the fire garden

Earlier this spring, I mentioned that we relocated our vegetable garden to a sunnier part of our gardens. The raised bed gardens we built many years ago are now shaded by large trees. We decided to put down a few patio stones and also built a small hearth where we could have an occasional wood fire for roasting vegetables. We didn’t go to much bother to build this garden — between going to the building supply place to get some patio stones and wood, me sawing and hammering to put the wood frames together, and Don shoveling in soil, we had the whole thing assembled in about 8 hours. Over the next couple of days, I transplanted all of the vegetable I’d started in our living room window. I also planted an assortment of greens and herbs in a bunch of rectangular containers purchased at a dollar store. They sit on the patio stones on the inside of the the raised beds. We’re already getting tons of greens, radishes, basil, and zucchinis. The tomato, pepper and eggplants are growing huge and loaded with assorted varieties. There’s more than enough of what we can eat. We call it the Fire Garden. It’s nothing fancy but suits our lifestyle. Just a nice place to sit and read or eat a meal. Here are a few photos taken a couple of days ago (click on images to see larger views).

Left: A simple hearth made of a few patio stones. ~ Right: Red Lettuce growing in a container.

Left: Yellow squash. ~ Right: Manitoba variety of tomatoes.

Left: Summer savory in front, with Pak Choy behind. ~ Right: Ruby chard.

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22 Responses to “the fire garden”

  1. robin andrea Says:

    A beautiful fire garden. Looks like a lovely place to pick your veggies and roast them. A nice contemplative spot.

  2. Mark Says:

    Everything looks so lush. It’s very inviting.

  3. Nina Says:

    Wonderful–you can pick and cook without having a gathering basket! That’s FRESH!
    Some chefs have an herb garden on a counter in their kitchen–you have a stovetop in your garden!

  4. DougT Says:

    Lovely garden. My vegetable garden is much more purely functional.

  5. DougT Says:

    Which is to say that it feeds me but doesn’t look like much. I’ll probably post a picture of it soon.

  6. bev Says:

    robin – Yes, it is a comtemplative spot. It’s in the quietest part of the yard, so a good place to read or just sit and enjoy the day.

    Mark, – I guess it must seem quite green and lush to you. We’ve had more rain that usual this season, so everything is growing like mad.

    Nina – This is definitely something of a cook’s garden. I like to pick things right before cooking. Can’t get much fresher than this! (-:

    Doug – Thanks! Our old garden was larger and more functional, but this time, we decided to see if we could do something very compact and also a nice place to sit. I like looking at vegetable gardens so look forward to seeing yours.

  7. Cindy Says:

    yiur creativity never ceases to amaze me.. and noe i’m hungry

    (i LOVE fied green tomatoes and boiled squash w. milk, bueutter and a bit of pepper) i miss my veggies, they’d be deer food here :)

  8. Mark Says:

    I’ll bet you find quite a few critters in there! Looks like a very peaceful spot to sit, eat, and relax.

  9. bev Says:

    Cindy – Thanks! Just looking around in the garden makes me hungry! Mmmm.. fried green tomatoes. Maybe I’ll make a batch of them tomorrow. The deer do walk through our yard, but I think they may be too nervous to walking up to the Fire Garden because of the chairs and the hearth.

    Mark – I do photograph moths, squash beetles, and even some Tiger beetles around the garden. I guess I should be hoping we don’t get any Tomato hornworms or perhaps I’ll have to take action!

  10. Cathy Says:

    The squash blossom – the green tomato swelling beneath fragrant leaves – it brings back happy memories of my gardening days. What a pleasant place to *be* .

  11. laurie Says:

    I am so envious of your garden, so green and gorgeous. Your veggies look delicious!

  12. bev Says:

    Cathy – It’s such a nice place to sit and eat a salad on a hot evening. The three of us sit out there until dark when the mosquitoes come out. Fortunately, the worst of them should be over with in a couple of more weeks!

    laurie – It’s very green. The layers of colour and texture are a pleasure for the eyes.

  13. Laiku Oh Says:

    Hi, I’m back after a long break. I was hiatus-ish. And I was enjoying free summer camp. It ended today. Anyway, I need to call upon you for identifying something again. None of the the identifyers online seem to help. For word description, they are scattered clusters of tiny white star shaped (4 petal) flowers with 3 yellowish pistils and bright spring green stems, and smooth longish almond-shaped leaves. The bunches of leaves are in one point like a multi-pointed star. They also have 8-10 or more leaves with each bunc. Now, the pictures:
    Please tell me what they are!

  14. bev Says:

    Hi Laiku – Good to hear that you have been having a good summer. That plant looks like a Galium of some kind. It’s a bit difficult to say which it would be, but perhaps it’s Fragrant Bedstraw (Galium triflorum), or Northern Bedstraw (Galium boreale). Here is a link to a page showing both species.

  15. Laiku Oh Says:


  16. Laiku Oh Says:

    Ready for more plants?
    I hope you can indentify all of them!

  17. bev Says:

    Laiku – At first glance, the first looks like it could be a species of Centaurea. There are quite a lot of different ones and they range from pink through blue and purple. Do an image search on Google for “centaurea” and you’ll find plenty of photos of different kinds. However, that said, a closer view of that plant might ID is as New York Ironweed (Vernonia noveboracensis). It’s difficult to say without seeing the leaves, flowers, etc.. The second photo doesn’t look familiar and isn’t clear enough for me to tell what the flower might be. The third photo looks like Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum).

  18. Laiku Oh Says:

    Thanks. Thanks a lot. How do you identify these things? You’re an expert.

  19. bev Says:

    Laiku – I just know a lot of plants because I’ve done a lot of conservation-related stream and site surveys over the years. Also, I was always very interested in plants and started learning about them when I was very young. For many years, I was very interested in gardening, and especially in herb gardens, so that helped me to develop a fairly good basic knowledge of plants. Many of the plants that are classed as herbs, especially the medicinal ones that I was most interested in, are also considered to be weeds.

  20. Laiku Oh Says:
    The last two are the same flower. And this one: turns out to be a very intimidating cirsium.

  21. bev Says:

    Laiku – The first one looks like some member of the Morning Glory family. I can’t see the leaves too well, but the bloom looks like one. They usually grow on vines. If it’s small, it’s probably one of the ones that are referred to as Bindweed as they grow over other plants and wrap tendrils around them, etc…
    The second and third images look like Crown Vetch (Securigera varia), which used to go by the name Coronilla varia.
    I’d have to see the thistle in person to tell you which one it probably is.

  22. Laiku Oh Says: It’s a spear thistle.