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Past Articles Library | Gardening Design | Fire Pits, Chiminea



Using Fire Pits and Chiminea in Landscape Design


With cooler weather coming over the next few months, don't let that deter you from enjoying your backyard and outdoor living areas!

An outdoor fire pit or chiminea (a pot-bellied, freestanding fireplace) can truly transform a patio or deck area into an open-air room - and one that is cozy and warm in all but the most wintery of weather conditions.

What's nice about most fire pits and chiminea is that they are portable, something an outdoor fireplace is not.

They are also easier to set up because they require no building permits or expensive, time-consuming building of chimney stacks.

Fire pits and chiminea can be put anywhere you already have your patio or deck area set up, or in a sheltered courtyard - basically anywhere you want to create a gathering spot.

Another big plus is that they can fit into almost any landscape design seamlessly because they come in a variety of natural materials such as stone, tile, metal, and colored concrete so they look very relaxed, and part of your existing landscape.

They also come in a variety of shapes and designs, ranging from fire pit tables, to the more traditional rock fire pits on the ground.

In addition, you can use whatever fuel is best for you to enjoy your fire because fire pits can be fueled with natural gas, gel and bio ethanol, wood, or wood substitutes.

In fact, here are some basic tips to help you get the most out of your chiminea or fire pit, including picking out the best fuel to burn:


Some Basic Outdoor Fire Pit and Chiminea Tips:

  • Make sure your fire pit is completely level and on stable ground

  • Aways place fire pits away from combustable materials in the landscape

  • Burn dry, well-seasoned firewoood

  • Usually hardwoods such as oak, madrone, maple, hickory and ash burn cleaner than softwoods such as fir, pine or cedar

  • For smoke-free burning, they can be fueled with natural gas

  • To reduce pollution and reduce the chance of sparks, choose wood substitutes such as wax-based logs or compressed logs made of sawdust.

  • Compressed logs can also be made from recycled coffee grounds, mixed with molasses and some wax, to burn cleaner, give off a taller and more natural flame, and have a slightly sweet scent rather than a chemical smell

  • Gel fueled fire pits are great for anywhere log fires are restricted such as apartment or condo balconies. But they are also good to use for your deck, patio, porch, balcony, or gazebo because they are a no mess, no hassle way to have a fire

  • Always observe fire ordinances and don't use your fire pit on no-burn or windy days

  • Keep a fiew extinguisher or garden hose nearby

  • Never leave a fire unattended

  • Never overfill a fire pit or chiminea

So don't let the fact that the weather is cooling off keep you from enjoying your outdoor areas!

Have a cook-out, roast marshmallows, sit around and tell "campfire stories", or have a romantic evening - basically extend your summer a bit more throughout the year.

Fire pits and chiminea are best for doing just that - so snuggle up enjoy!

 








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Gardening-tip:



Keep Some Birds Away

When you have worked very hard to grow your grapes, fruits and vegetables, it's hard to not be bothered when birds come in and take the best of everything!

A few tricks that work well are: netting over grapes, mylar strips tied to branches of your fruit trees, even blow up owls work.

If you use a blow up owl, or scarecrow, keep in mind to move them every few days so they appear to "move." Othewise the birds get wise fast and they are no good.


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