With people appreciating their outdoor space more and more nowadays, the desire to healthily spend time outdoors is a great one. Busy work lives mean that getting into the garden, no matter how big or small, is a great way of unwinding at the end of the day. It is also a great place to entertain friends and family at the weekend. The only problem has been keeping warm in the cooler months.
There is something alluring about an open fire, especially when outside, that warms you instantly, the crackle of the logs, the dancing flames and the cheery glow gives a sense of well being that can’t be imitated.
These days it’s more than possible to have a real fire in your back garden, both safely and with a touch of style too. There are lots of choices of Firepits, Firebowls, Braziers and Chimeneas to look at, each with their own merits.
Chimeneas have been in use for several years in gardens across the country and will continue to do so for many years to come. The classic clay oven design is instantly recognised, even when new styles are now available in cast iron and steel. Offering a more directional heat from the open front of the bulbous pot these elevated fireplaces funnel the smoke away via a tapering chimney - which is where they get their name from, the Spanish word Chimenea means "chimney". A myriad of designs can be found, which often make these look decorative in the garden when not in use too. Some even have a grill or barbeque plate incorporated in the design to add another function.
Firebowls and firebaskets have a more open design, usually placed in the centre of a circle of people so that the heat from them can radiate in all directions and everyone can feel the benefit of the flames.
Firebaskets are usually very "open", they are deeper and can have the capacity for burning larger pieces of wood. Being more traditionally styled, they have a more "casual" feel to them and could quite easily be imagined with friends standing around chatting into the evening.
Firebowls are a more decorative option, open-sided with mesh to hold in the burning material, sometimes the fire is laid literally in a shallow bowl with a metal mesh cover to keep sparks away from clothing , other designs are made primarily from mesh to allow air to circulate and the heat to get out to the beneficiaries easily, often standing on short legs to protect surfaces, including grass, below, Firebowls are designed as the centrepiece to a relaxed seating area, where many people can sit and enjoy the winter evenings.
For the ultimate in real fire warmth in your garden, a fireball has to be the most dramatic way of all. These stunning creations house a fire to provide not only heat but also illumination to silhouette the design, creating not just a way to keep you and your guests warm, but also a work of art!
Keeping your woodburner, whatever type you choose, in good condition is important too, investing in a cover will prolong it’s life and will mean you will have many years use from it, using the correct logs will also help, be careful of burning heavily painted or tarred timber as this will coat the burner in corrosive substances, Using clean wood and logs is always the best choice in the long run, or compressed sawdust logs too.
I’ve been gardening for as long as I can remember, my first earliest memory being planting
seeds in my Grandfather’s prestige flower bed and having a prize lettuce growing there, which he proudly left to show everyone.
Since then, gaining knowledge and experience from both my Grandfather and my Father, I’ve continued to garden, both as a hobby and later on as a professional gardener and landscaper for 12 years. I love all aspects of it, from the design and build, to the planting out of summer borders with plants you’ve either grown from seed or raised from plugs. Unusual varieties always catch my eye and I’m keen to try growing them, even if sometimes it means learning from my mistakes.