The hottest accessory in outdoor entertainment is fire. Be it a fire pit, a fireplace or something in between, shooting flames are hot, hot, hot.

When buying new technology, my late husband, Hank, was a very handy kind of guy who always did his homework. He discovered early on in our DIY marriage that cheap was not always better, and some things were best left to professionals.

So when searching for information on “fire,” my first stop was the online version of the Landscape Architect magazine,

The sources in this magazine produce and sell high-end products, and they give you a good idea of what’s available.

From Hearth Products Controls is a new and exclusive Electronic Ignition High/Low fire pit with a Bluetooth remote app. It allows customers the control, convenience and safety of operating their HPC fire pits remotely using android or Apple phones, so check it out and their large selection of fire pits at Their online store, Firepits Direct, has a DIY Fire Pit Guide and offers discounts on most products.  

My favorite is a fire pit carved out of a large piece of rock from Fireboulder   ( They come with round or linear shaped receptacles in a variety of stone types, including Michigan sand stone. Their water boulders can be used in combination and make a spectacular setting.  

If you have some extra cash to spend and want to create some very “cool” effects in the landscape, consider installing a fogging system. Portable systems that run around $150 are available in Amazon. For occasional use on Halloween, a party or a wedding Theefun makes a portable model with a remote for under $30. You will need to buy “fog juice”, priced around $30 a gallon.

For a high-end permanent installation check out Koolfog at or Atomizing Systems Inc. at   These companies also make misting systems that are becoming all the rage with upscale outdoor restaurants and bars in areas that experience hot summers. Homeowners who like to “staycation” and entertain outdoors are also jumping on the bandwagon.

Misting systems can be very expensive so a good place to start is to test the technology with a misting fan. These fans cool by combining air movement and mist provided by water from a tank or hose. In a hot dry area they can cool the air by up to 30 degrees.  So if you have a small area, a good misting fan may just do the trick. To research outdoor misting systems and outdoor fans go to

Nancy Szerlag is a master gardener and Metro Detroit freelance writer. Her column appears Fridays in Homestyle. To ask her a question go to and click on Ask Nancy. You can also read her previous columns at detroitnewscom/homestyle.


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