Xeriscape: Water-Defying Landscaping

On a recent trip to Ojai, CA with family I noted something beautiful: desert landscaping in a raised planter bed lined with local boulders. The shopping center on West Ojai Ave., Hwy 150, incorporated the local horticulture as a design theme throughout the shopping center. It really worked for me.

Agave Attenuatta
Agave Attenuatta flowers. Also known as “Foxtail Agave”. Photo via Xemenendura on commons.wikimedia.org.

The crisp green Agave plants arranged in a harmony outside the store, and a subtle winter rain brought out the scent of maple from the deciduous trees overhead. The sharp yellow leaves speckled the ground and I noticed inlaid cast-metal leaves in the pavers, to remind guests and residents of this most regal autumn season’s dressings. The drizzle of rain didn’t detract from the dessert plants as one might expect, as the darkened soil enhanced the Agave’s color. Continue reading “Xeriscape: Water-Defying Landscaping”

Rumford Fireplace

The Rumford Fireplace was invented in 1796 by Count Rumford. He designed them to be the most efficient residential wood burning fireplace in the world, and for 200 years the record still stands.

Count Rumford’s success in this fireplace design, along with several other inventions including a new naval signalling strategy, earned him a knighthood and position as a Count of the Holy Roman Empire.

These beautiful wood burning fireplaces live either inside the home, or as an element of an outdoor entertainment area. Heavily depending on masonry skill for assemblage, Genesis loves installing these fireplaces. Take a look at some of the photos below to see why. It’s a classic style, colonial ingenuity, and expert craftsmanship in a trinity of wood heating.

[Figure 1] Rumford fireplace via rumford.com.
[Figure 2] Rumford fireplace closeup via rumford.com.
[Figure 3] Rumford fireplace via rumford.com.
What makes the fireplace “work” is the idea of increased airflow through the chimney. Conventional fireplaces leave wide open space above the flame, allowing cold air to mix with the hot air from the flame. This creates turbulence and back-flow, and smoke begins to leak from the chimney into the room or living area.

A Rumford fireplace solves this problem by reducing the space above the fire to a narrow opening, which does not open until the top of the chimney. The hot air from the fire heats the clay chimney bricks, creating even more air flow. The shallow base brings the back wall closer to the fireplace, and the radiant heat from the flames disperse into the room more easily. Not only do Rumford fireplaces burn cleaner, they also burn hotter.

Gas burning Rumford’s also work like a charm, capitalizing on the style of the masonry and efficiency of natural gas. The principles behind the wood burning stoves hold true with natural gas, fumes from the fire stream through the efficient chimney system, while heat radiates throughout the space. The only question left is which stone patterns and colors to choose!

Pre-manufactured hearths guarantee that quality standards are met, while also cutting installation costs. ¬†Genesis takes pride in the outdoor entertainment area’s we’ve created over the years, and highly recommend the use of pre-manufactured Rumford fireplaces for outdoor heating. Allow us to create a Rumford stove and surprise you with its efficiency and style.

To view more examples of beautiful Rumford fireplaces, visit rumford.com. Jim Buckley is an expert in these stoves. Then come on back and get your free estimate on installation and design by Genesis!

Call us today for a free in-home consultation at 888.389.5533, fill out our free estimate form online, or email us at info at genesisstoneworks.com. We’d love to design your outdoor paradise.