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17 Backyard Fire Pit Landscaping Ideas

By Sarah Finazzo July 8, 2024

outdoor fire pit on gravel with pavers

Landscaping around a fire pit will bring your outdoor space to the next level, giving it aesthetic appeal and creating a comfortable and inviting space for you and your guests to gather around and enjoy.

In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of fire pit landscaping and how it can enhance the overall look and feel of your outdoor living spaces. We will explore different ideas based on your fire pit layout and garden style and show how to create a cohesive and attractive space.

From the choice of seating to the use of plants and other outdoor elements, we can help you create a fire pit nook that is both beautiful and functional. Whether you're just starting to plan your fire pit design or are looking for ways to refresh it, we can get you on track to make it a focal point of your backyard and your favorite outdoor living space.

A Southwestern Oasis

If you are looking to create a southwestern inspired fire pit area it's easy to create a warm and inviting outdoor space with the beautiful warm hues of the desert and plants we often see in this type of palette.

To enhance the southwestern aesthetic, incorporate plants and materials commonly found in the region such as cactus, succulents, and rock gardens. Drought-tolerant plants are a necessity that can survive in the hot, dry climate typical of the southwest.

You can also use natural rock formations like gravel or river rock to create a desert-like appearance. You can also use those materials to create a pathway that leads to the fire pit area. Having a way to and from your fire pit is key to make it more usable!

Adding some desert-inspired plants such as Agave, Yucca, and Ocotillo can also provide a nice touch to the landscaping.

If you aren't physically in a Southwestern region, you can play up this style through decorative planters, Aztec printed rugs, corten steel accents and more.

backyard fire pit ideas landscaping in a Southwestern style garden
Tilly fire pit in Arizona

Play with Your Materials

When designing an outdoor fire pit area, the choice of hardscape materials can greatly impact the overall aesthetic.

We like layering different materials so it's not a one toned garden. Similar to the inside of your house, you'll want all the material tones to tie together, but they can differ and complement each other.

So for example, if you use a dark gravel and dark tones in your yard, you can introduce some wood to warm up the feel of the space. Remember that pavers, gravel and stone materials come in a huge variety of colors and finishes so you can really personalize your space.

We also love having the fire pit itself be a different material than the ground material. It gives the fire pit a sculptural feel, like a piece of art!

outdoor fire pit ideas
Tilly fire pit design in Texas

Bringing the Tropics to Your Backyard

You can have fun landscaping for a tropical inspired feeling backyard fire pit. Create a lush, vibrants space with plants and materials such as palms, ferns, and bamboo. These plants provide verdant atmosphere and can also provide privacy around the fire pit area.

To add color and interest, incorporate tropical flowers such as hibiscus, bougainvillea, and heliconia, which can be used to create a colorful and exotic display.

Place a water feature like a small pond or water fall nearby to create the sound of nature.

If you aren't in the tropics, focus on native plants to your region but you can also opt for some tropical inspired plants in planters, rugs with bright geometric shapes and bright colored accessories.

concrete patio with a concrete fire pit in a small back yard
Tilly fire pit design in Florida

Cozy & Inviting Backyard Haven

Landscaping around a cottage fire pit area in a backyard can create a cozy and inviting outdoor space. To achieve this style, you don't need to focus on structure and planning. Instead you can have a carefree vibe mixing many different textures and colors together.

We recommend small groupings different types of flowers so there is some structure, but otherwise full garden beds are the perfect landscaping match for this style.

Portable fire pits on a flagstone patio or set in the grass are great options for this style.

backyard fire pit ideas landscaping an outdoor room with a small fire pit on the ground and colorful flowers
Tilly fire pit design in Illinois

Mix and Match for Unique Flair

If you're shooting for an eclectic landscape design, you can have a lot of fun with your selections.

Mix and match different elements in an unexpected and harmonious way. You can incorporate a wide range of plants and materials to create an interesting and dynamic landscape.

For example, chose contrasting and complimenting colors, textures, and shapes to create a visually appealing and dynamic design. You can also work with different plant shapes, like round and spiky.

