Living in Florida means that we don’t have to contend with the nasty winters that our friends in more northern regions face, but it also means that when it’s hot in the summertime, it’s hot. While it’s wonderful to live in such a temperate climate, sometimes you just need a moment to cool down! If your garden and yard lack shade, you might be missing out on some beautiful opportunities to enjoy all that a Florida summer offers. These are some of our favorite ways to create shade in the garden so you can get back to soaking in all of those lovely summer vibes without baking in the process.
Living Shade Screens
One of our absolute favorite places to sit in the summer is under our lattice canopy in the garden. You can utilize gorgeous vining plants to create shade and a beautiful ambiance with dreamy greenery, create a full-on canopy so that your vining plants essentially become a roof, or create living walls by training vining plants to climb a trellis or two. Trees are another great way to create shade and stay cool in your yard and garden, but they will take much longer to establish themselves than these vining plants.
Vining Plants for Your Florida Garden
Bougainvillea: Living in Florida, you will be treated to beautiful blooms year-round if you plant this tropical vining beauty. They love to grow in full sun for most of the day, so they are perfect for that canopy plan! If your Bougainvillea doesn’t get at least six hours of sunlight in a day, its blooms won’t be quite as vibrant, so be sure to plant it in a sunny spot.
Perennial Morning Glory: These gorgeous hardy vines can grow up to 15 feet in length. They are aptly named as their beautiful blooms only open for a few hours in the morning and then welcome a whole new bloom the next day. Still, their lush foliage will continue to provide plenty of shade once the blooms close up shop for the day!
Florida Flame Vine: Clearly, an excellent choice for any Florida garden. While it won’t provide a ton of color in the summer, this flowering woody vine’s foliage will still offer plenty of shade until its dense, orange clusters of flowers dazzle you from fall until spring. It will require some maintenance; the Florida Flame Vine can spread like wildfire if left unattended.
Structures to Stay Cool In The Summer Garden
Aside from living shade screens, you can also create shade in the garden by installing either built shade structures or mechanical shade structures.
One of the simplest and most affordable ways to shade your garden or patio is to install a sail shade. You can DIY one yourself or pick one up at the local hardware store or garden center. They consist of a triangular piece of fabric with eyelets punched in each corner. Using strong rope or twine, secure the shade to the side of your house, nearby trees, or poles.
Install A Pergola or Pavilion
Pergolas are lovely because they offer a little shade without completely blocking the summer sun. Pavilions, on the other hand, will provide you with full shade since they have a completely covered roof. Pavilions are great options for building an outdoor barbeque area that’s completely in the shade!
Hang Outdoor Curtains
If you decide to install a pergola, you can create a little more protection from the summer sunshine in your garden by adding some outdoor curtains. You can turn plenty of materials like canvas tarps into stylish yet functional (i.e., weatherproof) outdoor curtains to add a little something extra to your outdoor space.
Mechanical Shade Structures
From something as simple as an umbrella, which you can easily move around your yard, to installing a full-on retractable sun canopy, mechanical shade structures take a fair bit of construction know-how, but they’re lovely once installed! Instead of blocking out all of the sun’s light, they simply cool things down while still keeping it light and bright underneath their cover.
We wouldn’t trade our summers in the garden in Florida for anything, and neither should you! With the right plant choices and structures in place, you can stay cool even on the hottest of days. Stop by Living Color Garden Center to check out our latest selection of sun-loving plants, garden supplies, and accessories!