Ahhh! An Indian Summer!?!

Word is that this year we will have an Indian summer, but what is the meaning of that anyway?


Not long ago I heard a podcast narrated by a writer from Calcutta pondering over the use of the phrase ‘Indian Summer.’ “Why would anyone dream of having an Indian summer,” he said, “the summers here are brutal, muggy, humid and so tremendously hot?”


The term in fact, does not come from India at all, but originated in North America where late Summer and Autumn on the East Coast is beautiful balmy and the light is wonderfully mellow. The term Indian Summer is a bit controversial in the States however, where some prefer to call it a Second Summer, or Last Chance Summer, or even ‘Badger Summer’.


It is always exciting news when we hear that the good weather might be extended for a week or two, especially for those who have been enjoying their summer outdoor spaces. As far as late summer and autumn are concerned a lot of things can be done to extend the use of your garden into these cooler months too. Maybe the most important thing is to add an element of warmth.


A fire pit is a cheerful element to add to your patio, you can either home build one with bricks or purchase one ready to go. There are a multitude of beautiful designs that will add magic and warmth and a graceful focal point to your outdoor space. The hardier amongst us will happily sit around a fire on a crisp evening with a hot toddy, hot cider or a glass of mulled wine. Why not add a portable outdoor bar to really set the scene?

Another cozy element is to lay down an outdoor rug, add a bench stool or beanbags and keep a basket filled with blankets and fluffy slippers at the ready so that your guests can cuddle up. Many people are fitting their outdoor pergolas, porches and balconies with curtains, which flutter beautifully in an autumn breeze, and add an element of protection from the cold and some privacy too.


Change up your outdoor decor in readiness for the Autumn. This year chunky knits are set to make a comeback, and the bold colours and contrasting designs as seen in today’s maximalist interiors will venture outdoors. Layering textures is also a style to look out for this upcoming season. Rattan cane and wicker furniture will all be big too, paired with patina metals and distressed wood! Naturals are also very on trend, in combination with adding pops of colour such as burgundy, deep brown, pumpkin and chocolate. Combining these with autumn leaf and foliage prints will also set the scene nicely.


Comforting warm lighting adds ambience, with string and fairy lights being the most popular this season. Lanterns will also be the ‘hot’ way to add another fire element this autumn, adding that finishing touch to your space by creating beautiful mood lighting. Hang lanterns from trees or tall shrubs but for this we definitely recommend using flameless candles, also far safer if you have curtains!


Provide some snacks for your friends… chestnuts, marshmallows and bonfire toffee are a few old favourites. How about S’mores… they are easy, tasty fun, for the family and an innovation from America!

23rd August 2021

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