The temperatures have shifted. It is decidedly cooler at night and you might have even needed a sweater in the morning as of late. While I am not quite ready to say goodbye to Summer, I think it is safe to say that the height of it is gone. Autumn might not officially ring in for another month yet, but the school bell will be calling all kids in two weeks time. It won’t be long before frost will follow. Perhaps it’s time to tackle some last-minute outside projects, before the weather is too crisp for comfort.


  • Now that the humidity has broken, how about tackling those outdoor painting projects?
    • Stain the deck and fence
    • Slap a fresh coat of paint on wooden siding
    • Repaint the bench on the front porch to erase that sun-stained look
    • Touch up your cast-iron planters with a bright and cheery colour
  • While you are looking at your planters, why not think about replanting them with some fall flair?
    • Remove leggy annuals and replace with seasonal selections like kale, stonecrop, mums or bright red blood grass
    • If you are thinking further ahead, you could even add a hay bale under, behind or near your planters, plus other fall selections like Indian corn, or decorative gourds that will have visitors in mind of the coming Thanksgiving season
  • Don’t limit yourself to planters to bring Autumn colour to your yard!
    • Say goodbye to pansies and petunias and embrace black-eyed susans, asters and delicate grasses to sway in the breeze
    • Deadhead spent flowers to make room for late season bloomers, but leave enough for a bit of winter interest once a blanket of snow covers the ground. Sedums look graceful touched with white, as do decorative grasses and sunflower stalks. You just might find a new crop returning next year due to your (lack) of efforts now!
    • While you are planting fall favourites, think about digging in some spring bulbs too, like daffodils, crocuses and a tulip or two
  • The leaves might not be turning yet and clogging up your gutters, but it doesn’t hurt to get up on your roof now to inspect it for loose or missing shingles. Check your flashing, chimney and pound in any loose gutter spikes while you are up there.
  • Once you are back on the ground, inspect your home for ventilation leaks around windows and doors. If your a/c is still running, you will feel the cool breeze through those gaps and be able to fill them before the breeze is blowing the other way.
  • Inspect your foundation to see if you might be in for any other problems come the approaching wetter seasons. Cracks can spell trouble in your basement and are better to fix when the weather is still dry.