As hot summer nights begin to melt into cooler nights here in Norfolk County, dining outside takes on a new dimension. Encourage family and friends to linger with inexpensive candles and patio lanterns from Ikea or Jysk. The twinkling lights will enliven a late evening dinner or snack.

If you have children who enjoy crafts, why not introduce them to the magic of candle making. Some shells from the local dollar store make perfect little molds and holders. Short wick sets can be found on Amazon and will make the project a little easier.

This is a good time to plant a herb garden that can come inside when the weather turns cold. Basil, thyme, rosemary, and parsley are excellent choices for the herb gardener cum chef. Plant them in small pots and use for a centre piece or arrange them in rows along window openings for an inside-outside display of freshness.

A display of potted evergreens, such as boxwood or emerald cedars, are excellent for privacy year round. Place them strategically around the deck or patio to create an intimate space for dining or just reading a book. In winter, these shrubs are perfect for festive decorations and light displays. By next spring, they will have grown to become an even more welcome addition to your outdoor space.

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