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With these warming wonders, you can now party in the garden all year round!

  • Fireballs, firepits and Mexican inspired chimineas  will suit any garden
  • They bring warmth, light and cheer no matter the season
  • And can act as a toasty focal point for parties  

The doleful skies of winter have moved in, tempting us to hunker down inside and keep a safe distance from our gardens, balconies or patios. 

All fired up: The Africa Ball by The FirePit Company features a herd of elephants

All fired up: The Africa Ball by The FirePit Company features a herd of elephants

But firepits change all that.

Not only do these increasingly popular pieces of garden furniture ward off the chill, they create a convivial setting, which entices people outside despite less-than-inviting temperature readings. 

Having seen a fire burning within an impressive sculpture four-and-a-half years ago, farmer Andy Gage became intrigued by its beauty.

After enquiring about the price, Gage left dismayed, but inspired, and set to work on his own design back at the farm. From there, The FirePit Company was born.

‘I made one in my workshop and my wife suggested I put it on Facebook,’ says Gage, who continues to be a full-time farmer while running his business. 

‘The response was monumental. From there came a website, much more business and an invitation to exhibit at the Chelsea Flower Show.’

Architectural feature: Fireballs come in all sorts of different designs and no two are the same. This one was created for Lowther Castle and is on public display

Architectural feature: Fireballs come in all sorts of different designs and no two are the same. This one was created for Lowther Castle and is on public display

Business is, well, blazing. Gage now has nine employees. 

From his memorable collection is the English Country Firepit, an enchanting forest scene that can feature either a stag and herd, boxing hares or foxes, all surrounded by trees and nature. There is even the option to add a kissing couple.

The fire balls come in three sizes, the largest, at 900 mm costs £1,499 and is made in 6 mm steel. 

Behind the hand-drawn and carved figures, a fire burns, not only warming and lighting its surrounds, but telling a story.

When there is no further need for a fire in summer, a light unit, £60, inserted within the globe, will light it to kaleidoscopic effect (thefirepitcompany.co.uk).

‘When we’ve exhibited, the majority of places haven’t allowed us to light a fire,’ says Andy, who never makes two fireballs the same. ‘But, we’ve noticed that people are attracted to their tactile quality.

Bowls of fire: A toasty garden feature from The Indian Fire Bowl Company

Bowls of fire: A toasty garden feature from The Indian Fire Bowl Company

‘Even when you’re inside, and you’re looking out at a wet, gloomy scene, the LED lights make our globes a year-round feature. Your garden glows.’

Less ornate, but no less impressive, are Indian fire bowls. These wide-rimmed steel platter bowls tend to be made from recycled oil drums and can be moved around a garden.

Available via The Indian Fire Bowl Company, the versatile bowls, which range from 40 cm to 120 cm wide, can be filled with logs for the perfect firepit. 

They can also double up as a nifty communal roaster, whether of chestnuts or marshmallows. Prices start from £71.20, indianfirebowlcompany.co.uk.

If your space outside is limited, your options are not. A steel bucket brazier by Garden Selections, £35.99, notonthehighstreet.com comes in a pretty hand-etched flame design and will take up as little space as a wastepaper basket.

Over the past few decades, garden enthusiasts from cooler climes have appropriated the Mexican chiminea, in essence an outdoor woodburner.

Chimney charm: Chimineas like this one available on Notonthehighstreet are useful in small gardens

Chimney charm: Chimineas like this one available on Notonthehighstreet are useful in small gardens

Traditionally used in Mexico to heat homes and as a place to cook family meals, the chiminea has been put to work on British soil a little differently.

Known for their unusual shape, a long chimney-like flue atop a miniature flame-filled oven, there is plenty to choose from in terms of style. 

Oxford Barbecues sell a variety of chiminea including the large clay chimney, pictured, £89.99, notonthehighstreet.com.

Having somewhere cosy to gather around as well as a fuss-free place in which to cook sausages or foil-wrapped bananas makes a firepit worth its weight in logs.

And for added aromatic ambience, throw stems of spruce, cinnamon sticks or pine cones in amidst the flames.

Mystical Fire sachets, £7.99 for a pack of five by The Glow Company, can transform the amber hue of the fire into flashing lights of green, blue and red (glow.co.uk).

Inside, roaring fires are the backdrops to card games and tall tales. With fire pits and braziers, it is perfectly possible to recreate that same feeling — only this time, under the stars.

 

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR celebrityrave

Journalist, writer and broadcaster, based in London and Paris, her latest book is Touché: A French Woman's Take on the English. Read more articles from Agnes.

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Everyone went outside to smoke cloves and bitch about having to stay after for the State.

Jon Stewart on events following Charles — January 19, 1999