The least durable backyard fireplaces will be made of thin metals and clay. They will also be less expensive. The more durable ones would be made of stainless steel, cast iron or aluminum. Copper is also quite durable, but you need to know that it does oxidize and will change color from golden-bronze to a greenish hue. Also, you should be aware of the fact that iron may rust if left out in the rain and snow. You will find backyard fireplaces that are fueled by wood, natural gas, liquid and gel. The gases burn cleaner and there is less mess than wood. Of course, with wood fireplaces you will have more work to do such as cutting the wood for the fire but many people enjoy the crackle and pop of a real outdoor fire. If you choose natural gas, you will need to install the gas line and the fireplace will be placed in a permanent location rather than being able to move it around.
Add an Outside Bar: We have all been to a resort where the outside bar was a place we never wanted to leave: a hut made of grass where daiquiris and margaritas flowed like water, it was, simply put, paradise. You might not have a house on a resort, but that doesn’t mean you can’t put an outside bar in the corner of your deck. It’ll take some money, and some work, but an outside bar will eventually give you a great place to host parties and kick back and relax: it might not be exactly like tropical living, but after a few Mai Tai’s, you may not know the difference.
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Now, let’s go even beyond that and get into an area where you can get really creative and let your personality shine through…. garden art. There are no rules whatsoever here. Simple things like adding tiki torches along a path can make a real statement. Want to get more out there, create a faux Mayan ruin surrounded by tropical-looking foliage. If you don’t have a pool, build a small pond complete with cascading waterfall. Or, suspend a comfortable hammock between trees, complete with a fake (or real!) parrot watching over you while you relax. Remember, no rules here. This is all about you. Have fun.
Creating a Solid Foundation, The good news is that this may start with what you already have. Here, use only things that are reliably winter hardy. This is the skeleton for your backyard landscape and we want it strong. Large trees, evergreen shrubs and small understory trees, and perennials that return year after year will set your foundation. This is completely specific to your area.
Here’s a great tip. Go to your favorite garden center’s houseplant section. Of course, there is really no such thing as a houseplant. All plants want to be outside and will perform their best outside. Many of the so-called houseplants are really understory tropicals that will perform beautifully on a covered patio or deck where they have protection from direct sun. Experiment with some of these plants and you are sure to be amazed at the results.