How to make the most of your garden this autumn
Summer may be ending, but the shorter days and the cooler evenings needn’t stop us from continuing to enjoy time outdoors in the garden. With a little preparation and some creative thinking, we can continue to enjoy our gardens well into autumn and even beyond.
Designing your garden so that you can enjoy outdoor living all year round in Scotland can be a challenge. We have the weather to contend with, which requires practical solutions. But, practical need not be boring! So, here are 5 ideas to inspire you to create a wonderful garden to enjoy all year round.
1. Outdoor lighting to combat the dark
As our days shorten, outdoor lighting will help you to continue to enjoy evenings in your garden.
Beyond its obvious practical use, the best outdoor lighting will add beauty and create an atmosphere and ambience to your garden at night. Also, nice lighting will enhance your garden’s appearance from inside your house on winter evenings.
Don’t be afraid to think creatively about your outdoor lighting. For example, festoon style lighting will add warmth and atmosphere around patio areas. We also love Stone Globe lights, which are beautiful additions to a garden that will add interest both day and night. Another favourite at Papillon is the Paloma illuminated bird; a fun and quirky sculpture by day, that takes on an enchanting quality as darkness falls.
Outdoor lighting can at times be harsh and artificial, but positioning lights among plants will soften lighting and provide a more natural look. Bamboos and grasses are particularly effective, creating a dancing effect to light, especially on breezy evenings.
2. Outdoor heaters do more than keep you warm
Alongside attractive lighting, enjoying your garden as the cooler days of autumn arrive will require outdoor heating.
The best outdoor heating solutions will provide not only much needed warmth, but that they enhance the appearance and atmosphere of a garden. Traditional patio heaters will work well on any terraced or patio spaces, but if you want to add a little more pizzazz and drama then there are plenty of alternative options to consider.
Wood burning stoves will create a lovely atmosphere. We particularly like Dutch company Adezz’s wood burning stoves, especially the ones that double up as pizza ovens! Corten fire pits will also create a cozy atmosphere for enjoying cool autumn evenings in your garden.
And to add warmth and atmosphere to your outdoor space Chimineas are also fantastic. We’re big fans of the Danish company Morso, who manufacture beautiful Chimineas, along with many other wonderful outdoor heating products.
3. Weather resistant furniture and accessories
If you enjoy dining and entertaining outdoors, then investing in good quality, weather resistant garden furniture is certainly worthwhile, especially if you want to continue do so into the autumn months.
The best hardwood furniture will withstand autumn weather, but will need treatment with teak oil to preserve its colour. Softwood timber furniture can be left outside in autumn too but it will require annual treatment with a preservative.
Cast-iron furniture and modern synthetic and resin materials are also good low maintenance and weather resistant options which need not be stored away come autumn.
To combat the chilly evenings, outdoor cushions, throws and blankets will provide warmth. Synthetic furniture and wood furniture are good materials for keeping you warm.
4. Biossun Patio Cover
Add protection with a funky and practical Biossun Patio Cover
The bioclimatic Biossun patio cover is perfect for enjoying an outdoor lifestyle in all seasons. It is a cross between an outdoor room and a patio cover and is versatile as well as stylish. The weather-proof aluminium structures are popular across Europe and perfect for our Scottish climate.
The Biossun can either be installed as a striking stand-alone structure or built onto a house or building to optimise outdoor space. Based on the concept of sun shades, the Biossun’s swivelling slats provide perfect flexibility to either enjoy, or seek protection from, the weather.
5. Perennial Plants
Perennial plants add colour and interest well into autumn
There are many lovely hardy perennials available to add colour come autumn. A favourite of ours is the Sedum ‘Autumn Joy’; a perennial with pinky-red flower heads that look great in all seasons - but especially in late fall/early winter, where they are blooming when many other perennials are setting seed.
Other attractive perennials to consider include: Persicaria bistorta 'Superba', who’s pretty spikes of tiny pink flowers bloom in Spring and can bloom again in autumn; Anemone “Honorine Jobert”, with its elegant white flowers; and the Aster “Little Carlow”, also known as the Michaelmas Daisy, which features a delicate pale blue flower with a yellow centre and is lovely autumn plant.
We hope that these ideas will give you some inspiration to enjoy your garden well after summer has passed. We can’t change the Scottish climate, but we can design our outdoor spaces so that it doesn’t stop us from continuing to enjoy an outdoor lifestyle. And, while beautiful balmy summer evenings are a treat, snuggling up around a warming wood-burning stove or chimenea on a crisp autumn night can be magical too. Happy autumn everyone!