With an eclectic design, you can also play with different materials for the fire pit area, like metal, stone and wood.

backyard fire pit ideas a rectangular concrete fire pit in an outdoor living room
Tilly fire pit design in California

Au Naturale

Design a little natural oasis around your fire pit. This landscape design offers privacy through tall evergreens and grasses. This large backyard is in New York, but feels worlds away from others with the free flowing plant choices.

Rectangular pavers in grass give this design a modern edge and the outdoor furniture selections make it feel like an ultra cozy outdoor living room. Stick to native plants that will be low maintenance in your yard.

a backyard landscape design with a lounge seating area, tall hedges and ornamental grasses
Tilly fire pit design in New York

Create Timeless Elegance

To landscape around a classic fire pit area in your backyard you can use traditional design elements such as symmetry, balance, and proportion.

Great classic plant options include plants such as boxwood, roses, and hydrangea to create a sense of elegance and structure. These plants can be used to create formal gardens, hedges or borders that frame the fire pit area and provide a sense of order.

You can also use materials like brick or flagstone to create a classic and timeless look. These materials can be used to create walkways, patios, or even to build the fire pit itself.

backyard fire pit design in one of this yard's outdoor living spaces
Tilly fire pit design in Colorado

Rustic Retreat

This backyard fire pit ideas landscaping has a rustic feel, tucked around the backside of a garage, completely hidden from the rest of the yard.

The wood border creates a nice visual separation of the lawn and fire pit area. The rock pit gives a great, rustic look that is accentuated by the seating options and gravel base.

There are many ways to landscape a rustic area, such as using a wooden bench, a log seating area, or a dark pergola overhead. Using reclaimed materials such as old wooden beams, reclaimed bricks, or reclaimed metal are great ideas. Reclaimed items generally have great backstories you can share with your family and friends during quality time around a crackling fire.

When it comes to plants you have a wide variety of options! Ferns, moss, and wildflowers add to this natural feel.

rustic fire pit ideas and landscape design ideas
Tilly fire pit design in Wisconsin

Create A Starry Night

Hanging string lights above an outdoor fire place or near it is an easy way to set an intimate atmosphere.

String lights provide a warm and inviting ambiance that is perfect for relaxing and entertaining in your backyard. They can help make whatever is below them a focal point of the yard, especially in the evening.

Additionally, string lights are versatile, they come in different shapes, sizes, colors and are not permanent so can be moved if needed.

backyard fire pit ideas with a metal fire pit, dining table and hot tub in a small backyard
Tilly fire pit design in North Carolina

Fire Pit Landscaping Ideas for a Circular Patio

When landscaping around a circular patio, it is important to consider the unique layout and design opportunities that a circular shape presents. We often recommend sticking to the curvilinear lines to enhance the circle shape and soften the space.

If it's a circular space in the middle of the yard, more of a destination fire pit, don't close the space off too much with surrounding plantings. You'll want gaps for entrances and exits so you can easily enjoy the rest of the garden and don't feel confined.

You can anchor a destination fire pit by using plant beds, which will enhance the space and tie it to the rest of your yard.

rustic fire pit ideas
Tilly fire pit design in Washington

Concrete Patio Pavers

Using concrete pavers can be an excellent choice for both functionality and aesthetics. Concrete pavers are durable and can withstand the heat and weight of a fire pit without cracking or breaking.

They also come in a variety of colors, textures, and sizes, allowing you to create a customized look that complements the surrounding landscape.

rectangular concrete fire pit on a paver patio with seating for family and friends
Tilly landscape design in Virginia

Fire Pit Seating

It's critical to think through your fire pit seating area to make it a gathering place that family and friends.

If you are working with portable fire pits, then a flexible seating area that can easily be moved is a great option.

If you have a large fire pit bowl, fire place table, or a more permanent fire structure (including an outdoor fireplace) then you can opt for larger pieces that can stay year round.

