A backyard of a suburban USA home with a deck and pergola, aerial view.

Summer is the season for outdoor fun, but no matter how eager you are to stay outside, sometimes you just cannot stand the heat, and it seems like there is no way to cool down. Recent heatwaves across Europe perfectly illustrated just how unprepared many were for the extremes that are, seemingly, becoming commonplace. If you are interested in finding practical ways to make your backyard more pleasant during those scorching summer days, we’ve explored a few ideas which you can implement and make your backyard experience more bearable.

Create Natural Shade

Creating natural shade is one of the most efficient ways to cool down an outdoor area and make it more pleasant during summertime. Of course, there are many ways to create shade in your backyard, and the final decision will depend on your taste and budget. Umbrellas are by far the simplest and most affordable option you can use, and you can even get practical stand-alone variants you can easily move around. However, if you want to add shade and add decorative elements at the same time, you should consider getting a pergola or a gazebo. Since pergolas are usually not entirely covered, you can find a nice piece of fabric and use it to cover the top which will help create a bigger shade area for you to enjoy.


Include Water Elements

Adding water elements to your backyard can reward you with multiple benefits. First and foremost, the presence of pools, fountains, or ponds will bring more moisture to the air and the temperature will be reduced by several degrees through evaporation. Secondly, a swimming pool, for example, can provide you and your family with a ton of fun activities to do. And for the simplest of solutions, especially if there are kids involved, you can also add a couple of sprinklers around the yard and create a mobile water feature that will keep the young ones cool and occupied.

Pick Your Furniture Wisely

Although it may not seem so, the furniture you include in the backyard can have a great impact on how cool the area feels. If you decide to spice up the area with some new furniture, make sure you pick items made of materials that do not retain heat. For example, wood and wicker are some of the best choices for this purpose, as long as you stick to the wood that was properly treated for outdoor use. Metal, on the other hand, retains heat whenever it’s exposed to the sun, which increases the air temperature and also makes it pretty uncomfortable to sit on. However, if you are really into metal furniture, then try to keep it under a canopy so it gets no direct exposure to the sun.

Sprinkle Paved Surfaces

If the area around your pool or any other paved surface tends to get too hot in the sun, you can significantly reduce its temperature if you strategically place irrigation heads that will be used to sprinkle the heated parts of the backyard. Even if this particular method is not an option in your outdoor space, you can still cool it down by hosing the area down. This technique can be useful if you’re about to host a gathering in the yard and the heat is unbearable. Also, you can help the surfaces remain cooler by choosing more light-coloured materials since the darker ones absorb more heat and tend to retain it for a longer time.

Add More Plants

Planting trees, bushes, or any other type of greenery will help cool the area down. All kinds of plants, including decorative flowers, affect the soil by retaining moisture in it, which is a process that then adds more moisture to the air, making it fresher and chillier. Of course, we also can’t forget the addition of trees, possibly the best natural shade you can have in your backyard (space permitting, of course). Oak, white birch, elm, maple, and poplar trees are some of the best shade providers you can find. If you decide to plant more trees, you are also making an environmentally-friendly decision since they will also absorb air pollution.

Install Fans

Installing outdoor fans can be a great decision that will provide you with instant relief during those especially hot days. The fans simply create a cooling sensation by moving the air around. Today, there are many options to choose from, including deck fans, ceiling fans, and umbrella fans, and before you choose one, make sure you’ve found a product that is designed for outdoor use. Such products are usually referred to as damp-rated fans, and you can also look into wet-rated fans if you are planning to have them exposed to rain.

Everybody loves those warm summer days that invite us to leave our homes and spend more time outdoors, but recent global climate events have managed to push temperatures to record levels and made going outside far less appealing. Fortunately, as we discussed above, there are a number of solutions available that can help make those days much more bearable. By implementing these, you’ll be ensuring that you and your loved ones can still enjoy spending your summers outside, in your personal backyard oasis.

Apart from this if you are interested to know aboutHow to Keep Your Backyard Cool in the Summertimethen visit our backyard category.