Fire is very cool…and very hot right now in garden design. It’s the new water feature, but better for toasting marshmellows over.

There’s something atavistic and hypnotic about making and huddling round a home-made fire. It immediately focuses your eyes, draws you in, renders conversation unnecessary. Add a throw, a whisky and a clear starry night and you’ve got one of those beautifully simple moments of happiness.

Here are 5 ways to warm you up in the night garden…

1. Brazier: Any metal basket which holds the burning material together and off the ground. Usually open to catch breeze, I’ve seen everything from beautiful wrought iron versions to old washing machine drums do a splendind job.

2. Firebowl: The designer sister to the brazier, this tends to be circular and low-slung. The original is a cooking bowl from India called the kadai, so firebowls are great for slinging a grill-rack over and flame-cooking your lunch. The chic version is set into a table-top for that casual ‘yeah, there’s a fire in my table’ thing.

3. Firepit: A ground-level or raised outdoor fireplace; the raised version with 450mm square or circular walls works better in the modern garden. Face blockwork in render, stone facings or tile, ensure there’s a vent and inbuit basket or grille and top with a coping stone for resting the whisky on.

4. Garden fireplace: Showcasing the whole ‘outdoor room’ ethos, an outdoor fireplace would be a real focal point to your space. The easy option is to run a gas line out and have the flames on tap. The real thing will need firebricks and an adequate flue to carry the smoke up and away.

5. Pizza oven: A rising trend for city gardens and rooftops, this is a raised, enclosed fire lined with firebricks and capable of the high temperature needed to cook dough. They’re best for the committed outdoor cook, otherwise plump for one of the more stylish options above. Which reminds me, I must write a post on outdoor kitchens…!

garden fireplace 1
fire pit bowl in garden
garden firepit table
garden fireplace 2
garden fireplace 3
stone garden fireplace
garden fireplace night
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photo credits: Christopher Dow, twentytwentyone, John T Unger studio, Philip Nixon, Frederika Whitehead, Charlotte Rowe. If you spot an image that needs a credit, please get in touch.