Cozy at Home · Garden · Home Decor

Five Smart Ways to Extend The Season In Your Outdoor Living Space

For our family, Summer 2020 has become The Year of the Patio. Any socializing we have done, even with family, has been in our outdoor space to minimize the risk of covid infection for our son with Down Syndrome. In a lot of ways, its been a fun year of discovering the birds, plants, and animals that inhabit our backyard and the simple pleasures of the sunshine and fresh air. But now that the season is coming to an end, we, like many others, are wondering how we can maximize our time in our outdoor space and make it more usable into the fall.

Here are a few ways to make your deck, patio, or backyard space more functional in cooler weather so you can continue to get as much use out of it as possible.

  1. Upgrade outdoor lighting.

As the days grow shorter and shorter, I’ve enjoyed all the lighting we have on our patio. We have two sets of vintage-style string lights running along the pergola and amber glass lanterns in the garden and along the house. All this lighting provides enough illumination to comfortably socialize even when night falls. Candle lanterns are a great alternative for portable lighting.

2. Add an outdoor heat feature

Consider adding a source of heat to your outdoor space. This could be extremely simple, like a firepit built from landscape stones, or it could be extremely elaborate, like a whole outdoor fireplace. A nice cozy, warm spot will extend your backyard usability into the autumn months. Right now, we have a small portable firepit that gives us a little extra warmth on a chilly night. A fire table with a seating area would be a terrific addition!

This set is rated five stars on Amazon and comes with the fire table

3. Add comfortable furniture

An outdoor sofa with plenty of space offers lots of options for outdoor enjoyment. This patio features an outdoor coffee table to enjoy a hot beverage and snack or just put your feet up and enjoy nature.

4. Add a great outdoor cooking option

When you have a terrific outdoor cooking area, spending time out in the fresh air into the fall months is a lot more fun. Imagine taking a few steps outside your back door and cooking up something delicious on an outdoor griddle! My young adult kids recently purchased this amazing Cuisinart grill and have been raving about it ever since!

5. Bring out the blankets and pillows

When the weather turns chilly, make sure to have plenty of blankets on hand for outdoor get-togethers. An outdoor storage all-weather wicker storage chest for the patio is a great solution. We always have some wool blankets like this beauty from Pendleton wool around in case the weather suddenly gets cooler.

The weather so far this fall has favored us, and last night we were still cooking and eating outside on the patio at the very end of September. Let’s hope it continues for awhile!

Have a beautiful day and enjoy the nice weather as long as you can! 🙂

Garden

Still Going Strong: 10 Late Season Perennials To Keep Your Garden Blooming Into September

Perennial plants and shrubs provide the backbone of the ornamental garden. By late summer, most of us notice our flower beds starting to look a little worn out, tired, and faded. With some advance planning, you can ensure your garden will still be putting on a brilliant display, even while the air gets cooler and autumn approaches. Here are ten beautiful and hardy perennials that will still be chugging along, even at the beginning of September.

These plants are still looking good in September.
  1. Hydrangea

Hydrangeas provide a striking accent in the garden from mid-summer on. I love hydrangeas and their beautiful and dramatic large bloom clusters. The mid-summer varieties will still be holding blooms in September, though most will be twinged with green by now. I have one blue and pink variety ‘Endless Summer” that is still blooming true to color. The late-blooming paniculata types are still in their prime and provide a great option for end-of-summer blooms. 

2. Black-Eyed Susan

These vibrant yellow, daisy-like flowers start blooming late in the Summer and right through September. Their beautiful, rich fall color makes a gorgeous garden display or arrangement. 

3. Hosta

I love this hosta. The original plant came from my late grandmother’s yard, and has formed a big gorgeous clump of lush foliage at the corner of my shady garden. We enjoy the foliage all season, then late in August, these fantastic, lily-like blooms appear. 

4. Cinnamon Fern

This tall, striking fern looks great in my garden this time of year, even as many of my other ferns have browned in the late Summer months. This focal point just keeps getting better and better as the season goes on. 

5. Knockout Roses

After a huge display early in the year, the knockout roses have continued to produce to a slightly lesser extent throughout the whole growing season. As I look at my garden in September, I still enjoy a large number of these vibrant and prolific rebloomers. 

6. Day Lily

Will the daylilies never quit? Each blossom lasts for only one day, yet they keep going. It’s such a treat to peek into the garden corner and see more of these pretty blooms each day.

7. Butterfly Bush, a tall perennial that appears more like a shrub, produces its best blooms late in the season. With an appearance similar to lilac, this beautiful flower continues to draw in all kinds of butterflies and hummingbirds.

8. Japanese Anemone

Delicate-looking Japanese Anemone or windflower is really just getting started this time of year. I planted a couple of anemones a few years ago and am still surprised when I look at the fence row and see these tall, lovely, long-stemmed beauties making their late-Summer appearance.

9. False Sunflower

This tall, cheerful, easygoing perennial blooms right on into early fall. I am trying these for the first time, and have them in a container with other colorful late-blooming flowers. So far I’m loving the combination.

10. Lamb’s ear

Lamb’s ears are such a fun little plant to grow! With their thick, fuzzy, silvery foliage, they are very on-trend in arrangements and bouquets right now too. I have had them in my garden for years. They are reliable, easy to grow, and provide a long season of garden interest.

I love savoring beautiful garden blooms as long as possible. How about you?

Have an amazing day, and enjoy your garden! 🙂