When situating a fireplace, consider how it will look from the rest of the garden and, equally important, what the view will be like from it.
A circular seating area will encourage conversation; a single bench on one side puts the focus on the view; an L-shape seat offers a little of both.
Wood fireplaces are the most traditional but require lots of attention and care. Gas fireplaces are low maintenance and cleaner to use.
Fire pit and seating area designed by Bluegreen, a landscape design firm in Aspen, Colorado. (bluegreenaspen.com)