Gardening Tips

Great gardening tips and more.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Garden Heating the Traditional Way

With the increased new trend in outdoor living, which has undoubtedly been by TV Gardening DIY programs, we are all spending more money on our garden and patio areas. Creating an inspirational outdoor living space is something we can all do with a wide range of hard and soft landscaping products, lighting, decorations and garden accessories available widely on the market.

Some of the latest innovations are in garden heating which allows us to spend more of our precious leisure time enjoying our garden or patio area, be it for entertaining family and guests or simply for relaxing.

Fire pits and fire baskets are now widely available and not only bring the real flame, cosy atmosphere to your garden or patio but also create a great amount of heat, light and ambience.

Traditionally fire baskets were sued as far back as the days of the Roman Empire as a form of heating for castles, manor houses and great stone buildings. Firepits are a more modernist refined and classy form of the original fire basket; however both have their own charms.

Fire baskets and fire pits are simply filled with wood logs which are lit. They give off quite a lot of light, but more importantly their heat output is very high. They give the user a similar feel and create an ambience similar to sitting around a camp fire. The actual flame and glow of the fire are enough to make the user feel warm and cosy. You make more use of your garden and patio areas at night by using fire pits and fire baskets to warm up the whole area.

Fire pits usually come with a steel mesh fire guard to stop sparks and embers from flying around, however the more traditional fire basket has gaps in between the steel which hold the logs. To counteract the fact that some embers will drop onto the floor below the fire basket, nearly all will come supplied with a ground tray to collect the ash and embers. The ash and embers in a fire pit simply collect within the bowl for easy disposal.

They are a really great way to add charm, elegance, ambience, light and heat to any garden or patio area and are easy to use and maintain. Fire baskets are usually powder coated so they won’t rust very easily. Fire pits come in either black powder coated bowls, solid copper bowls or stainless steel bowls, all of which sit on powder coated steel leg frames which are removable.

The heat output for fir pits does not reduce or alter with the different bowl finishes, however placing the safety mesh guard over the top (for obvious safety reasons) will slightly reduce heat output.

Some fire baskets are available with a steel barbecue mesh tray which sits on the top of the fire basket. This gives the fire basket a dual use for cooking as well as a formidable heat source.

When choosing a fire pit or fire basket always takes into consideration the size of your garden or patio area. It is important to remember that you will probably want access around the fir pit or fire basket, so choose the right sized item, bearing this in mind.

Care and maintenance of fire pits is very simply, although they can be left outside all year round it is highly recommended that the copper and stainless steel firepits are give a light coating of oil at the end of the summer season so that they retain their lustre. Covers are available and will have the obvious impact of lengthening the life of a fire pit. Powder coated fire baskets can be left outside in the garden or patio and won’t rust, however steel fire baskets should be given a light coat of oil. If rust does appear on a steel finished fire basket, then this can be removed by using a wire brush, and then a light oiling should be applied. Always ensure that if oiling these items, only a light thin coat is applies.

Fire pits and fire basket really are the cutting edge of outdoor living and life style this year. It is anticipated that they will be one of the biggest selling garden accessories and heat sources for this season, so if you want to enjoy your garden for longer when the sun goes down, they are a must for you.

Enjoy long nights throughout the year with your fire pit or fire basket – your life will take a new turn into outdoor living.

Jenny Edwards is the operations manager of Arboreta Home & Garden Store. She is responsible for the buying and importing of new products.

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