Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Wanted: Shade in the Backyard

Yeah, no tree, no shade.

Actually , that's not true... we do get shade in the backyard, all of it (drumroll, please...) in the garden. The concrete slab on the back of the house gets almost no shade from 1PM until 7PM. It makes it really uncomfortable to sit out and have lunch on the patio while watching the birds... and the neighbor's cats slip under the fence to chase the birds.

In fact, we had a couple over just this past weekend and we ended up standing i the breezeway to get out of the sun. That's no good. So our friend, Donna, suggested one of those canopy shade sails.

Ok, I nodded my head knowingly and thought to myself, "self, what the hell is a shade sail?"

Well, here's a shade sail:

The idea is grand, a tethered non-permanent canopy, that comes in various sizes and shapes, some companies offer custom sizes even.

These guys even sell the fabric itself in 6 foot widths for only $2.50/linear foot:


I'm not above making my own shade, but DH wants to buy it pre-made and save the fuss and effort.

The problem with the premade/grommetted triangles is that they don't offer custom sizes within a decent price range (A small shade umbrella will only cost $90), so this is the competition in my mind, and I'm sorry, but I just can't see this massive yard thong out there. I just can't do it.

In order to discourage the yard thong, I did the only thing I know how. SHOW how weird it would look and figure out a way to prove it won't fit/look right/offer enough shade.

So, DH settles on him wanting a 12 x 12 x 12 equilateral triangle shade. The only way I know how to make this work is to actually try to suspend the triangle (sans fabric) and see how it looks and what shade it would offer.

So I mark off some string, every 5 feet it gets a dot, so we can get better measurements and an idea of size in an odd 3 dimensional space.

Since the triangle wouldn't necessarily have to be actually tied to anything but a rope/bungee, we've got a lot of flexibility as to where it could be placed.

We started with one backbone string going from the second story window hinge down to a 4x4 garden fence post, then tied a 24 foot string with 2 tight loops [(2) 12' lengths] onto the backbone length, and a small loop halfway along the 24' length, and tied another string to the mid-line loop to pull on and form a triangle.

Then we could adjust the whole geometry along the backbone to see where it would fit best (noting the markings along the backbone to keep the 2 loops separated by a general 12 feet.) and offer the most shade.

After a lot of quibbling, adjusting, remeasuring, and knot tying, I think we've decided on the 12 x 15 rectangle instead. >;-)

Sometimes it takes a lot of work to convince your other half that he was right all along, he just didn't know it yet.

Death to the Yard Thong, may it rest in pieces.

1 comment:

DH said...

I was hoping you'd do the Brazilian Wax to the patio.