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Tips for Choosing a Chiminea for Your Backyard or Patio
Imagine that you want to stay warm in your backyard on a cool, starry night. One of the ways you can do so is to invest in a clay or cast iron chiminea. A chiminea is nothing more than the modern version of a traditional Mexican outdoor fireplace. This type of outdoor fireplace was used for hundreds of years as a source of warmth and a place to cook. Nowadays you see them in many backyards as sources of warmth and as accent pieces adding charm to a patio or garden.
You can find chimineas made of clay, aluminum and cast iron. Which one you choose depends on what style fits your patio or backyard and how much money you are willing to invest. (Note: There are several accepted spellings for a Mexican fireplace. The common spellings are: chiminea, chimenea, chiminia, chimenia.)
Choosing a Clay Chiminea
When choosing a clay chiminea, you should look to see if the fireplace was air-dried or kiln-dried. In general, an air-dried fireplace is usually "untreated." This means you would need to paint it and seal it before use. Kiln-dried versions are typically prepainted and sealed.
Clay chimineas are constructed in two pieces. The bottom piece, called the "bowl" is the largest piece, and looks like a potbelly stove. The smokestack, or "neck" is attached separately on top of the bowl. The joint where the two pieces come together is usually rather weak, so you should never lift a clay chiminea from the neck.
In general, clay chimineas are not designed to handle large fires for extended periods of time. They are also more likely to crack and break than a cast iron or aluminum model.
Finally, remember that a clay chiminea is nothing but a combination of water and dirt. If you let it sit in water long enough, it will turn back into mud. Therefore, cover it during rainstorms and never let your clay fireplace sit in a pool of water!
Cast Iron and Aluminum Chimineas
In general, a cast iron or aluminum chiminea is more durable and sturdy than a clay version. Although they tend to be heavier than clay models, they won't crack or break as easily. However, they will need occasional maintenance.
For example, if you leave a cast iron chiminea outside long enough, it will rust. Rust is a normal occurrence, so if you sand out the rust spots and paint them as they appear, your fireplace should give you many years of enjoyment.
Cast aluminum models are relatively low maintenance, lighter in weight than cast iron, and also rust-resistant. Therefore, painting and sanding is not necessary.
What to Look for in All Chimineas
As you shop for a Mexican fireplace, pay close attention to the size of the fire bowl area. This is where you will be placing the wood to burn, so be sure it is large enough to accommodate adequately large pieces of wood. The size of the fire bowl is more important than the height of the neck.
You might also consider purchasing a spark arrestor for your chiminea. A spark arrestor is a mesh screen that you place over the chimney hole to prevent sparks from escaping. You might also consider a spark arrestor for the front of the fire bowl, too.
A modern Mexican chiminea is a great addition to any backyard, both as a source of heat and as a decorating accent piece. Make your choice between clay, cast iron, and cast aluminum models. With a little yearly care, you will have a wonderful conversation piece for your patio or backyard. Plus, you will have a romantic and charming way to stay warm as you gaze into the sky on a cool and starry night.
David Caban is a successful author and publisher of outdoor fireplace and patio furniture advice. His website, http://www.best-in-patio-furniture.com is a one-stop source of free information on patio furniture and outdoor décor for patios, decks and porches.
A Beautiful Rose Is Natures Gift
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When starting a new plant from a leaf or stem cutting, the cutting will be more likely to form roots and create a new plant if a rooting hormone is used.
Easy Care Of Phalaenopsis
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Wildflower Seeds - Ten Reasons Why You Should Plant...
Native wildflowers are those that were growing naturally in the landscape before the first settlers arrived from Europe. Ever since that time more and more plants have been introduced from around the world with very mixed results. Although many of the imports are now prized garden specimens, others are regarded as invasive weeds whose cultivation is actively discouraged eg Japanese Knotweed. The benefits of growing wildflowers are many, but here are just a few:
Mowing the Lawn
This is more of a follow up on my original article posted yesterday. As I have now finally managed to buy a new lawn mower, with safetey and usability in mind, I have been chopping away at that lawn this morning.
The Perfect Garden Sundial
Is it possible for a garden sundial to tell perfect time?
Mix Perennials into Your Garden for Staying Power
Perennial plants and flowers stay around for more than just one gardening season. Some of them bloom again for only about 3 years, while others will continue to bloom for many years to come.
Flower Meanings & History of Flowers
The charming and delicate beauty of flowers has fascinated people of all nations and backgrounds for centuries. Flowers have been bred and cultivated for their decorative beauty as well as their ability to heal diseases. Flowers are the subject of poems and myths, and religious symbols are associated with flowers as well. Many girls are named after flowers. The main reason for the popularity of flowers though is their ability to bring good cheer.
The Basics Of Pruning
The technique of pruning varies with the type of rose and the landscape purpose for which it was planted, whether it's growing in the ground or in a container. Pruning can range from removing unwanted buds to severely excising canes. Proper pruning stimulates growth at the buds closest to the cut, which produces new flowering stems.
Perfume Your Garden and Home with Gardenias
One of my favorite plants is the large white-flowered Mystery Gardenia (gardenia jasminoides) that grows to about 5' tall and wide. The perfume-like scent adds an exotic feeling to gardens. Plus, the large white flowers show up well in moonlight when many people more likely get a chance to take pleasure in their garden.
Planting Bare Root Roses
Before planting, the plants must be prepared. The following suggestions will help insure that your roses grow into healthy bushes, trees, etc.:
Plants, Birds, Love and Deer Hate
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Naturalized bulbs look beautiful in a wooded setting. You can plant them and leave them to multiply. After the bulbs bloom the foliage will die down, but you can interplant bulbs with ground covers for a carefree and beautiful garden.
Balcony, Patio, and Courtyard Gardening
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Backyard Bird--The Catbird
It's quiet now.
Vermicomposting - Worm Composters For Eco-Friendly Waste Disposal and Recycling
Worms are not only the gardener's best friend, they are also the recycler's new found best friend as well. Nature's little waste disposal experts have found a new place in eco-conscious household's across the globe as more and more people are catching on to the idea of using worms' special talents to dispose of their organic household waste. If you have ever pondered on the idea or are in the least bit interested in giving your world environment a helping hand then you might like to delve a little deeper into the world of worms...
Indoor Gardening Tips for Jerry Seinfeld
"I have no plants in my house. They won't live for me. Some of them don't even wait to die, they commit suicide" ~Jerry Seinfeld Come on, admit it....is your thumb not as green as you want it to be? Are you having trouble keeping your house plants alive and healthy? Can you relate to Jerry on this one? Relax?.you're not alone! Many of us (myself included at times) have felt that fake plants were our only option because we seemed to have the "touch of death" when caring for plants. Read on to find out how 10 simple changes will make you feel like a "natural born gardener"!
Fall is the Time to Get Your Garden Trees and Shrubs Ready for Winter: Heres What to Do
Tips for winter care of trees and shrubs
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