Your yard is the presentation of your home. Landscaping with architecture is the perfect way to create a more pristine landscape. For some, it is a welcoming storefront, extension of a business or recreational space. Light and shade also play a role in how inviting an atmosphere feels within the surroundings.

On the earth, there is nothing more important than the sun. The sun warms the sea while its life-giving light embraces you with warmth and glory. It generates weather patterns, your sleep patterns —gives energy to plants, providing you with food and oxygen. The UV rays of this magnificent ball of fire helps your body make nutrients and take in minerals which is vital to your blood cells, bones, and immune system.

Measuring the amount of sun exposure to your home, landscape or garden before you consider your protective covering is crucial. It is proven where needful shade is provided people will stay outdoors for longer lengths of time. An outdoor living area is especially essential in America where people find it difficult be in the presence of nature to get their needed sunlight during the winter months.

winter pergola tv kit

The right amount of shade and sunlight throughout the day is not only good for the comfort of people, it also helps to keep plants healthy.  Some plant species for landscaping require long hours of direct sunlight to photosynthesize while other plant species thrive in partial to full shade. An outdoor living area with the right amount of shade-to-sun ratio will create the best outdoor living space for all hours of the day.

Design for Quality Shade

Shade shelters that are well-designed and correctly positioned provides protection where it’s desirable, at the right time of day and at the right time of year.

american flag pavilion

A shade shelter that is well-designed will ensure:

• The outdoor living area welcomes the user outside, everyday.

• It is comfortable, practical, aesthetically pleasing and environmentally friendly.

• A covering protects the users from direct and indirect sources of UV radiation — year round.

How Much Should You Shade?

swing arbor garden

Based on the attenuation of sunlight, coupled with shade density, there are four primary classes termed to describe shade. These are light shade, partial shade, full shade, and deep shade. A simple way to define sun to shade ratios is by comparing the quality of shade found in nature and earthy habitats.

  • Light shade is similar to a meadow with open trees along the edges providing up to 25% canopy. This creates an ideal environment for vegetation requiring several hours of natural sunlight.
pergola kit shade
table pergola attached
  • Partial shade — sometimes referred to as open shade — is comparative to a small, defoliated area receiving 50% canopy for at least half of the day.
  • Full shade is 85% protective coverage as found in forests is filtered with light throughout the day or as the sun tracks across the sky. Full shade is also called medium shade.
  • Deep shade or dense shade occurs in coniferous forests or where garden walls block the sun. Deep shade has a canopy of 100% protective coverage.
hot tub sauna cover pavilion

Architectural ShadeScape® Sizing For Shade

ShadeScape® for Light Shade

octagonal fire pit trellis

Trellises and Lattices can reflect personal style and inspire an outdoor space, create walls, walkways, borders, and boundaries. Natural timber is a fantastic substrate for plants, and vines over metal arbors or latticeworks, which can burn and freeze growing plants.

A trellis can add a new dimension to unique climbing vines, vegetables or vineyards as well as garden flowers. They are excellent for vertical gardening to keep vegetables and flowers off of the ground, or even to grow a vegetable garden in a limited space, or a nook in your backyard.

Light shade timber frame trellises provide an atmosphere to enjoy space, sunshine, and shade!


diy trellis plan with 40 ft privacy wall

Key Features

  • Usually Open With No Roof

  • Freestanding, Extension or Attached

  • Primarily Used for Boundaries & Walls

Architectural Landscaping Ideas for Light Shade
gate trellis plan
curved trellis diy plan

ShadeScape® for Partial Shade


Arbors provide partial shade and are an excellent way to accent a backyard living space. They are often used in conjunction with trellises and lattices to accent a walkway, hidden corner, or provide shade for a swing, or bench.

Timber arbors add a stunningly inviting feel to a garden. It is practical for hanging baskets, pots or growing boxes to facilitate a beautiful and inviting backyard the benefits of shade and sunlight.

arbor barbecue


Key Features

  • Open or Partially Covered Roof

  • Freestanding, Extension or Attached

  • Primarily Used for Pathways, Swings & Benches

Architectural Landscaping Ideas for Partial Shade
dfy or diy arbor plan
dfy or diy arbor plan
dfy or diy arbor plan

ShadeScape® for Full Shade

Pergolas fit the bill in the language of the shade linguists as “full” shade. They have filtered and dappled light. The roof is not fully covered. Full shade can also be referred to as medium shade.

The main purpose of a Pergola is to create an outdoor living space to allow the extension of the home outdoors. Usually, it is decorated and furnished creating an inviting spot where families enjoy spending time outside.

Pergolas are perfect for family events, social gatherings, romantic evenings, and general purpose entertaining. Pergolas are the most popular for expanding business spaces for outdoor dining and recreational purposes.

All pergola kits are designed to provide the perfect amount of shade and protection from the sun. 

family beneath pergola

Pergolas let people enjoy more fresh air, a peaceful breeze, and little gentle sunshine.

family on deck
trellis plan attached to pergola

Key Features

  • Partially Covered Roof

  • Freestanding, Extension or Attached

  • Primarily Used for Outdoor Living & Entertainment

Architectural Landscaping Ideas for Full Shade
schematic timber frame kit
diy pergola plan for deck

ShadeScape® for Deep Shade

With a fully covered roof, pavilions, gazebos, ramadas, and cabanas provide deep or as it is sometimes called dense shade.

Pavilions, Cabanas, Ramadas, and Gazebos provide complete overhead protection. The differences in these #OutdoorShadeSolutions are most often determined by the roof design.

  • Gazebos have their own natural charm and traditionally have a domed, covered roof along with an octagon or hexagon shape.
  • Ramadas key characteristic is its uniform pitched roof much like a 4-sided pyramid.
  • Any fully covered shelter for shade could be considered a pavilion.
watch football under cabana
  • Cabanas are classed so by its entertaining for a specific use.
cabana 16th birthday

Deep Shade Shelters allow families to spend a crisp winter evening toasting marshmallows, around an open fire, or getting the family together for a summer barbeque. With a completely covered roof, people can enjoy their backyard all year.

Pergola and pavilion plan

Key Features

  • Fully Covered Roof

  • Freestanding, Extension or Attached

  • Outdoor Living & Entertaining

Architectural Landscaping Ideas for Deep Shade
2 tiered pavilion hipped roof
diy pavilion plan with fascia

All Shade is NOT the Same.

The sun and the shade are a perfect pair, deep breathing energizing cool air while drinking in the pleasures of sunshine. However, just as the intensity of the sun differs as many factors come into play — not all shade is the same. Shade has atmospheric thermodynamics that greatly varies in its degree of relief from the sun. The type of material used to intercept the UV penetration is the key component to quality shade.

timber trees in forest

The best material to produce the most comfortable shade is timber. It is the only material that naturally regulates temperatures to cool off in the heat and warm up in the cold.

Timber shelters easily integrate into the biome of a surrounding landscape and are native to outdoor ecosystems.

Plan your landscape to make the most out of a backyard or business and enjoy sunshine and shade where and when it is needed most. From direct morning sun, where duration and intensity are moderate to full-blown sunlight, spending more time in the outdoors with your happy plants is made easy with a ShadeScape® shelter.

pergola privacy walls
pavilion deck shade

Get the Free Ultimate Pergola and Pavilion Guide

Get the Free Ultimate Pergola and Pavilion Guide