As a garden designer, creating shade is a crucial element of Peter’s work. Here are his tips for creating natural shade:

What shade trees would you recommend near a house?

I like to use medium-sized trees near the home for shade. The Lagerstroemia indica ‘Indian Summer’ range is a deciduous tree that provides dappled shade in summer, colourful flowers in March and brilliant autumn foliage. For larger gardens, I like Chinese elm (Ulmus parvifolia). For rural outdoor areas, the shade of a pin oak tree (Quercus palustris) is a welcome respite.

What’s a good tree to have even closer to the home?

Olive trees are a good-sized evergreen tree with attractive grey-green foliage. They provide great shade and the roots are not destructive.

What’s a common mistake when it comes to plantings and shade?

When people plant a large tree thinking it will take forever to cast shade. Plants grow quickly with just heat and moisture!

What are some clever tricks for creating shade in a backyard?

Our house orientates west/east, so the morning and afternoon sun is very harsh. The awnings on the west and east facades of the house are the best money we spent when renovating our home. It means the house temperature remains constant and we have
two extra rooms outside.