For romantic evenings: open fire in the garden

Should it crackle, flicker and smell like wood? Fire has fascinated humanity since time immemorial. However, garden owners can not always just set up a fire pit in the garden - just when there are neighbors, it makes the legal situation difficult. This varies from community to community.

However, if you do not want to give up fire, you can resort to other alternatives. These include:

  • Fire bowls
  • Fire baskets
  • Terrace ovens
  • Torches

The flames are not too high in the air, the wood burns controlled. The small siblings of the big campfire site can be bought everywhere in the trade. Here, garden owners only have to decide which alternative is best for them.

Legal regulations for fire bowls, fire baskets and Co

Fire bowls, baskets and co include, according to the legal definition, fire places which constitute a non-approved installation (source: First Ordinance to Implement the Federal Immission Control Act). So every garden owner can set up a fire bowl without having to register it with the authorities. They are considered by law to be installations that provide warmth and coziness.

However, it is strictly prescribed which fuel may be used. The following are permitted:

  • natural wood
  • pellets
  • wood briquettes
  • barbecue charcoal
  • ethanol
  • gas

However, the incineration of waste is not permitted. Garden branches and shrub remnants must not be allowed in fire bowls and Co, otherwise high fines may be threatened.

The small campfire: fire bowls

One of these alternatives is the fire bowl in various shapes. It can be used very versatile in the garden. As the name implies, here the wood is burnt down in a shell and so the soil is spared. Another advantage is that the fire can not spread uncontrollably.

Fire bowls are available in different materials. The gardener can choose from:

  • Stainless Steel
  • Steel and Iron
  • Cast Iron
  • Ceramics
  • Clay and Terracotta

Stainless Steel is particularly popular because it provides high heat resistance, is rust resistant and usually easy to clean. In addition, these fire bowls are very weather resistant. For steel and iron, rust resistance is worse - instead they offer a more natural look than polished stainless steel.

Cast iron bowls come from a foundry and are not forged. These shells also rust. Ceramic bowls are made of sealed clay. They look visually beautiful, but can not compete with the heat. Clay and terracotta bowls are cheaper than ceramics, but are not sealed. Rain and snow are troubling you: the water can penetrate and make the shell burst. These bowls should not stand outside.

Grill fans will also get their money's worth over the fire bowls. With a swing grill, wire shelf and co. Meat preparation on real fire is a special treat.

Fire bowls are available in different sizes. Basically, they should not be under one roof and also have enough distance to neighbors and co. The surface should be firm: stone, tiles or a steel plate are suitable here. It is important that enough space is available to the ground to prevent heat build-up. And, of course, the shell should be stable and free from wobbling, so that it does not easily fall over.

Crackling logs embedded: Fire baskets

In contrast to the shell, the fire in a basket does not burn completely. Already in ancient times, these models were used for lighting. Main core is the metal vessel, which encloses the fire high, but has large gaps and resembles the shape of a basket. Many a fire basket has no bottom and is stuck in the ground. Other models have their own bottom and even a catch tray for the ashes.

Fire baskets are usually made of metal (iron, steel or stainless steel). Often they have a black powder coating, which makes them robust to the weather. The garden owner also has a choice of different shapes: large, small, wide, narrow, antique, with patterns or simple.

The advantage of fire baskets: They are flexible and mobile. If a location in the garden no longer likes, a new one can easily be chosen. The disadvantage with fire baskets is that ash and embers often fall out laterally. Therefore, a fireproof pad is mandatory. Similarly, fire baskets are more expensive to clean than fire bowls. They are therefore more suitable for occasional use.

Terrace ovens: For the fireplace feeling in the garden

If the fire in bowl and basket is too open, it can resort to so-called terrace ovens. These are designed as chimneys in a small format, the fire often enclosed in a body. Most terrace ovens are also made of cast iron or metal. There are many forms available, from the pyramid to fully modern designs.

Particularly popular are so-called Mexico or Aztec ovens, which have their origins in South America. Typical are the round belly and the long-drawn butt. Traditionally, they are also made of clay or terracotta, modern variants are made of metal and grid structures. Here the wood usually burns behind a hatch made of glass, but also open grid structures are possible. The disadvantage: The heat is distributed through the walls to the outside, but not as strong as open fire constructions. The advantage: the smoke passes through the dining area in a controlled manner and is not blown uncomfortably on the faces.

In the case of terrace ovens, the gardener also has the opportunity to use gas ovens operated with a gas cylinder. In such an oven the fire appears at the touch of a button, ashes and smoke are eliminated. However, there is no real fire atmosphere here: no wood crackles and crackles, the characteristic fragrance is missing. Likewise oven and grill can not be connected here. In addition, gas is considered an expensive fuel.

Less heat: torches for a romantic lighting

Torches can be freely distributed in the garden. They are simply stuck in the ground, providing atmospheric lighting. Whether around the terrace or along the way as a signpost - they are popular because of their simplicity. However, garden torches are farthest from the feel of the campfire.

The torches are operated with different fuels. Wax is classic: These torches are like a big candle - inexpensive but quickly used up. But petroleum is also possible. Such models can be refilled and can be used multiple times. The design also differs from model to model. Some garden torches are made of bamboo, others made of stainless steel.


A bonfire in the garden is often subject to approval. However, fire bowls, baskets and co can be set up freely. Each model has its own advantages. If you want to do without wood, you can even use gas-fired terrace ovens.

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