Adirondack chairs are a popular choice for seating as they give off such a classic vibe are easy to move and comfortable. They can be stained or painted to match the style of your backyard, and they will age beautifully over time.

Whatever you select, have fun with cushions or pillows to add comfort and color.

Also remember to cover any furniture during the winter months (depending on where you live) to protect it from the elements.

outdoor fire pit seating area
Tilly fire pit design in Washington

Sunken Fire Pit Ideas

A sunken fire pit can be the epitome of an intimate, cozy space. This style space will retain heat well and can be a great way to block the wind. We recommend keeping the plantings low so that you aren't blocking the views out... Unless of course there is a view you want to block and then, go for it! But do it thoughtfully so the space doesn't feel confined.

When you are sitting in a sunken fire pit you will want an eye height view so you can enjoy the larger garden. Have fun with this design and you can even try plants that cascade down into the space to tie the two levels together.

Lighting is extremely important for safety in this type of set up for safety. Make sure you light the pathway to the fire pit and the steps coming down. For atmosphere you can subtly light a built in bench and the edges of the fire pit.

built in seating for a outdoor fire pit ideas
Tilly fire pit design in New York

Outdoor Fireplace

There is something very luxurious about an outdoor fireplace. This will be more expensive to install in your yard and there will probably be more to navigate in terms of permits with your town, however this feature can quickly become the heart of the yard.

Because of the size of the structure, when landscaping you should think about scale. Plan to plant larger trees and shrubs around the space to offer balance against the size of the feature.

This client added fun features around the fireplace, like a backyard bar and outdoor kitchen!

outdoor fireplace with seating in a back yard
Tilly fireplace design in California

Campfire Sanctuary

This small backyard packs a lot of punch with a dining table under a pergola, an overflowing garden design and a gorgeous outdoor fire pit with stone seating.

small backyard fire pit landscaping ideas with built in seating and dining areas
Tilly fire pit design in Wyoming

Permanent Fire Pit Seating

Like a fire place, this design is permanent with built in seating tucked away in a corner.

When considering whether you want a permanent or portable fire pit, you should consider your needs and how they will evolve - is a fire pit something you will use long term? Consider your budget - is it an investment you are ready to make? Think about the layout of your outdoor space - do you have a small backyard and a permanent structure may feel like a welcome addition or constricting?

curved concrete outdoor fire pit seating around a permanent concrete fire pit
Tilly fire pit design in Texas

Lighting around Fire Pits

We've talked about string lighting, but more permanent lighting is also a great investment around your fire pit.

There are many types of landscape lighting and if you aren't sure where to start, you'll want to work with a professional as lighting done right is gorgeous -- but lighting done incorrectly can make a front entry pathway look like an airport runway.

Consider lighting the pathway to your fire pit for safety. Integrate lighting into benches and other seating. You can also consider softly lighting the exterior rim of your fire pit area, especially if the hardscape material changes and there is a tripping risk.

If your fire pit is close to a beautiful specimen tree you can uplight the tree. Moonlighting in trees is another way to create a beautiful soft moon glow in your yard.

Landscaping around a fire pit allows it to blend in seamlessly with the rest of your yard and elevate your outdoor space. It's a cozy addition for roasting marshmallows, telling stories, or just enjoying the warmth on a cool evening.

Whether you plan to make this your next home project and DIY or hire someone to help it's an investment that can give back for years to come!

fire bowl on concrete pavers
Tilly fire pit design in Illinois

More about Tilly

Tilly’s easy online landscape design process has been embraced by homeowners across the country. Tilly breaks packages into the Front Yard, Backyard or Full Yard. We match you with a professional landscape designer who is familiar with your region to create the perfect custom plan for your outdoor space.

To start our process you’ll fill out a questionnaire about your property that helps our design team understand your goals, needs and existing landscape. You can add 3d renders, lighting plans or side yards to your design package. You’ll then meet with your designer on a video call, show them your space and discuss your priorities.

Whether you are just looking to add some curb appeal or transform your entire backyard - we have a team for you!

Read more about: Tilly Portfolio, Landscape Design Tips