11 Simple Fall Garden Ideas, Outdoor Living, and Pretty Garden Spaces

a garden in fall with orange leaves and a seating area with firepit

That mini heatwave fooled us all didn’t it? We had started to think about packing away our garden furniture, locking away all our outdoor cushions and candles in the shed, and turning off our festoon lights for the last time. So the last thing we are thinking about is fall garden ideas!

But then, Mr. Blue Sky decided to return and we all found ourselves (well, maybe not me. Due to our current renovation situation, we have no garden) sitting outside with a G&T and making the most of the late summer sun.

Fall can be really deceptive. If we’re lucky enough to get an Indian summer, the temperatures can still hit the mid-20s during the day but as soon as the sun sets, those temperatures plummet!

We have a lot of birthdays in September and October in our family, so we still like to entertain and have people over, and if I can shove them out in the garden I will! I also like to hang up Halloween decorations in the garden, it’s the perfect setting for a Halloween party. 

Fall Garden Ideas

a cozy seating area on a garden patio with orange leaves

As the summer season transitions into the fall, it brings with it a unique opportunity to transform your space with a new array of colors, textures, and plants and create a cozy garden. 

The cozy garden ideas below allow you to embrace the changing season and create a vibrant and inviting outdoor space. Whether you have a small garden, a balcony, or a larger landscape, there are numerous fall garden ideas to explore.

The problem is, how do we convince guests, or even ourselves, to go and sit outside when the wood burner and winter TV schedule are tempting us inside? Here are a few fall garden ideas to get you started…

1. Make Your Seating Area Inviting

corner of a back garden which has lawn and gravel. There are lots of trees with festoon lights hanging over the seating area
Our last garden was perfect in the colder months. It was tucked away in a corner under the trees and completely out of the elements!

Create lots of cozy garden seating areas in different parts of your garden in the fall and use what landscape you already have like trees, pergolas, garden walls, and sheds!

We tend to put our furniture in the sunniest parts of the garden, but these are often in the most exposed areas. Move your furniture back up against the house or next to your wall or fence to keep you out of those cold-biting winds.

If your garden doesn’t have a covered area, or somewhere to hide from the elements, think about getting furniture with built-in covers, like a garden daybed or swing!

a day bed with canopy in the garden
If you haven’t got any shelter in your garden, this garden daybed is perfect! Elisamuel Daybed – Wayfair
a swinging day bed on a deck with canopy and lots of cushions
I absolutely need this in my life! Outdoor swinging day bed – sittingspiritually.co.uk

2. Add Some Shelter

Let’s face it, we’re not all going to be sitting out in our gardens when the real winter weather hits, are we?

But what about those evenings when it can’t decide whether to drizzle or stay dry? Adding in an outdoor patio or pergola by Trueline can make for a great space that will protect you from any kind of weather.

If Instagram is anything to go by, it would seem that most of the US have added a pergola to their garden, so how about attaching a shade to it? Or, if you are one of the 7% who decided not to erect a wooden structure in their garden this summer, you can buy a sail shade to put in a corner of your garden.

a pergola with a canvas cover in the garden
The perfect pergola for those awkward months. Retractable Pergola – aosom.co.uk
a sail covering a decking area in the garden
Clara Sun Shade Sail – clarashadesails.co.uk

3. Create a Cozy Garden Space

a corner of a garden with a gravel patio, pallet table with tiles on top, peonies in a vase, a corner seating area with lots of cushions and festoon lights and lanterns hanging from a eucalyptus tree
An inviting space for the fall

You’ve got your seating area set up, now you need to make it a space you (and your guests) can’t resist. I see my garden as an extension of my home and treat it as another living space.

I love to have my cushions, throws, and even a rug or two! Not only does it look pretty, but that big knitted throw will work extra hard in your fall garden to keep you warm.

peonies in a vase on a garden table
You can’t beat a sheepskin and knitted throw to create a cozy garden.

4. Adding Backyard Livestock

hens and chicks

Animals like chickens, pigs, and hens that are kept in a garden or backyard setting are often referred to as “backyard animals” or “backyard livestock”.

For those looking to introduce a touch of rural charm to their gardens, consider raising livestock. Raising Rhode Island Red chicks can be a delightful and educational addition to your fall garden projects. These friendly and hardy birds can help with pest control and provide a source of fresh eggs while creating a more sustainable and interactive outdoor space.

Rhode Island Reds are known for their adaptability, making them perfect for beginners. They enjoy foraging for insects, which keeps the bug population in check and aids in the health of your garden. Furthermore, their rich, red feathers blend beautifully with the autumnal hues of your garden, creating a picturesque scene right in your backyard.

5. Create Your Own Warmth

My kids enjoying toasted marshmallows in lockdown 2020

Fire pits are huge at the moment and another perfect way to create a cozy garden in the fall. There are so many to choose from, they can become a lovely focal point in your garden and give it a warm cozy glow.

I always get asked how we stop from smelling like a Guy Fawkes effigy on Bonfire Night when we use our fire pit. I’ll be honest, we don’t! But there are a couple of things we try to do to limit the amount of smoke.

We make sure the fire pit is completely clean when we use it by clearing out the old debris and making sure it is dry. We try to use good quality wood that is also dry and not green (“green” freshly cut wood tends to still hold a lot of moisture so will produce more smoke).

