Edibles with Ease: When to Get Growing from Seeds or from Starts? Read more »
In my side yard which is mostly shade, I have tried a variety of perennials that thrive in a woodland setting. Read more »
Make your garden even more welcoming to birds and butterflies: turn it into a certified wildlife habitat. Read more »
The StaySharp™ Max Reel Mower combines patent-pending technology with superior ergonomics to deliver best-in-class cutting perf... Read more »
Keep your lawn and your shoes clean and free of clippings by adding our innovative, sturdy Grass Catcher to your StaySharp™ Ree... Read more »
The Salsa Rain Barrel System makes it easy to collect up to 58 gallons of water for your garden and lawn. Our rain barrel is ma... Read more »
Make the most of National Craft Month by preparing some craft kits for your children - let them explore color, texture and dif... Read more »
This is the second how-to in a series focused on getting the most out of your basic paper punches. Read more »
Spring brings in the most wonderful colors and here is a fun way to add a touch of color to your gifts! Read more »
Our ProCision™ Rotary Bypass Trimmer features a unique dual-rail system that stabilizes the rotary blade, eliminating wiggle fo... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of crafting and mixed media tasks, our Amplify® Mixed Media Shears sense blade separation and force th... Read more »
Available online and at your local retailer May 2014 Add distinctive style to craft projects of all kinds with... Read more »
My idea is to show everyone that they can make something cute and fashionable without spending a lot of money. Read more »
Embellishing a plain shirt using a reverse appliqué technique is easy - and your kids will love their personalized outfit! Read more »
This year, it seems like spring is way overdue at our house. Read more »
Perfect for tight, precise cuts, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force the blades back togethe... Read more »
Perfect for a wide range of sewing and quilting tasks, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabric Shears sense blade separation and force t... Read more »
Perfect for users with larger hands or anyone who needs to make long cuts through multiple layers, our Amplify® RazorEdge™ Fabr... Read more »
I always look forward to school being out for the summer (more so than my children, probably!) and the change of pace means we... Read more »
This fun project is a great way to send a little love note to your child. These lunchbox notes can be slipped into a backpack... Read more »
Here is a fun craft for St. Patrick’s Day that is not only adorable, it makes kids stop and think about how lucky they are. Read more »
Children love our Blunt-tip Kids Scissors for the handle that’s shiny, bright and smooth, not “sticky” or “bumpy.” Teachers and... Read more »
Our Big Kids Scissors take the basic design of our teacher-recommended Kids Scissors and enlarge them for kids that are a littl... Read more »
Our Student Scissors are larger than our Kids Scissors but smaller than adult scissors, perfect for those older children who ar... Read more »
Introduced to the world as a quality fabric scissors, the Original Orange-Handled Scissors redefined the standard for cutting p... Read more »
The first time you try our PowerGear® Super Pruner/Lopper, you’ll be amazed — but it’s not magic, it’s gears. Our patented gear... Read more »
Our Comfort Loop Rotary Cutter with a 45 mm blade makes cutting a wide variety of quilting materials comfortable and easy. A cu... Read more »
Integrating fire can be a great way to add a little nightlife to our favorite, at-home garden spaces. But, before you get started, there are a number of things to consider.
First, is it even legal to have an outdoor fire element in your area? Be sure to check local codes. In some locations, fires in the garden simply are not legal – even if you can buy a fire pit at the local hardware store. In other areas, you may need to watch for burn bans and occasionally forego the evening summer fire for safety’s sake. And, in some locations, only certain kinds of fireplaces are legal. Check your ordinances before you decide on your preferred fire element.
Next, decide what style of fireplace makes sense for you.
Do you want a style that is always present in the garden? For instance, do you prefer the look of a built-in fireplace or a permanent stone structure in the middle of your patio or even a wood fired pizza oven? All of the aforementioned types take up permanent space in the garden and may require a professional to help you design, permit and build them. Once they’re in place, they do not move. Since many home gardens are smaller, necessitating that spaces be multi-functional, be sure you take this into account before you choose to put a built-in structure in your patio. If you do want a permanent structure, there are ways to make it do double-duty. Consider designing it with a removable top, which allow you to use the walls of the fireplace as the base of a table (when the fire isn’t lit).
If a permanent structure doesn’t fit your style (or possibly your budget) consider buying a prefabricated model. These are available from hardware and other stores at prices that fit with just about any wallet size. Plus, they’re designed to be cleaned up and put away when not in use – giving you more room in your garden when you need it.
Don’t forget to consider the source of your fire. Do you want the convenience of a gas-burning fireplace? Or, do you want a traditional wood burning container? Whether you build in something fancy or buy a pre-built model, you’ll have the option to choose propane kits, plumbed gas lines or a simple kindling and wood burning design.
When choosing where to site your fire pit, be sure to always put safety first. Unless the fireplace has been built as an integral part of your home, it should always be placed far from any structures to avoid fire. On the same note, resist the urge to build your fire under low-hanging trees or over any burnable surface. And, be sure pets, children -- and everyone for that matter -- is aware of the risk of getting burned. And, never leave your fire burning unattended.
Once you have decided on your nighttime garden entertainment area, consider planting a few night-blooming plants to delight your evening crowds. Moonflower is both fragrant and only open at night. As well, there are fragrant Nicotiana, cacti, Datura and other bloomers perfect for your outdoor nocturnal fireplace garden.
(Pizza Oven photograph courtesy of Don Hogeland of woodfiredkitchen.com)