We’ve had a few nice days this summer I guess, but already I can feel a nip in the air at the start and end of the day, reminding me that autumn is only around the corner. I want the summer to last as long as possible, so will do anything to try and extend the feeling a bit longer! With the arrival of a new Chiminea for our garden recently, it may be just the thing to help us squeeze out every last drop of outdoor living this season.
When you have kids and over half of your outdoor space is taken up by a football net, basketball hoop, assorted balls, rackets, paddling pool etc. it’s nice to have a corner of the garden that’s for grown-ups. We don’t have a particularly large plot, it’s an average-sized suburban garden, but we’ve claimed a little corner, just outside our conservatory. Just a small square deck with a balustrade (handy sometimes for repelling footballs before they can knock a drink out of your hand) and some seating it’s an ideal spot for our Chiminea. Add some throws, candles and a glass of wine and you’ve got the perfect place to chill on a summer or autumn evening.
Although for the pictures we placed the chiminea on our wooden decking, it’s not recommended – obviously it could be a fire risk with all that wood, so we’ve now moved it onto a stone flag adjacent to the decking where it can still warm us without being a hazard.
As with all handmade products, each chiminea is going to be slightly different and I like that. The finish of it is matt and the colour cream and black with a simple flower design and it stands on a 3 legged metal base.
But of course there are lots of different shapes, sizes, colours and designs when it comes to Chimineas. Some are sleek and modern with glossy, glazed finishes, others are more rustic, matt and traditional looking. You can buy metal or clay ones and some can even be used indoors with bio fuel, like the Ellipse design which would look great in a conservatory or garden room.
Previously we had a firepit, but I found it incredibly smoky and not pleasant to sit next to. So I really wanted a chiminea designed with a tall chimney that would draw the smoke upwards and away from our faces! Before using it you need to line the base with lava rocks which will protect the clay from getting too hot and cracking:
We used a fire log as fuel for our first fire (one of those paper-wrapped, recycled wood logs where you light the paper to start it burning), but later some chopped up pieces of wood. It’s important not to overload the chiminea as the clay will warm up considerably even with a small fire and emit heat through its sides. If you have flames coming out of the top, your fire is too big and can damage the chiminea. (See here for more information about how to season your chiminea and protect it from thermal shock.)
You can place the lid of your chiminea back on top when not in use and it is recommended to use a weather proof cover to protect your chiminea from the elements when not in use. We’ve loved using it so far on a few consecutive nights and it’s been an excuse for the kids to toast some marshmallows by it – and why not!
Do you have a chiminea or would you consider getting one to prolong the summer nights? I’d love to hear.
I received the Gardeco Chiminea from Chimineashop.co.uk for my review but as always, all opinions, images and words are my own.