Fall is here, with its crisp leaves and bold colors, a nip in the air and all those busy squirrels furiously gathering food for winter. Before you hibernate, take some time to enjoy the beauty and bounty of fall right from your own yard.
Here’s how you can accentuate all that Mother Nature has to offer this season, so you can get outside and take advantage of the joy it brings.
Light Up The Fire
What better time to gather around a crackling fire than on a chilly fall day? Summer usually gets all the credit for campfires, but fire is equally beautiful, and perhaps even more appreciated when it can serve double duty as a lovely focal point and a source of heat.
One way to add fire to your autumn space is with a fire pit. Fire pits come in myriad shapes and sizes. For small spaces, you may choose a mobile patio fire pit so you can reposition it as needed, or even store it away when it’s not in use.
For something more permanent, include a natural stone fire pit in your landscape design. It can be built on a small patio near your house, or on its own hardscape further out in the yard.
A fireplace is another option and can even do triple duty – not just as a focal point and source of heat, but as a cooking spot, too!
Bring your indoor lifestyle outdoors during fall by gathering friends and family around a bright, welcoming fire. It’s the perfect spot for conversation, storytelling, sharing a meal, and simply relaxing and enjoying the colors, sounds and textures of the season.
Pull Up A Chair
If you’re planning to spend time outdoors around a fire pit, enjoying a meal, or relaxing and unwinding, the importance of great seating can’t be overstated. If you’re fidgety and uncomfortable, you aren’t going to settle in for a fall evening around a fire pit with a glass of wine, or relax in your porch swing with a good book.
Seating should suit its purpose. For relaxing, choose comfortable options like deep Adirondack chairs or oversized chaises. Place a sectional around a fire pit or gather a few cozy armchairs in front of a fireplace.
It’s a great time of year to bring out the extra pillows and blankets, too. Don’t be afraid to pile your seating areas with comfy cushions and snuggly blankets and afghans. It will add to the ambiance and make sitting still on a cool day or evening much more comfortable.
Prepare For Storage
All those cushions and blankets, even the wood and tools for the fire, are going to need a home. And leaving them outdoors is sometimes not the best idea. The last thing you want is all your beautiful accessories getting soggy and moldy. But let’s face it – pulling all that stuff in and out can be a pain, too.
That’s why you need to plan storage options right into your landscape design. Storage doesn’t have to be an eyesore, either. Choose a charming, rustic shed to place beside a patio or seating area and it will be both part of your outdoor décor and a great place to toss everything you want to protect at the end of the night.
Storage can be built right into benches, too. That means your seating area can double as a cozy place to hang out, and a place to stow cushions when they’re not in use.
The more convenient you make it to store – and retrieve – the things that bring your fall space to life, the more likely you will be to make the most of them.
Let The Water Flow
A water feature is a great addition to your landscape any time of year, but it can be an especially welcome feature through fall and winter.
As greenery fades and flowers lose their blooms, your landscape may begin to look a bit bland. But with a water feature you’ll always have something visually captivating that adds a pleasant auditory dimension, too.
Ponds, fountains, patio water gardens, garden bubblers, waterfalls – the options are myriad. Water is an excellent focal point even as the rest of the landscape drifts off to sleep, and it will continue to attract wildlife and birds to your yard all year long. This keeps your landscape vibrant and alive, even during the darkest, most silent months.
If you’re lucky, your waterfall or bubbling feature will freeze over as temperatures drop into single digits. You’re sure to be delighted by the magical ice sculptures that form.
Brighten Your Nights
With fall comes less daylight and longer evenings. The darkness can begin to feel a bit endless, but there’s one surefire way to improve things: great outdoor lighting!
While lighting can enhance your experience and make your space more beautiful any time of the year, it is particularly inviting during fall when not only are nights longer but days can be drearier and there is less foliage to fill your view. Sometimes all you need is that little glow to boost your mood.
Lighting sets a tone, creates ambiance, and makes your space far more useable and enjoyable after sunset. There are so many options for lighting that you’re really only limited by your imagination. Some great choices include moonlighting, which means placing lights high up in trees to cast a glow that looks like that heavenly gem is shining down on you even on the darkest, cloudiest night.
Choose uplighting to create bold shadows and to highlight special features. Use spotlights to bathe the face of your house in a warm and welcoming glow. Add lanterns or string lights around and above a patio to complement your seating area with a cozy sparkle and shimmer.
Even when you’re inside your home, outdoor lighting can bring a sense of warmth and comfort to those chilly, dark evenings. And outdoors you’ll be able to enjoy your space in a whole new light – literally!
Include Seasonal Plantings And Décor
What’s an autumn landscape without boldly colored, fluffy-headed Chrysanthemums? And wouldn’t you miss a planter or basket full of colorful gourds and bright orange pumpkins if it wasn’t on your patio or porch?
Get into the spirit of the harvest season with all the accessories and plantings that make it so beautiful. There are plenty of flowers that will continue to bloom through fall, from marigolds to dahlias and nasturtium. There are other options for fall color, too. Think ornamental kale and cabbage in hues of deep green and royal purple, or sumac in its explosion of red, yellow and orange.
Fall is also a fantastic time of year for tall grasses. They’ll provide a privacy buffer as other plants begin to die off or hibernate for the season, and the sound of those fickle fall winds blowing through them will bring soothing, rustling whispers to your space.
There are so many reasons to love fall, and it starts right in your own yard. We’ve just scratched the surface of bringing autumn beauty to your landscape, so if you’re inspired and would like to talk about creating an outdoor space you can love and enjoy all year, contact us for a consultation. We’ll work with you to envision, plan, and design the perfect outdoor space for you, your family and your lifestyle.