Warm It Up! Fire Options for Outdoors

Article written by Troy-Bilt brand ambassador Rochelle Greayer of Pith + Vigor

A popular and easy way to add charm and elegance to your garden is to incorporate fire. A fire feature is warm - not just in heat, but it also adds ambiance and coziness - especially when incorporated into lighting elements. Flames draw people's attention, and are excellent nighttime focal points. Personally, I don't think there's anything better than sitting around a fire with loved ones, perhaps with a cocktail, and enjoying nice conversation on a cool evening.
Adding a fire element to your garden isn't difficult and there are a variety of options to consider, depending on where you live.


There are three main ways to achieve the fire effect. You may find that for a variety of reasons some are not an option and others might be more suitable in your situation.
Open natural wood fire - This most basic option is the same one that Neanderthals used. It is, however, banned in many places for air quality and fire safety reasons. Make sure you know your local regulations. Wood fires can be made in all sorts of vessels or even on the ground within a fire ring. In-ground fire rings are generally made of metal, stone or concrete block. Be sure to place the fire pit away from buildings and overhead features that burn.
Gel fire - Typically used in urban areas, gel fires are a lot like a can of cooking sterno. They come in a variety of forms and because of the cleanliness of the fire (no sooty smoke), the complete flexibility of placement and the ability to control the size of the flame, they lend themselves to applications where a modern look is desired. These can be also be tiny fire features that are suitable for just about anywhere. Considered a green option, these fires are easy to light, require no venting and you can add aromatics to the fuel to create a scented fire.
Gas fire - Gas fires are typically piped into a home's gas mainline and so can be lit with the flip of a switch. The installation expense is not insignificant, as it requires professional help and often needs to be inspected by local building authorities. The practicalities of running lines can also be a design challenge that makes the placement of these fires tricky. The upside is that you don't need to refuel.
If you desire the warm glow of fire, but don't have space or interest in an actual fire, you might consider adding some old-fashioned camping lanterns in which the filament burns oil, or even some candles to your garden to warm things up at night.