Autumn around the patio table

Can’t you imagine long conversations in this cosy spot?
I love eating outdoors. There doesn’t seem to have been enough of that in summer 2010. My back yard is only big enough for a bit of garden and a dining table. A small dining table. So I’ll be putting on a sweater to squeeze the last juice out of summer alfresco dining in these early autumn days.
Maybe that’s why I paid so much attention to dining and outdoor conversation areas on the Garden Writers Association tours in Dallas recently. Here are some of my favourites.
Imagine having dinner here
You don’t need walls to define an outdoor room. A change of paving, pillars and a corrugated fibreglass shade work here, along with a few well-placed pots of herbs and ornamentals.
Around the fire pit
Bring on the marshmallows, s’mores and hot chocolate!
Dine overlooking the pool
In the right spot, indoor furniture makes good outdoor furniture. Few of us can have a view like this, but we could give a table that’s a little rickety new life in the garden.
A covered patio, with fountain
A sheltered spot is paved in gravel and stone, beside a simple reflecting pool and fountain. The takeaway here is the restrained colour palette of grey, charcoal and cream, with that pop of red. It’s restful without being somnolent.
Conversation area
Besides looking quite elegant, curtains on a porch offer practical shelter from autumn breezes, extending potential days and evenings of coze. Darling, my glass is empty.


  1. Helen, I love outdoor rooms~We can't eat outside much of the time in the south~The mosquitoes are pretty bad, but we did add a screened porch and it's been the best thing we could have done. Come visit and we'll have tea and scones! gail

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