Why is it called “Fall”?
The French call it “Autompne” meaning “Fall” or “Autumn” and it began the period of the Harvest when storing food before Winter was the main community function. Autumn is the period of transition from Summer to Winter and is celebrated as the Harvest and that all coincides with the time of the September Equinox. Some say the leaves “Fall” is the reason for the name, but it’s about the Sun falling south that relates the name to the September Equinox.
The September Equinox (or Southward Equinox) is the moment when the Sun appears to cross the celestial equator, heading southward. In North America Autumn can begin anytime between the 21st and the 24th of September and goes until the December Solstice which is when Winter officially starts.
Fall air is noticeably cooler and the days are growing shorter. It’s time to get out the jackets and stoke up the fire pits and tables. And don’t forget the heaters! With so many to choose from there is bound to be one that works in your outdoor space.
Fall is a good time to update your outdoor space with decorative pillows and colorful throw blankets. We recommend industry leading Sunbrella pillows for use outdoors. With the days getter shorter and the sun setting earlier why not add some mood lighting? Not only does it create a cozy atmosphere but it also helps extend your time outdoors. Adding a decorative rug to your outdoor seating area will be a welcome addition in the cooler months as it helps retain the heat and can pull all your décor elements together. Why not take your updated outdoor décor to the next level and add some outdoor curtains? They are available in so many beautiful colors and help create additional privacy. They can easily attach to your outdoor space’s overhead covering. They also help retain your outdoor area’s heat and are useful year-round for bug control and blocking out the sun and wind. However, depending on your outdoor heat source it’s important to be sure the area has enough ventilation.
Did someone say “football”? With the football season in full swing (not to mention the NBA, NHL and the major league baseball pennant races and the play offs) why not add a TV to your space and extend your time outdoors. Don’t forget to plan a family movie night and watch your favorite movie under the stars complete with popcorn and hot chocolate. We recommend the TV be placed strategically under an overhang and out of the elements. And don’t forget to cover it when not in use. Any kind of cover with a PVC coating will work.
Patio Furniture Care in the Fall
Depending on what part of the country you’re in, fall isn’t too hard on outdoor furnishings, it’s the upcoming Winter that is really hard on outdoor materials. There are some basic maintenance chores that should be done in order to care for your patio furnishings and accessories.
We recommend a few things like covering or storing your fabric cushions. If you can’t store your cushions out of the elements in a garage or shed or even a storage bin then use polyester or vinyl outdoor furniture covers. We recommend first cleaning your furniture and be sure the furniture and cushions have time to dry before covering them, otherwise you might end up with mildew on your cushions. If you have room to store your outdoor cushions in a garage or shed but not the furniture we recommend a light cleaning and covering your outdoor furniture as well in order to keep your furniture looking great for years to come. Covering or putting away the umbrellas is a must as the wooden ribs can get corroded and the mechanisms can get rusted leaving your umbrella useless. If you treat your outdoor wood furniture now is a good time to do that too. Give the wood a quick cleaning then let it dry before applying a wood sealant. Be sure the sealant is completely dry before covering it. And don’t forget to cover and store your fountain or water bowl. For portable fountains drain the fountain and disassemble it. Be sure parts are dry before storing it away for the winter. If your fountain is permanently attached to your outdoor space then be sure to “winterize” your fountain and/or water bowl so the freeze doesn’t damage any of the parts. In order to winterize your fountain you first want to unplug it and drain the water from the basin, pipes and pump. It’s also a good idea to line the basin with towels so it doesn’t crack. Depending on what materials your fountain is composed of, you might want to add a little non-toxic RV antifreeze to prevent parts from freezing but be sure to check with the manufacturer’s instructions. Remove the pump and store it in a safe dry place. This is also a good time to perform maintenance to any parts of the fountain that need work. Cover the fountain with a non-plastic cover and be sure it is securely fastened so water can’t pool around it.
And, don’t forget to take your hanging plants indoors. Plants buried in the ground can handle the freeze a lot easier than hanging plants. However, once the frost sets in you will want to cover any exposed plants. No need to break the bank on plant covers as you can use old sheets and pillow cases or even card board on low plants if you can get it to stay in place.
Although these suggestions seem like a lot of work, we believe you will be happy you did it come spring when all of your outdoor furniture and accessories still look new and inviting. A little preventative work will be well worth it in extending the life of your outdoor furniture and accessories.
Fall is in the air! And it’s refreshing!