While some of us love nothing better than baking in the sun, the rest of us prefer a cool spot where we can relax and enjoy the sunshine from a distance, preferably with an iced beverage and good book.
Overhead roofs and extendable awnings are great at providing shady spots in sun-trap gardens, but as the day progresses, youll find those sun-dial shadows moving. When it comes to creating shady spaces in those hard-to-shelter parts of your garden oasis, a good-quality umbrella is a must. Heres our handy guide on what to look for when it comes to shopping for patio umbrellas.
LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION
The size of the umbrella you need will depend on several factors. How much space are you working with? And where do you plan to plant your new patio umbrella? Be sure to measure other aerial objects it may sit next to, such as roofs, canopies and overhangs, to make sure your new patio furniture has adequate room when its in use and wont looked crammed in.
COME ON BABY, (DONT) LIGHT MY FIRE
Space on the ground is also important. You'll need to take particular care not to place your new umbrealla too close to any pre-existing outdoor cooking equipment into account; planting an umbrella near a grill, a fire pit or outdoor kitchen is definitely not a good idea, for obvious reasons.
PRIME YOUR TAPE MEASURE
Are you going for a stand-alone brolly, or an umbrella thatll cover your dining table? If its the latter, you should be aiming for an umbrella that will extend over your table by 2 feet on each side, providing shade for those seated around the table, as well as the food and beverages atop it.
ITS ALL ABOUT THAT BASE
Patio umbrellas come in different sizes, styles, weights, shapes and forms, but the one thing they all rely on is a firm foundation. If you're in the market for a table umbrella, a base that is about 40-60 lbs will do the trick nicely. For a free-standing umbrella, go with a heavier base 90 lbs is a good minimum to work upwards from.
CLIP ME UP, BEFORE YOU GO, GIRL
Umbrella Clips are used to attach the umbrella fabric to its frame. Occasionally, a clip may rust, discolour, or pop off and disappear. We recommend having a handful of spare clips on hand, in your patio repair kit, for a quick and easy fix. Shop these here.