Soft, cool shade
There are a google images out there on every media platform which show the latest trends in slick, bright gardens. Think pools with dazzling white walls and cabanas (more under-roof space), amazing alfresco areas with second kitchens (oh hang on, even more under-roof space), gazebos in the garden (you guessed it...). These spaces have their place, and yes, they do look amaaaazing, but... Maybe its time to rethink, especially in the environment that we live in (Perth, Western Australia, that is usually baking at about this time though not sure what is happening this summer. Seriously not complaining!). I know that I go on about trees to anyone who will listen, but they make sense. My little space is full of trees which are carefully chosen (decidious in the right spot), carefully located (sun angles are super important) and carefully maintained.
The result is that the garden looks and feels cool, provides interest through colour and endlessly changing shadows, and there is a steady stream of native birds moving through the garden. And the last bonus? That if you are prepared to be a bit patient, it costs a fraction of the high end 'shade' structures.
So go for it. Plant a tree (or three).