July can be cold in our parts. If the days are bright and sunny (which they often are following a frost) working outside can be fantastic. To encourage staying outside a fire can definitely help.
We did some serious re-assessing of our some of the early landscaping and planting originally put in when establishing our garden. When we are in the height of summer the potential threat of fire is often at the front of our minds. Some of the beautiful shrubs we planted on the north western edge of the house were just too close to the house should we get a fast furious fire coming through. It was watching some very sobering footage of the Canberra fires at a RFS (Rural Fire Service) workshop that really drove this point home. So – before last summer we removed them from where they were. A lovely Permaculture philosophy that is well explained here is seeing a problem as a solution – we love being outside and particularly enjoy sitting around a fire when having friends and family to visit. So this new space has become – ironically – a beautiful fire pit.
It has been a lot of hard work to build the brick walk and the fire pit itself weighs over 300kg. The end result though has been worth the effort.
There is something very relaxing and calming about sitting around a fire. We really enjoy this way of entertaining. This space has already changed how we use our garden and we look forward to many evenings around the fire. I also look forward to feeling just that bit more relaxed about pushing the garden a bit further away from the house should a fire come through.