When the temperatures drop or the sun goes down, you might not be inclined to use your backyard. This is a pity since your yard has a chance of being your after-work getaway. Add fire structures to a garden plan so that you can have a soothing retreat from the day's hassles.
Fire pits tend to be a permanent structure, so the first step is determining which style is right for your yard. For example, if you have a rustic home or naturalistic yard, consider a wood-burning fire pit with a simple concrete style or a surround built of natural stone.
If your home is contemporary, a fire bowl is a good option. Typically made of concrete, fire bowls offer a geometrically round profile. According to the Landscaping Network, they are a middle option between built-in and portable fire pits.
For a more customizable option, consider a bonfire style pit. These round structures serve as the centerpiece of a social gathering area. They come in various sizes, and their surrounds can be matched to almost any hardscape style, from brick to adobe.
A fireplace is a bigger, more permanent part of your backyard landscape architecture. The fireplace is a good option if you need more heat than a fire pit offers or if you want to use it for cooking.
Traditional fireplaces are constructed with stone or brick facades, making them appropriate for almost any architectural style. Adobe fireplaces offer a characteristic profile with their round fireboxes. These are better for Mission-style or Southwestern homes. Add tiles to frame the firebox of a traditional fireplace for a Mediterranean look.
A fire hearth offers the permanency of a fireplace with the design options of a fire pit. Essentially, a fire hearth is a fire pit dropped into a retaining wall, usually with seating built in. Fire hearths can come prefabricated, or they can be customized. Customized fire hearths offer the same design and material options as a fireplace.
Once you've chosen your fire option, design a garden meant to be enjoyed in the waning hours of the day. The fire structure is your foundational piece for the garden design. Add seating surrounded by white and silvery plants that will glow in the moonlight and firelight. For example, plant a cluster of snow flurry asters bordered by silver mound artemisia near your seating. Utilize white moss phlox for groundcover, and train moonflower vines up a trellis for both scent and color. Play around with the placement before taking the plants out of their containers for the most attractive effect.
Enjoy a luminescent evening garden warmed by a fire structure.