The Endless Summer

Fire pits are not new, in fact they date back to the middle Paleolithic period, some 200,000 – 400,000 years ago. Archaeological evidence shows that first fire pits were made using a collection of stones to surround and contain the fire within and prevent it from spreading. Other cultures throughout history used a simple depression dug in the ground filled with hot coals and stones for both warmth and in-ground cooking, but whichever way you look at it fire pits are as old as man himself and it is most likely that it is this primitiveness itself that appeals to our inner psyche and makes the fire pit such an attractive garden feature. The allure of the flames on a crisp spring evening, a cool mid-summer’s night or during an autumn afternoon is not to be missed and a nice fire pit, fire bowl or chimnea can extend the use of your outdoor space by a good number of weeks at either end of the season.


Of course you can always take a few lessons from our predecessors and create your fire pit in a shadow hole in the earth, or surround an area with rocks or even bricks to contain your fire, but you might be missing a trick as contemporary fire pits and fire bowls can enhance the architecture of your garden and increase the value of your property even when they are not lit. You can build a fire pit easily using stone pavers stacked in a circle on top of a non-combustible surface such as earth or cement, or you can purchase one ready made. There is all manner of styles most of which are crafted from steel. Some of the most popular ones today have an organic rusted finish that blends well with the garden setting and this year we have seen a lot of orb shaped structures, which have been laser cut depicting stellar or woodland scenes that become illuminated and seem to dance with light when the fire is going… now that’s cool!


There are a lot of gas fire pits on the market today but regardless what style you choose, it’s important you abide by the following safety rules. Always make sure your fire pit is level and place it at least 10 feet from flammable objects such as trees, shrubbery, furniture, fences and of course the house! Do not use gasoline, lighter fluid or other flammable liquids to start the fire – almost all stores with an outdoor section stock ready to light kindling these days and don’t leave the fire unattended or leave it to go out on its own. Extinguish the fire with water, the logs and ashes should be cool to the touch before you leave.

Good safety measures would be to keep a fire extinguisher, garden hose or bucket of sand near the fire pit in case the fire needs to be quickly extinguished. It is common sense that children and pets should not be unattended or be allowed to play around the fire and it is not advisable to use the pit during high winds.


To help you decide on the right fire pit for you you will need to consider your budget and think about how you plan to use it. Will you be entertaining large groups, using it or simply as a place to enjoy a nice glass of wine at the end of the day? Will it be a campfire-like setting for storytelling with the kids? Whichever way, fire pits are perfect for relaxing and getting together with people and are the ideal setting for a romantic evening or to cozy up with a good book and you can always roast yourself a little sausage on a stick boy scout style if you get a little peckish!


Don’t miss out on the fire pit craze that is raging through the gardens of Britain, you too can enjoy a little endless summer!

21st June 2021

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