Garden umbrellas for blocking sun and wind
A perfect, pretty garden parasol will provide shade and comfort in your backyard
If you want to spend time lounging around or entertaining outdoors during the summer months, a decent garden parasol is a must.
A parasol will help shield you from the sun's harmful rays whilst providing a degree of rain protection should the weather unexpectedly take a turn for the worse.
And these days, the choices are superb, from sophisticated, to bohemian, tropical to modern. There’s a garden parasol for every kind of garden space.
Some stand alone as a freestanding parasol or come with their own base, while some are designed to slot into a garden table.
There are a bewildering amount of parasols on the market to choose from, so here’s a few pointers on how to make the right choice to suit your garden or outdoor space.
A cantilever parasol is
Charles Bentley Hanging
where the canopy is suspended from a long beam attached to the main pole which is offset rather than central. This type of parasol will generally afford more space underneath, but requires a heavy base to counterbalance the outstretched canopy.
Size up your space and intended use before taking the plunge. There’s no point buying a huge, parachutesized parasol if you’ve only got a small patio to cover. Similarly, an undersized canopy will be no use for entertaining guests alfresco, especially if the weather takes a turn for the worse.
You’ll find that most parasols are at the very least showerproof, which means that you should be able to sit relatively happily under one in light rain.
A wipe down with a wet cloth should see off most stains.
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Charles Bentley cantilever parasols tend to sell out each summer, being - as they are - some of the best on the market, and very reasonably priced. This hanging umbrella makes a great alternative to a more traditional parasol. Free-standing, you can place where you want in the garden so the canopy can hang atop a BBQ or hot tub.
Hanway Garden Parasol
A fabulously chic all-in-one option if you don’t have a garden table but want somewhere to place that all important summer drink as you laze.
With a stylish glass and wicker table forming the parasol base, it will stand-alone. The black canopy is both striking and ideal for warding off UV rays - a modern looking option.
Geisha Garden Parasol
So elegant: this garden umbrella is modelled on traditional Japanese geisha parasols, and captures their serene beauty. Available in five colours, it’s canopy is stretched across 24 fibreglass ribs, to give it the classical, beautiful form.
But besides looking good, this umbrella performs pretty well.
3m Cantilever Parasol
There’s very little to quibble with with the Anthracite Parasol. With a 3 metre wide circumference, it offers a wide circle of shade. A wind outlet in the canopy prevents the cantilever parasol from being buffeted about - notoriously an issue with these models. The base is included with the unit, and ensures the parasol itself is sturdy.
John Lewis Metal Pole
Conduct shady business on a budget with this neat, stylish parasol. A shade under fifty pounds buys you a water resistant canopy providing 2.2m of tilting, weather repelling shelter with a UV 50+ rating. This Sunshade sports a wind-up crank handle for swift operation, with its canopy available in either oyster or grey shades.