Landscaping for cooler weather
Matt Leacy, founder and creative director of Landart Landscapes, shares landscaping, styling and construction tips for creating the perfect outdoor space in cooler months.
“It’s a great time to get outdoors and start landscaping for the cooler conditions,” said Leacy.
“You don’t want this time of year to signal a move indoors and less time spent in your outdoor spaces — you ideally want to adapt and tweak your spaces to make them right for the season and to keep maximising their potential,” he said.
Warmth is key
“Fundamentally, landscaping in cooler months is all about bringing warmth into outdoor spaces — introducing features and elements that warm up the spaces to keep them inviting,” Leacy said.
“One way to do this is to increase cover and protection so that wind and rain become less of a factor. You might look to introduce some enclosed walls around some key outdoor areas, especially the likes of outdoor living rooms, patio areas and outdoor kitchens, which often get used less in the cooler months.
“If you’re considering built forms at the bigger end of the spectrum, backyard pavilions can be a great option, offering loads of covered space for tables, chairs, pots and plants — and lots of protection for outdoor entertaining.
“Covered pergolas, retractable awnings and gazebos can also be really good autumn additions — and you can style the space internally to inject warmth, and then rethink the look and accents as you move into other warmer seasons,” he said.
Colours and materials
“You can also bring lots of warmth into your outdoor spaces by introducing warmer colours, especially browns, darker red, and blues. Neutral tones always complement the cooler months.
“Introducing timber is also a great way to enhance warmth and organic tone.
“Exposed brick is another great material with an abundance of warmth and texture. And stacked firewood is one of the easiest ways to add the appearance of warmth, as well as serving a practical purpose when fire pits are used.
“You can also use plantings to team with the autumn theme. Deciduous trees provide some spark as everything else is turning — and something as simple as a beautiful red maple in a small courtyard can make a world of difference,” Leacy said.
“Fire pits provide a functional and stylish way to warm your outdoor spaces and keep them suitable for entertaining and relaxation.
“The warmth and light generated by the pit means you can continue to make use of all your beautiful outdoor furniture pieces,” Leacy said. “They’re a great addition to a backyard, deck or patio and they’re far superior in ambience to portable heaters and lights,” he added.
“If you’re going to give a fire pit a go, it’s important to ensure that the style and size of the pit suits your outdoor space and aesthetic,” Leacy said. “The classic campfire atmosphere is always a hit, and there’s lots of different options on the market.
“You could have a fireplace or a built-in fire pit that doubles as a coffee table beyond the cooler months or just a basic iron or steel bowl — the important thing is to look at your outdoor space and consider what will work best for you in terms of functionality, budget and look,” Leacy said.
“In addition to a fire pit, I’d also consider installing some heating or strip heating in key outdoor entertaining and living areas — they will boost heat and keep the spaces inviting throughout the cooler months,” Leacy said.
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