Buyers Guide to Garden Parasols

What do you use a garden parasol for?

A garden parasol is a versatile outdoor accessory designed to provide shade and protection from the sun’s rays – or the occasional summer shower! It’s an essential element for creating a comfortable and shaded space in your garden, patio, or outdoor area, allowing you to relax, dine, or entertain in cool and sheltered surroundings.

What are the benefits of a parasol?

The benefits of a parasol extend beyond simple sun protection. These versatile outdoor umbrellas enhance your outdoor experience by creating a comfortable and inviting environment. They safeguard against harmful UV rays, reduce glare, and add a touch of elegance to your outdoor space, making them an indispensable part of your garden decor.

How do I choose a parasol?

Choosing the right parasol involves considering factors like size, type, and material. Assess your outdoor space, purpose, and personal preferences to determine the optimal style and size that complements your setting. Look for durable materials and features such as tilt and rotation for enhanced adaptability.

Garden Parasol Buyers Guide
Garden Parasol Buyers Guide

What should I look for in a parasol?

When selecting a parasol, prioritise features such as a sturdy frame, UV-resistant canopy material, and an adjustable design. Assess the overall build quality, wind resistance, and ease of use to ensure your parasol meets both functional and durability requirements.

What size parasol should I buy?

Selecting the appropriate size for your parasol is crucial. Evaluate your outdoor space and intended use—whether for dining, lounging, or entertaining—to determine the ideal size that provides ample shade without overpowering the area. There are usually 3 shapes for a garden canopy including round, square and rectangle. We recommend matching the canopy with the shape of your table, with the canopy diameter slightly larger than the table.

What material is a parasol made from?

Parasols are comprised of 3 distinct parts – the base, the frame and the canopy. The base is usually made of concrete, granite, plastic or steel. The pole and frame are often made with wood, aluminium or stainless steel, and lastly, the canopy itself is made from fabrics such as polyester, acrylic or vinyl.

Garden Parasol Buyers Guide
Garden Parasol Buyers Guide

What are the different types of parasols?

Explore various types of parasols, including cantilever parasols for flexible shade, traditional centre pole parasols for a classic look, and market parasols for portability. Each type caters to different needs and aesthetics, allowing you to choose based on your specific preferences.

  • Freestanding Parasols are the most common type and resemble a very large umbrella. It has a pole in the centre of the canopy and usually slots through the middle of a table into a base below.
  • Cantilever Parasols (often called overhanging parasols) have a side pole to allow a space underneath. They have a more luxurious aspect but they require a heavier base and they are more expensive than the free-standing models.
  • Tilting Parasols are similar to the free-standing but are usually operated with a crank handle and winch to allow for the opening and tilting of the canopy.
  • Wall Mounted Parasols are designed for small gardens or even balconies, as they can be affixed to the wall and adjusted for the required shade using the rotating bracket and mobile arm.

What should I look for in a parasol canopy?

A high-quality parasol canopy should be made from UV-resistant and waterproof materials for durability. Vinyl and acrylic are more expensive options due to their resistance and how well they repel water. Polyester is a cheaper type of fabric, fading faster than the others if not protected with a cover, but still waterproof and wind-resistant.

Is steel, aluminium, or wood better for a parasol?

The choice between steel, aluminium, or wood for your parasol frame depends on your priorities. Steel offers robustness, aluminium provides a lightweight option, and wood adds a classic and natural touch. Consider factors like weight, durability, and style when making your selection.

Think about Parasol accessories:

There are many different accessories that you can choose when purchasing a garden parasol. These can include parasol heaters, LED lighting, portable speakers, and even things such as insect curtains and mist cooling systems. It is worth adding a protective cover to your list as it will greatly extend the life of your parasol, as it will protect against sun damage, water damage or stains from droppings. It will also protect the frame from scratches and things getting trapped under the canopy.

If you’re looking to buy a parasol for your garden or you have any questions about our range of garden parasols, simply pop in store at Holt Garden Centre or contact us. One of our friendly team will be happy to help and give you advice about choosing the right product.

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