The smoke comes from the chemicals inside the wood, so we also make sure the fire is extremely hot to quickly burn off the chemicals.

fire pit in the garden surrounded by garden furniture
Fire pits automatically create a warm and cozy garden. Black and copper fire pit – Von Haus

If you really don’t fancy the idea of a real fire, there are also great gas alternatives to choose from which still give you the ambience but not the smell!

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6. Chim Chiminea

If you still don’t fancy an open fire pit, Chiminea is your friend! They are better at channeling the smoke and are perfect for smaller patio areas.

They can come with rain lids which stop the water from getting in and creating more smoke and a bit like fire pits, they’ve become hugely popular over the last year or two with a huge range to choose from.

7. Patio Heaters

a patio heater in the garden, next to a chair with lots of cushions
This small electric heater should be enough to keep you warm whilst you sip your G&T. Heatlab patio heater – £54.99

If you want something that gives you instantaneous heat, then patio heaters are your thing. I was quite surprised to find that they are not as expensive as I thought and are a fantastic addition to a fall garden.

They can range from £50 all the way up to £300, I guess it just depends on whether you want a statement piece in your fall landscape or something inconspicuous in your garden.

a patio heater that hangs from a pergola
The perfect heater to hang from your pergola. ALUK 2000W Patio heater – Amazon
a glass tube pyramid heater in the garden
Glass tube pyramid heater – luxuryrattan.com

8. Outdoor Fireplaces

an industrial-style garden with black window and door frames and exposed brick work. There are festoon lights and a wood burner in the back. The gorgeously rustic garden of Hardcastle Towers! Image credit: @hardcastletowers

Another item in the garden that really seems to have taken off this year is outdoor wood burners! Yep, you heard right. An outdoor wood-burning fireplace for your garden.

A bit like the Chiminea, this is perfect for keeping you warm whilst creating a romantic glow in your garden without choking on thick smoke. Just add an outdoor cinema and some fall garden plants and you will never feel the need to go inside.

9. Table-top Heaters

a table top gas lighter with cushions and trees in the background
Our Cosicoop lantern sits happily on our pallet table. You wouldn’t even know it was there!

If you don’t want a large imposing heater in your garden or want to set fire to anything, then a little tabletop gas heater is a perfect fall garden idea! The beauty of these is that many of them are portable so you can move them around the garden easily, or even take them away with you on a camping trip.

a lit tabletop heater

I have an outdoor Cosiscoop lantern from geckohomedecor.co.uk and it’s perfect for our needs. It provides a good bit of light in the evening to give our autumn garden a warm cosy glow.

a gas heater and candles lit on a garden table
So cozy at night.

10. Lighting

festoon lights hanging from a silver birch tree in an outdoor living space
One of my favorite photos from our last garden. Gosh, I miss this space! Festoon lights from lights4fun.co.uk

I think I’ve already muttered several times in the last week; goodness me! Isn’t it getting dark early? Yes, it happens every year and I’m always surprised.

With it now getting darker by 7 pm, we need to start thinking about lighting up our garden in the fall so we can keep using it into the night and what better way to do it than festoon lights? These have to be one of my favorite garden accessories and do the job of lighting up the garden perfectly, letting you enjoy your fall landscape.

They also give your garden that festival feel, so not only are they hugely practical, but they actually MAKE you want to sit out in the garden and enjoy all the prettiness. I wrote about festoon lights (thrilling content, I know!) here.

festoon lights in the garden

There are many other ways to light up your autumn garden including lanterns, fairy lights, and candles. I wrote about lighting for your garden here.

lanterns and fairy lights on a tree in the garden. There is a blanket on the ground with lots of candles
Plenty of lighting to choose from. Image credit: lights4fun.co.uk

11. Don’t Neglect Your Garden

a patio painted blue next to a slatted fence in the garden with lots of chairs and cushions.
Give that pergola and fence a lick of paint. Image credit: @maxinebradystyling

And finally, as it says above! Your garden has worked hard for you all spring and summer, don’t turn your back on it now. The summer is the perfect time to start putting all your fall garden ideas into practice. 

If you keep your garden looking tidy and looked after, you’ll want to spend more time in it. Maybe treat your garden furniture to a fresh lick of paint. Invest in some covers for your table and chairs so that when it does rain heavily, they’re not soaking wet when you do want to use them.

There are plenty of fall garden plants that still flower, so don’t give up hope of adding color and life to your garden yet! Flowers like Asters, Sedums, and Autumn Crocuses are perfect for this time of year.

Helenium, also called sneezeweed, is a late-season perennial that blooms in the fall. They feature striking, daisy-like flowers in shades of yellow, orange, and red. Heleniums are easy to grow and add a burst of color to fall landscapes.

So, rounding it all up, it’s basically about keeping warm and cozy, isn’t it? Do you think you’ll keep using your garden in the colder months and use some of these autumn gardening ideas?

Disclosure: Some of the links above are affiliate links, meaning that at no additional cost to you, I will receive a very small commission if you click through and make a purchase. These links help to pay the editorial costs of writing a blog. For more information, read my full affiliate disclosure here.

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