How to stabilise a garden umbrella

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Whether you're entertaining guests or enjoying a bit of "me time" outdoors, sitting in your garden is a simple way to enjoy your outdoor space. While your flowers may prefer full sun, it's important to protect yourself from harmful UV rays. Garden umbrellas shield you from the sun and are easy to set up. They're top-heavy, so they require an umbrella stand to keep them stable. You can create your own stand or buy one at the garden centre.

Umbrella stand selection

Browse your options before deciding if you will buy an umbrella base or make your own. Look online and visit a garden centre. Some umbrella stands double as planters, while others are designed to match a table top. If you decide to make your own, reviewing the types available may give you a few creative ideas.

Measure the height and diameter of your umbrella.

Buy an umbrella stand that is heavy and wide enough to hold your umbrella securely. Read the product description before purchasing a base to ensure that it's a proper fit. For instance, a 35 cm (16 inch) square steel umbrella stand that weighs 8.6 kg (19 lbs) will support an umbrella with a diameter of 1.8 metres (6 feet). A 60 cm (24 inch) square steel base weighing 27 kg (60 lbs) will support an umbrella that measures up to 3.3 metres (11 feet) in diameter. Umbrella stands range in weight from 18 to 57 kg (40 to 125 lbs).

Follow the manufacturer's instructions to put the stand together. Some plastic stands need to be filled with water or sand to make them heavy enough to hold the umbrella.

Position the stand where you want it in your garden and insert the closed umbrella.

Make your own umbrella base

Look around in your shed for empty containers, buckets, metal pails or spare wood. The wider and heavier you can make your stand, the more stable it will be. Refer to the product description of a commercial stand that is comparable to the one you are making to ensure its stability. If you're filling a plastic bucket with concrete.

Measure the diameter of the umbrella pole.

Go to the DIY shop and ask for a piece of PVC pipe large enough to serve as a sleeve for the pole.

Ask a friend to hold the pipe so it stands upright in the centre of your container. The top of the pipe should extend 5 to 7.5 cm (2 to 3 inches) beyond the top of the container.

Fill about three-quarters of the container with sand or gravel. If you prefer to use concrete, you may only need to fill the container halfway as concrete is heavier.

Insert the umbrella into the stand by sliding the pole into the pipe, and open it slowly.

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