Although we’ve had one or two frosts, this autumn has been remarkably mild. Roses are still in bloom in many places and, amazingly, sweet peas are in flower in some Scottish gardens facing the North Sea. The autumnal leaves are looking good, though we’re losing them quickly now, and the berries are gleaming. The garden is still open for business! It’s a great place to chat, ponder and observe things. A warm coat, a hat and a rug will keep you snug. And a patio heater, if it’s night-time or really cold.

Haws or hawthorn berries. Rug

Haws or hawthorn berries

Wrap up warmly

Wear a warm coat, a scarf and a hat if you want to keep warm. Hats, of course, are also a great way to try out a new look and to show your individuality. What about having a hat party on your patio?

Gloves are another good idea but your choice really depends on what you’re going to be doing. Gardening gloves, wool, leather or suede? Fingerless mittens, perhaps, if you need more fingertip control?

Hats at Thorne's Marketplace, Northampton, Massachusetts. Rug

Hats at Thorne's Marketplace, Northampton, Massachusetts. © Rusty Clark and reused under

Rugs, blankets and throws

Fleece blankets are light and very insulating. They come in a range of colours and can be easily washed. Woollen rugs have a bit more to them – their texture varies, their colours and patterns are different and they can be more subtle or striking.

You don’t need me to tell you to make sure there are no gaps where cold can break in sneakily. Wrap your rug around your legs, or fold it into a rough triangle and drape it over your shoulders and around your front. And don’t sit on anything cold – break out the cushions. A double helping of cushions can work wonders.

Cushions, Barcelona. Rug

Cushions, Barcelona. © Matthias Rosenkrantz and reused under

Patio heater

Another way of working wonders with warmth is a direct source of heat: a fire bowl, say, or a patio heater. These patio heaters can put out a good amount of heat, with a silvered reflector directing heat downwards that would otherwise be lost. Other styles direct the flame to swirl through an inner tube.

On dry nights, especially clear ones when the stars are twinkling, get outside with a rug and a patio heater and enjoy the show.