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Creating the Perfect Outdoor Space for Autumn

Autumn is upon us, which means it’s time to spruce up your outdoor space and prepare for those colder nights. Founder and creative director of Landart Landscapes, Matt Leacy, shares his top landscaping and construction tips for creating the ultimate autumn outdoor space. “The beginning of Autumn is a great time to get outdoors and start landscaping for the cooler conditions,” he says. “You don’t want autumn 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.”

Follow Matt’s tips below to ensure you make use of your courtyard this Autumn.

Warmth is key

“Fundamentally, Autumn landscaping is all about bringing warmth into outdoor spaces – introducing features and elements that warm up the spaces to keep them inviting,” says Matt. Increasing coverage from harsh elements should be the first port of call, including retractable awnings and covered pergolas.

Colours and materials

“You can also bring lots of warmth into your outdoor spaces by introducing warmer colours,” Matt adds. Blues, browns and darker reds naturally create warmth, and pair nicely with neutral tones. “I like to do this with cosy coloured cushions, chairs and blankets, which inject warmth and neutral tones via both their colour and materials,” he explains. Timber and exposed brick are great materials for adding warmth and texture, and strategic planting can also help. “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”, Matt says.

Heating options

For style, warmth and functionality, add a fire pit to your outdoor area. This creates ambience and is great for sitting around with friends. There are plenty of different fire pits to suit the aesthetic of your courtyard or garden. “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 autumn months,” concludes Matt.

Green living: design tips for indoor plants

The bigger our cities get, the more difficult it can become to stay in touch with nature. But you don’t have to have a national park on your doorstep as there’s something magical about filling a room with greenery; and we’re not just talking about their capacity to purify the air. Just find an area in your home with a smattering of natural light and let your imagination (and the greenery) go wild with some simple ideas.

And you don’t need much space. Construct a cool, contemporary wall in an instant using cheap and cheerful pegboard. Leave your living installation on show in a hallway, bathroom or living room, or give yourself something green and tranquil to look at while sitting at your desk in your home office. Air plants are especially suited to this kind of display.

You can also decorate with an array of pots and objects that you make yourself. Wrap hardcover books in coloured paper and place these on racks to create shelves for displaying small vessels filled with plants, pebbles and other organic ephemera.

Conjure up the charming atmosphere of a Victorian botanist’s study by displaying greenery in an antique cabinet, vintage shop fitting or other quirky storage unit. For maximum whimsy and nostalgic appeal, apothecary bottles and glass lab beakers make ideal containers. Scour markets for old gardening accessories to include in your collection.

 

PLANT PROFILE

Decorative foliage is often better suited and more adaptable to indoor environments than flowers. Select plants with various shapes, textures, colours and patterns for graphic effect. Group plants the way you would other objects and display them in a living vignette on a tabletop or shelf. Some suggestions:

  • Climbing: Philodendron scandens
  • Hanging: vanda or cattleya orchids
  • Table: staghorn fern, African violet, scandens stem
  • Leafy: Blechnum nudum (fishbone fern), Monstera deliciosa

PLANT CARE

  • All plants have general needs but it’s worth checking requirements for the optimal conditions for different species.
  • Ask your local nursery for a nutrient feed that’ll keep plants healthy.
  • Ensure all pots have proper drainage. A lump of charcoal will keep water sweet and plants happy.
  • Potted plants benefit from a mix of indoor and outdoor living. Allow plants that look like they’re past their prime to recover outdoors before moving them back inside.