Fall officially arrived a few days ago. Around here it really feels like fall, with daytime temperatures in the low 70’s and overnight temperatures in the low 50’s, but I’m pretty sure summer won’t give up its last dying breath, yet. The trees haven’t started to turn, but the days are definitely shorter. Still, I feel certain we haven’t yet exhausted our share of hot, sunny days this year.
So I’ll continue to enjoy the fact that I have shade on my back patio in the evening. I’ll leave my lounge chair out a bit longer so that I can relax with my feet up as I soak up some afternoon sun, before I store it away for the winter. But I know that chilly days are just around the corner, so I need to rethink my favorite space, to prepare it for the coming winter.
Maybe you can’t use your patio all year long. Maybe you get too much sleet, and rain, and snow to spend as much time as you would like outside. But, you can make a few changes and enjoy outdoor living well past summer.
Here are a few tried and true tips.
1. Change your color scheme. Your annuals are probably starting to look a little shabby, or leggy, or just plain dried out. Trade out your potted geraniums and petunias for some vibrant gold, copper, russet, or aubergine mums for fall. Deep, earthy colors will reflect the warmth of the slanting, glowing light of the afternoon sun.
2. Break out the heaters. Add a halogen or propane heater to your deck or patio. A freestanding halogen heater running on standard electric current can make your patio area much more comfortable during cooler weather, and a propane tabletop heater is perfect for cozying up around a bowl of chili.
3. Throw on some blankets. Drape a few warm and cozy lapghans, throws, or lap quilts on your outdoor patio furniture when you have guests over. Or keep them inside within quick reach for your own enjoyment. Colorful patterns and designs will add welcoming charm to your autumn patio and invite you and your friends to enjoy a mug of spiced cider wrapped in their comfort.
4. Light the fire. Patio fireplaces, fire tables, and fire pits are a great way to add warmth and fun to your outdoor space. Break out the hot chocolate and marshmallows. Roast hot dogs over an open flame or make s’mores to reward yourself for an afternoon of raking leaves.
It’s your home, and your patio, porch or deck. Make the most of it for as long as you can this fall. Enjoy the crisp evenings, the waning sun, and look forward to spring. It’ll be here before you know it.