Bright and sunny backyards are great when it's time to go swimming or take a run through the sprinkler, but not so much when it's time to enjoy a relaxing book and a cold iced tea. You can introduce shade to your backyard landscape, either by growing plants or installing a structure, or a combination of the two.
A pergola is a large slatted wooden structure that provides minimal shade unless it's covered with a thick, growing vine. This is a two-part project that first involves installing the pergola, then training a vine to grow up the side and over the roof of the pergola. Although the pergola might take only a day to erect, the vines will need at least a growing season. For fast results, cover your pergola with a fast-growing vine. Wisteria is extremely vigorous, but also hearty and heavy. Use wisteria only on a very sturdy pergola. For a lighter vine, try a morning glory.
You can buy container trees pre-grown, so this is a really fast natural fix. As the trees grow, they'll provide more shade. This is a good solution if your biggest problem is horizontal light streaming in during the early morning hours or at dusk. If you're seeking overhead shade, this may not be the best solution for you.
These canvas covers are inexpensive and relatively easy to install. Simply buy a shade that's the right color for your landscaping and cover the space that you want to shade by hanging the sail above it. You may need to install eyelet screws on the surrounding structures if you don't have something already in place where the sail can be attached.
Bamboo is rated by the Conservation Institute as one of the top 10 fastest growing trees on the planet, so if you're seeking a quick and natural solution to your problem, a wall of bamboo is a good choice for you. Bamboo can also grow very tall (up to 30 feet, depending on the type of bamboo and the hardiness zone), which makes it an very effective shade plant for blocking horizontal light. Certain types of bamboo can spread very quickly indeed, and that can make it time consuming to control. If you don't want to commit to a lot of maintenance, plant your bamboo in a long, narrow container. This will control the growth habit while also ensuring that it grows in a long, narrow wall shape.
For more information, contact a landscaping company like Landscape Specialists of Wisconsin.