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Outdoor Living Elements of Fire

Written By Lisa Simek

Often the thought of gathering around a fire brings back the most pleasant of nostalgic memories: catching up with loved ones and exchanging laughs, while humming the tune of your favorite songs, feeling warm and at peace under a starry night sky on a cool summer’s evening. Studies prove that simply staring at a fire lowers blood pressure, promotes relaxation and relieves stress, so it’s no surprise that the installation of fire featured elements has been taking off on Long Beach Island.

“People are drawn to fire,” notes David Ash Jr., renowned local landscaper, designer, and owner of the Surf City-based company David Ash Jr. Landscape Contractors. He adds, “It’s about creating that inviting, warm environment. Clients crave that tranquility, yet want the convenience of escaping to their own back yard.” That’s where he and his team come in; with nearly three decades of landscape design experience, David Ash Jr. is addressing exactly this demand with his breathtaking fire-featured, custom constructed, personal backyard sanctuaries.

For Ash, designing the perfect outdoor space is a delicate process of connecting all of the dots of human experience. Low voltage lighting accented throughout, strategically placed horticulture that provoke both an aromatic and aesthetically pleasing ambiance, natural elements of stone, water, and fire—all contributing the ultimate sensory experience for anyone walking through the garden.

When it comes to fire features, though, the outdoor living designer is keen on specific characteristics and attributes. For starters, he almost always recommends natural gas-powered fire features. “Not only is it the safest, but it really is the most convenient as well,” he shares. Ash acknowledges that local town ordinances have become stricter regarding the installation and use of fire elements in homeowner yards, and the best direction to take is opting for a fire pit or patio heater that is directly and professionally connected to one’s gas line.

While he usually parlays the stonework, coloring, and elements of a home’s exterior into the design of his curated outdoor living spaces, any mundaneness ends there. Ash’s list of high-end property transformations include everything custom from outdoor kitchen units that rival that of celebrity chef Bobby Flay, to resort style swimming pools with innovative concepts such as one-of-a-kind fire and water features (in which water flows directly through the fire bowls and cascades back down into the pool in a beautiful, elegant sheet), extravagant private cabanas, and stunning walls and terraces with curved snake flame fire features that accent ocean views.

If you’re not partial to fire and water swimming pools or snake flames, the options for other fire features are limitless. David Ash Jr. deems the most popular to be self-contained fire and water bowls, fire pillars, and fire pits themselves which can come in all shapes and sizes. Ash customizes his built-in fire pits and can not only make them as large or small as requested, but can vary the shapes (round, square, linear, curve, pattern) and even place them in unique locations including built into a garden planter display or custom built waterfall.

Above all, the high-end landscape design firm prides itself on quality materials and services. From knowledge of the appropriate BTU output of one’s desired fire elements to sourcing exceptional materials that combat the local weather and natural elements of the island, David Ash Jr. not only has a green thumb, but also the creative fuel to light your outdoor living space’s fire.

David Ash Jr. Landscape Contractors is a high-end landscape and design firm based in Surf City. Servicing Long Beach Island for more than 25 years, David Ash Jr. offers a visionary, functional, and natural approach to full service luxury outdoor living design, custom installation, and building.

To learn more, visit or follow them on Instagram @davidashjrlandscape.

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