Bring the Heat with Outdoor Fire Features

An Elemental Connection

We all have an ancestral connection with fire that persists, even as technology plays an ever-increasing role in our day-to-day life. Fire is elemental, essential – it gathers us round to inspire with its dazzling dance, protect for the unknown in the dark, and soothe our psyches with its warm embrace. As landscape designers, we love to include fire features — pits, bowls, rings, and even grills — for exactly these reasons.

There’s also versatility to fire features, they bring a destination to a landscape. When set away from the house they offer a respite for contemplation, whisking away our worries of the week, lost in the crackle of the embers. Placed nearer the house or patio fire features provide a very social gathering space ideal for entertaining. More importantly, especially in our colder New England climate, they allow you to enjoy the outdoor spaces in the cooler evenings and throughout the seasons.

Fire Feature Types

Fire features come in several various shapes, sizes and materials to suit any taste. Ranging from a simple iron fire bowl to a custom masonry fireplace with wood cubbies. No matter the style the toughest choice often is wood burning versus gas fired.  Gas fired fire pits and fireplaces are easy to use, with the turn of a key and a match you are instantly basked in warmth. An added benefit is that there is no smoky smell or ash to clean. However, gas fired varieties will require a licensed plumber to connect to your existing propane or natural gas supply and typically incur an additional cost for trenching.

Personally, I love a wood fire. The nostalgia that the sights, sounds and smells of real wood can’t be mimicked. No matter the preferred type of fire feature, it’s something will be enjoyed by the entire family. As you contemplate your next landscape design project, you will want to consider bringing the heat.