Pyrus nivalis, I use this tree more often than any other. I use…
The great thing about fire pits is that they entice us to be in the garden for longer during the cooler seasons when we wouldn’t normally be inside. The other good thing is that they encourage us to be social and of course warm from the evening chill. Everyone loves to sit around an open fire and they attract all ages. For some reason fires mesmerise, tantalise and demand that we tell a story, or play a game or just reflect on things and be more open. They take us out of ourselves and we escape to an isolated camping setting even though we are in our own back garden.
Unlike other landscape elements, there are no rules about the location of the fire pit area within your garden, the only consideration is where to stock your wood so you don’t have to lug a heavy cart of firewood to your fire pit.
We often use a curved mild steel bowl with legs to stabilise it. Sometimes if it’s to be dressed up a bit – it is recessed into the ground, say with a sandstone or bluestone base and surround so it’s housed. Sometimes the fire pit sits on a paved pedestal out of reach of small hands who find it too tempting to touch.
We mostly use gravel or decomposed granite as the base which is much more forgiving and organic than paving. To me, a fire pit would look out of place on a hard stand like paving.
Keeping things smart yet relaxed I like seating round the fire pit to either bench seating or outdoor stools or both the benches can be in timber or stone to match or contrast with your setting. I have old hardwood blocks which serve as stools, around mine.
In the summer months and to make your fire pit multifunctional, we sometimes custom build a timber coffee table that fits over the fire pit and conceals it.