Embracing Autumn: Extend Outdoor Living in New Hampshire
If there’s one thing New Englanders know, it’s how to get the most out of any weather, maximizing summer and fall every chance we get. The falling leaves, changing colors, and (slight) chill in the air are no reason to put away that patio furniture, though! There are so many great ways to continue enjoying your outdoor space well into the fall season and – dare we say it – even the winter months! Here are a few of our favorite ways to extend the seasons in your own backyard.
First, the atmosphere.
Summer flowers and plants have wilted or faded away. But an autumn garden can be just as colorful with the right selections, mixed with foliage and bright pumpkins. You don’t have to stick with the traditional mums – there are so many other options for fall.
Update your seating area for the new season by putting away the pastel pillows and throws in favor of jewel tones and textures that remind you of cooler weather and you’ll be ready to get cozy on days with bright sunshine and crisp air that prompts you to pull on sweaters and break out the blankets.
Fire pits have a summertime vibe but can be even more enjoyable when the sun sets on chilly evenings. On the occasions when the flames aren’t enough, turn your backyard into a toasty oasis with patio heaters that you used to only see while dining al fresco at restaurants.
Days are shorter now, so when darkness falls so early, lighting is important for setting the tone of an autumn evening outdoors. Keep your walkways, steps, and seating areas well lit. Get creative with string and rope lights – consider wrapping shrubs or lining the edges of your garden with some illumination. In addition to the conventional shaped bulbs, you can find some unique shapes and colors to go with the theme of the season. And don’t forget the opportunity to carve and light up some pumpkins. They don’t even have to be jack-o-lanterns.
What’s on your fall menu?
Planning an outdoor party that includes food can last well past summer, too, though the menu is likely to change. Set aside the burgers, hot dogs, and ice cream to make way for slow-cooked ribs, wings, whole rotisserie chickens, heartier sides, and seasonal fruit pies. Offer hot beverages to your guests. You can even do it in batches with a slow cooker and ladle to keep cider or cocoa warm and ready to serve for hours.
If you want to make a small gathering a little less casual and bring the indoors outside, set up a long picnic table for dining, with pretty placemats in fall colors and simple decor.
When the weather cooperates, a fall day or night is great for fun and games.
What’s more American than getting together for a viewing party to cheer on your favorite football teams? No need to stay cooped up indoors on a beautiful afternoon if you have the set up for friends and family to take in the game.
Host your own “drive-in” night. This is the best season for setting up a portable projector and pop-up screen for streaming a game, movie, or show to keep a group entertained – the sun sets earlier, so darkness falls earlier.
There are plenty of activities perfect for doing outside this time of year. Plan an afternoon of pumpkin carving or painting. Extend the pumpkin theme to any version of familiar games you know and love.
We hope these ideas take some of the sting out of another summer gone by. All is not lost. Tell us your favorite way to enjoy autumn!