Gardens comprise not just the flowers but the hardscape too. The hardscape can be so much more than just pathways and patios. Think outside the box and envision a family gathering place, a permanent place to congregate. Think about a garden item that changes the garden into more than just a room, changes it into a garden experience. Nothing is more uniting and magical than a fireplace. An outdoor fireplace changes the garden into a garden experience for all to enjoy - male, female, young and old.
What is it about fire that is so uniting? It is rather like water, in that fire is mesmerizing. Whether it is a simple backyard firepit or an elaborate brick and/or stone fireplace, the outdoor fireplace offers much more than just garden décor - it offer family memories.
The Muse of Fire
O! for a muse of fire, that would ascend the brightest heaven of invention.
Fire for the Mind
A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body.
Our Simple Fire Pit & The Family Memories
When we moved into our Victorian home that had overgrown shrubs and bushes, we had debris everywhere. Paying for a professional to remove the shrubs that had outlived their space and nearing the end of their lifespans was a pricey option. Yes, you guessed we choose back breaking manual labor. This labor of love was joyfully made lighter by the ability to have a legal fire pit. Right in the middle of the city! Often I have stated I would have moved here for the sake of the ability of the sanctioned fire pit half jokingly. The fire pit allows us to readily depose of debris and makes the tedious task of cutting limbs down to size for the refuse hauler a thing of the past. We have to cut the limbs so that they fit in the confines of the fire pit but once the items are there, we let them dry out for a delightful bon fire.
We are now clear of the extensive debris but the love the of fire pit remains and we actively scout for stray branches for the fire pit.
A fireplace, formal in nature complete with room for storing fire logs and kindling is a dream come true. For you see, in my storey book garden I would include as a focal point a charming fireplace complete with a raised hearth for family and friends to gather around. For you see, the fireplace is the center that starts the conversation and builds the lasting memories.
The Focal Point of Your Outdoor Oasis - Artistically Crafted
Outdoor Stone Fireplace and Matching Patio
Outdoor Stone Fireplaces
Your Design Needs a Plan
Your outdoor fireplace needs a plan - carefully thought out and well constructed not just because the fireplace become the focal point but also because the fireplace sets the stage for all surrounding elements. If you love rustic and wish for your garden room and surrounding elements to echo the rustic feel, by all means do aim for a rustic fireplace. If your home and your decorating style is more elegant and formal, take this into careful consideration for your plans.
Consider the Function of the Fireplace Also
Don't forget the function of your fireplace. Where you do plan on storing the fireplace logs? The kindling? Can you effectively hide these items? Or do you desire to have the fireplace include cavities to house these pieces of wood and sometimes outdoor debris.
If you plan on burning leaves and other messy items, you may wish to think twice about the fireplace. A fireplace is more for logs than small debris. If small debris is your main use, consider a great alternative - a fire pit.
Nothing beats a formal outdoor fireplace for setting the overall tone for your outdoor gatherings.
Your Design of the Fire Place and Your Patio
Do carefully plan both your fire place and your patio together. While the stones don't have to match they do have to blend. Do choose carefully how to blend these two together. And remember, the matched items will lend a more formal flare to your design style.
Patio Rooms with Stone Fireplaces
Design An Entire Room
A stone fireplace all by its lonesome is still awesome but to do it up right, you really should consider the outdoor space as an entire room.
Do consider an overhead arbor to delineate the space. Do carefully consider the patio furniture and try to incorporate both the colors and the style to bring the entire room together.
Add Planters to Your Outdoor Space
One of my favorite garden design elements is the planter. The planter anchors the room and is the gateway from the garden to the garden room.
The Stone Chosen Sets the Tone
The foundation for your outdoor room is the stone that you choose for your fireplace. If the edges are cut and very precise, the design will tend to have a more formal and elegant feeling. If the stones are round and very natural, the design will set the overall tone as rustic or more casual in feeling.
Take a close look at the many options presented here and note what you like both for function and then choose what you like for style.
Customize your outdoor fireplace with all the elements you find appealing and you and your family will set the foundation for creating decades of fireplace gathering memories.
Outdoor Stone Fireplace
Outdoor Stone Fireplaces
The Various Styles of the Outdoor Fire Place
As you can see, the choices for your outdoor fireplace abound. From the formal stone to the formal brick to the rustic round rock to even the whimsical flower pot, the only limitation is your imagination and your budget.
And sadly we are the end of our fire place journey and we must depart. I leave you hopefully with your imagination running wild and a burning desire for an outdoor oasis for your family. And I also leave with you my favorite fireplace - the stone fire place complete with the symmetrical storage sections and expansive raised hearth. To me, this is the ultimate in the story book focal point of the garden.
What is your desire? Please share with us what delights your senses in the comments below.
Share Your Style Choice
Memories of Our Lives
Memories of our lives, of our works and our deeds will continue in others.
Memories are the Key to the Future
Memories are the key not to the past, but to the future.
Corrie Ten Boom
Your Thoughts on Family Memories
The heart of marriage is memories; and if the two of you happen to have the same ones and can savor your reruns, then your marriage is a gift from the gods.
© 2014 Ken Kline
Ken Kline (author) from Chicago, Illinois on May 20, 2014:
Oh, my - yes, an outdoor fireplace is a sure sign of opulence and achievement of wealth.A successful friend and I visited and he suggested a photo of my desire on my refrigerator. I didn't have a precise item and ironically a work associate handed me a bill with 500,000,000 written on the face of the $1 bill - that is now on my fridge - dreams - they are dreams so let's dream BIG! Really BIG!
FlourishAnyway from USA on February 23, 2014:
These are beautiful. I sure would love to have one.