Our deck gets sun from mid-morning until early evening during the summer months. While we love it, we do find it a bit too sunny at times. Plans call for a pergola someday, but in the meantime, we’ve been baking.
At a tag sale last year, we scored a large, very nice patio umbrella for a mere $3! Such a deal. Then it rained and rained and rained, and rained some more, and we never bothered to set it up. Being optimists, however, we decided we’d better set up the umbrella since surely we’ll be having a sunny, tomato growing summer this year. We had to buy a base, but at least it was on sale. We already had the table, a wedding gift from a friend. The imminent umbrella deployment prompted Dan to give the table a couple of coats of tung oil and it looks great.
We set the umbrella up yesterday, and we realized not only does it protect us from the sun, but when we had a passing sprinkle yesterday afternoon whilst enjoying a beer at the end of a long day of gardening, we stayed dry. I think this will make a great substitute until the pergola plan moves to the top of The List. Assuming it lasts that long!