at any time) with a simple patio umbrella. An umbrella, table, and chairs combine to create a miniature outdoor room that you can enjoy anywhere.

Add Vines

Vines such as wisteria, trumpet vine, and grapes, are perfect for creating shade, even in the sunniest spot. Let them ramble over a pergola to create a soft, filtered shade -- and beautifully elegant garden room.

Use Structures

If a house, garage, or other structure casts too much shade in your yard for you to grow grass, create a shady haven instead. Instead of a scraggly side yard, these homeowners created a charming little patio flanked with Annabelle hydrangeas.

Keep it Simple

Although a pergola or patio makes a stunning presentation, you can create a spot that's just as personal, without spending a ton of cash. Here, a comfy chair tucked among trees and flowering shrubs, offers a perfect place to escape the heat with a good book or glass of lemonade.

Add Water

Any spot will instantly become more relaxing with the sound of water. Whether you have a big water feature or a simple fountain like this, water is the perfect way to enhance any outdoor space.

Make a Secret Getaway

Setting a bench among the trees is a great way to cool off. Make your space even more intimate and private by tucking the bench underneath a rustic pergola, such as the one here. Add another layer of privacy by covering your pergola with shade-tolerant vines such as Virginia creeper, climbing hydrangea, or sweet autumn clematis.

Play with Color

We usually think of shady retreats as being green and boring. But that doesn't have to be the case. Here, a simple teak bench offers a great place to relax. Colorful pillows covered in outdoor-friendly fabric add a dose of festive color.

Be Creative

You don't need to carve out a spot in your yard for a shady retreat. Here, an attractive garden path combines with a vine-covered pergola for a perfect multipurpose getaway.

Create Whimsy

Here's another great way to add interest to an area of your yard where your lawn just won't grow: A small brick patio is flanked by a fence and dramatically shaped shade-tolerant shrubs.

Utilize a Privacy Fence

Shady doesn't always mean private -- so if you want your relaxing retreat safely out of view, try a privacy fence. In addition to blocking the view, the fence will give your getaway a sense of enclosure.

Try a Gazebo

This simple gazebo feels like it's in the middle of the woods -- even though it's in a tree-filled backyard just south of Boston. A structure like this makes a perfect, private getaway to enjoy some time for yourself -- or to host a small group of close friends.

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