Add a New Dimension to Your Backyard Using the Lure of Fire

Most people who love to be outdoors have a barbeque grill for cooking, but why not make your patio inviting even when the days turn chilly by adding a firepit? These features bring back memories of camping and gathering around the fire for stories, toasting marshmallows, and drinking hot chocolate. While outdoor fireplaces are popular, they are expensive to install. In-ground firepits are less expensive, essentially being a hole in the ground with concrete or block edges. The portable firepit, however, is reasonably priced and all you need are some outdoor chairs or cushions and you are ready for the back yard campfire experience.

Locating your firepit

To make the most of this feature, the ideal location is someplace where you can see the fire from inside the house. This lure is part of the charm. Another design component is to have it positioned so functions even when not lit. While portable units alone don’t have this option, a built-in one with a wide, raised edge gives you a place to set drinks or prop your feet. There are special tables available for portable firepits which give you this feature. This way it functions as a table, which is handy. Of course, you want to keep it away from overhanging trees and other flammables.

Real wood, fake wood, or something else?

While nothing brings the sense of a camping experience quite like a wood fire, some communities do not allow them for air pollution reasons. Gas burns much cleaner, and to enhance the flame there are concrete fake logs and lava rocks available. The newest sensation is fireplace glass. This colorful, high temperature glass adds dramatic color to the flames and looks good even when the fire is out. A plus is unlike concrete or lava rock, fireplace glass cools down in less than 30 minutes.

Selecting a portable unit

Portable firepits are usually made of high quality steel or cast iron, and often include a grill top so you can use them for cooking, too. Some come with a table unit they sit in, others are simply the firepit with legs. Many are round, but square is an option. For not much more, tile accents make them a bit classier, and copper dresses up plain metal or cast iron. Prices vary, but there are many nice models under $250.

Adding extra features and accessories

If this new addition becomes a weekend ritual, it’s nice to have some extras. These are just a sample of features and accessories stores offer:

Spark screens Fireplace tools and rack (if you are using wood) Roasting spits Weather proof covers

Reference: Garden Design September/October 2011 “The Art of Fire” by David K. Gibson

Planting a Desert Fragrance Garden
Desert Landscaping Ideas for West Exposures
Unusual Fruit Trees for Warm Climates

People also view

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *