3 ways to extend the outdoor living season with a chill in the air | VailDaily.com

3 ways to extend the outdoor living season with a chill in the air

Becky Garber
Landscape Logic

The big chill these last few days reminds us much cooler days — and more of them — are ahead. Still, there will be many great days to enjoy outdoor living even when there's a chill in the air.

The key to extending outdoor enjoyment beyond the balmy days of summer is as simple as using the elements of fire and light.

Start a fire

Staying warm on a chilling fall afternoon is as easy as striking a match in a wood-burning fire pit – easier still, turning on a gas-powered unit. A cozy fire brings people together, prolongs a good conversation and adds ambiance to a glass of wine or a bottle of beer. For kids and teens, it's one more campfire and round of s'mores to enjoy.

The old-fashioned fire pit is also a good way to try out the best places for a fire feature and whether you want a more permanent fixture with less maintenance and no smoke. Out-of-the-box propane models can be embellished to look like custom work that matches other outdoor features in your yard.

Or you can create a permanent feature encircled in stone or concrete. Going all out to build a standing fireplace complete with a hearth and chimney is another option. However you make it happen, taking the chill off the air makes the outdoors livable long into the fall and on warm winter days.

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Turn on the lights

The sun is setting earlier and it will soon be time to turn the clocks back.

Since no one likes moving around or sitting in the dark, the darkness alone chases us indoors.

On the other hand, lighting up pathways and outdoor living areas keeps the outdoors inviting. Making your space both warm and adequately lit keeps it inviting.

When you consider lighting up the night, look seriously at LED lighting:

It is relatively easy to install any time of year.

It uses minimal power.

It is low maintenance because bulb replacements are few and far between.

Outdoor lighting also ups the safety factor around your home.

Turn up the music

New technology has give us the ability to play music so it can be heard at the same volume throughout the yard and not offend the neighbors. And it can be controlled from your phone. If you want to enhance the outdoor mood, then consider this new option.

Add some warmth, light and music and you're sure to linger longer in your outdoor living space. These are all easy outdoor projects to tackle in the offseason. They are fast-track fall upgrades that won't interfere with your landscape during the growing season.

This autumn after you kick through the leaves, light a fire and keep enjoying the outdoor season as long as you can.

Becky Garber is member of the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado of which Neils Lunceford, a landscaping company, is a member. You may contact them at 970-468-0340.

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