A little sunshine on your face feels amazing, but it’s important to avoid the sun’s burning rays and all the health issues that can ensue. Here are three easy ways to create shade in your backyard.

BUY IT: Install a large umbrella on your deck. It helps create a cozy atmosphere while it protects you from the sun. Find one that can be tipped and turned to block the sun throughout the day. Fasten the umbrella to a solid structure or the floor, and always close it when it is raining or windy. Alternatively, install a manual or electric retractable awning that lets you decide when to block the sun or welcome the rays. These products are available at most home stores. Match the awning material to your outdoor style whether it’s an acrylic fabric or canvas. Both an umbrella and awning provide protection when it’s raining too!

BUILD IT: A pergola in the backyard covered with luxurious vines and filled with an abundance of plants in containers blends into the landscape – and provides shade. By definition, a pergola is open on two sides and is topped by girders and cross beams that create an open lattice. You could also construct a gazebo on a portion of your deck so you have somewhere to dine outdoors.

PLANT IT: Vines are fast growing but you do need a structure to support them. There are many different types of shade trees too that will serve you well for years to come. In general, shade trees are large with spreading canopies. They not only protect people from the sun but they can reduce the energy needed to cool a home in the summer. Some of the most popular shade trees in temperate countries are oaks, maples, ashes, lindens and elms. Visit a nearby garden centre for your local options.