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Despite it being spring, the evenings can still be quite chilly. With that in mind, there’s nothing better than sitting and listening to the crackle of some flames in the garden with a pack of marshmallows. There are a few options for these evenings that can have you happily staring into the embers of a warm fire, but the most popular choices are to either buy a fire pit or a chimenea. To help you work out which option is right for you, we’ve put together this handy buying guide that compares the two.
The first thing to note about fire pits is that you can choose to either build one or buy one. To build one, you have to dig foundations and lay sand and lava rocks, which can be a hassle and leaves your garden permanently changed - whereas you can purchase free-standing pits, in a variety of interesting designs that can complement your garden’s style. Remember to choose an area where there are no overhanging plants or structures; heat rises, and you wouldn’t want to accidentally spread the fire.
If you have the space for either type of fire pit, then you can begin to plan your seating arrangements. Remember that with a fire pit the smoke is uncontrolled, so you need to plan seating that goes all the way around the pit so that you can sit away from where the wind direction blows the smoke. Some good ideas are creating a crazy-paving seating area where guests can bring folding camping chairs to sit in so that they can easily move if the wind shifts.
If you’d like to instead invest in some permanent furniture to surround the fire pit, check out our collection of Garden Furniture for easy to maintain and plush materials great for any setup. Try to focus on cushions and covers which are machine washable instead to keep your furniture in good condition.
Chimeneas are a great idea if you have a little less space in your garden, or if you would like to add a burner but don’t want to rearrange your existing furniture. Chimeneas can be placed almost anywhere, so long as there is nothing covering the top of the flue. They are especially good at directing warmth, as most designs have a single grate at the front where heat escapes, though all-around 360-degree chimeneas are becoming increasingly popular as an alternative to fire pits.
The main selling point of a chimenea is the chimney which directs smoke away from the seating level. This means that a chimenea can be moved around the garden to be used in different areas, regardless of the wind direction, so you can get a lot more use out of the different entertaining spaces of your garden.
Of course, with a chimenea you don’t get the pleasure of being able to hold marshmallows over open flames like you would if you had a fire pit, but there’s nothing stopping you firing up the grill to make some s’mores.