The weather is finally getting colder, and the balmy summer days coming to an end. Time to pack up the tools and head inside for four months, sit in front of the fire and read a book.
No! Wrong! Winter provides you with a perfect opportunity to get things accomplished that you don’t have time to do during the frantic growth of spring and the laziness of summer.
In these times when every dollar counts, many people are looking to live smarter, and take advantage of every square foot they can. This means considering their outdoor spaces as rooms, and decorating them appropriately.
Getting outside in the colder months is difficult for most of us. On those days it doesn’t rain, it’s usually too cold to really enjoy the outdoors much. So, instead of curling up inside by the fire, take the fire outside with you!
A Million Years of Campfire Stories
Our ancestors have been using fire for around 1 million years, and it is arguably the most important tool we have ever used. The industrial revolution would have been impossible without it, and all the things a modern society depends on would not exist without our using it in some form or another.
However, from time immemorial we have had other very important uses for fire, and two of these can be recreated quite easily in your backyard. As well as the obvious use as heating, fire is a social event – it draws people together, inspires conversation. Our ancestors have known this for eons, and gathering around the campfire is still a time honored tradition in many countries.
The Modern Campfire
You can recreate this ambiance in your own outdoor space with a fire pit. There are so many different styles to choose from, it is really only limited by your imagination.
Fire pits are very versatile, and look amazing in most settings. They are functional, affordable and practical. Whatever style you decide on, rest assured that it will look great, and become the focal point of your outdoor space.
If you are using it as a source of heat then it will bring the whole family together, as no one will want to move away. It is an ideal opportunity for the whole family to sit and talk, tell stories, and just have a great time.
That sounds awesome.
It is, but it gets even better. As well as the heating and social aspects of your fire pit, you also get to cook on it. There are many gorgeous “coffee table” models that make it very easy to cook and socialise at the same time. You can get “hang over the fire” models which will allow you to use your lovely cast iron cookware. (Or give you an excuse to go buy some!) There’s nothing quite like the taste of hearty food cooked in a Dutch Oven. You can find many great recipes for dutch ovens, and they’re not just for cooking stews!
What else can they do?
Apart from the very practical uses I have mentioned so far, this article would not be complete without mentioning the beautiful sculptural effects you can achieve with fire. It has a mesmerising quality, which can be used to very great effect in almost every space.
Where do I get one?
Of course it is possible to build your own fire pit, but as with everything there are downsides. Outdoor fire laws can differ widely, and hefty fines generally apply for those who get it wrong. If you choose to go this route, be very certain about the laws that apply to you before proceeding.
Secondly, some fires just don’t burn properly unless the fireplace is correctly constructed. The oxygen intake, or draft, can have a great impact on the efficiency of burning, and can mean the difference between a lovely fire and a column of grey smoke.
Thirdly, some places don’t even allow wood burning, and all outdoor fires must be gas fueled and connected by a professional. In these cases you need to get help to…
Get it right, first time.
Your best bet is to get your fire pit installed by a reputable landscaper. They will be well aware of any laws applicable to the products they sell or install, and will get it right, first time. They will show you models perfectly suited to your situation and budget, and get it safely installed for you. All you have to do is sit back with a coffee and some friends and enjoy it.