Landscape & Hardscape Ideas

Patio fun for fall: fires, caramel apples and more

The crisp fall days are here. Relish the four seasons by getting outside to enjoy that patio. Here are a few fall favorites to get your ideas churning for a dreamy autumn patio day.

Cozy blankets      

There’s something comforting in being covered up. Keep several wool throw blankets handy out on the patio. Have one or two full-sized blankets for friends or couples wanting to cozy up together. While wool is pretty hearty in all kinds of weather, it’s best to tuck away the blankets after each use.

Faux pillar candles

Candlelight is the most soothing and essential element in any dreamy scene. Small candle wicks don’t stand up against fall breezes. Check out the new battery-operated “candle” lights. Naturally shaped and warmly illuminated, the faux pillar candles add the ambiance with none of the hazards. Get a bunch in various heights and sizes and place in clusters of three around the patio. Stagger the candles at varying levels – some on the ground, some on the coffee table and some on the bar. This helps draw the eye and add interest to the tableau.

Outdoor slippers

Nothing says “relax” like a pair of slippers. Unfortunately, our favorite bedroom toasties won’t hack it outdoors. Enter the patio slipper. Muk Luks were the original rubber-bottom slippers that seamlessly go from indoor to outdoor without sacrificing any of that warm comfort of a favorite slipper. Now there are all kinds of tread-bottom, soft-upper slippers on the market. Encourage guests to bring their own.

Caramel apple bar

Melted caramel, crushed peanuts and apple slices on skewers is all you need for a yummy and unique fall treat. Slice red and green apples into 8ths. Wash with a lemon juice/water solution (to help stave off browning). Use a kebab skewer to hold the apple slice. On a mug warmer or two, place a mug filled with caramel squares. Stir often until the caramel is melted. Supply toppings such as: sprinkles, crushed peanuts, and coarse natural sugar. Other favorites are mini marshmallows, toffee crumbles, and white chocolate chips. Almost any topping goes great with a caramel apple. Give your guests some skewers and let them make their own.

Fire pits and heaters

A crackling fire is the best way to keep warm outdoors, but don’t feel like you have to wait until nightfall. Spark up those flames as soon as the weather is nippy. Fire isn’t the only trick in the book. Space heaters – even indoor ones – can work in a pinch. Throw up the patio umbrella and place the heater underneath it. The canopy of the umbrella does a decent job holding in the heat for outdoor dining.

Hay stacks

Need extra seating? Add some country by grabbing some hay bundles from the local nursery and add some inexpensive country flair. Pick up a canvas drop cloth (the ones used for painting) at the home store. Cut it into covers for the hay bales. This makes seating more comfortable and it looks good.

A dreamy fall day on the patio is just steps away. Take advantage of the weather and get out into the crisp air and get cozy!

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