How to - Projects

Beat the heat with creative shade solutions

Karen Kirk
Photography by
Roger Yip

Provide shelter in the garden from the hot summer sun with these cool ideas

Instant canopy how-to

Step 1: Use 2.4-metre bamboo stakes about 2.5 centimetres in diameter (available at garden centres) to make the canopy frame. You’ll need eight stakes for a free-standing frame or just five if you anchor the frame to a shed wall (as was done here) or other structure. (We doubled up on the stakes for added strength.)

Step 2: Pound the stakes at least 15 centimetres into the ground, spacing them no more than 2.1 metres apart. It’s easier if you drive a metal spike into the ground first to make a hole for the bamboo stake. Consider the length of your fabric when determining the distance between stakes, as you’ll want the canopy to drape down at least 30 centimetres on the sides (as was done for this project).

Step 3: Fill any extra space in the holes around each stake with crushed gravel or stones for a tight fit.

Step 4: Slip four or five curtain rings with clips over each of the two side pieces. This makes it easy to attach and remove the canopy.

shade-solutions-canopyclips.jpgStep 5: With a partner (and standing on a ladder, if necessary), use medium gauge wire or rope to tie the cross pieces to the stakes at each corner on the top and no less than 2.1 metres from the ground.

Step 6: Clip fabric to rings as desired.

Step 7: Use tent stakes and rope to stabilize the structure.

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