I have to say that creating the front yard garden was one of the most exciting yet scary things I have ever done. I say scary because I have always wanted to blend in. I am just saying here, that having a huge veggie garden in your front yard. Not blending! Sticking out, way out! See my story of creating my front yard garden here. However it has also turned out to be one of the most fulfilling things I have ever done. I say, “I have ever done” like I did it all by myself, I had a lot of help. Thank you to everyone who helped create the front yard garden! I learned a couple of things about having a garden out front, that I want to share with anyone who is considering it. “Food, not lawns! Just have to shout that out there.
- A front yard garden needs good P.R. What I mean by this is, that a border of beautiful flowers in front never hurts. When the city came out to look at my garden, see my fight to keep my garden here:http://bloomwhereyourplanted.com/the-dance-begins-dealing-with-city-ordinances/ They asked me; “Can you put flowers or something in front here?” I explained that 2 weeks prior, the bed I had put in front of the garden was grass, so it was NOT going to happen over night, but that was what I had in mind eventually. I had covered the space in front first with cardboard boxes and then a layer of wood chips. Last Fall it looked like this:
Oh what a difference a season makes. Now it looks like this:
What did I spend on all this? $5.00. That’s right, just a few dollars on seeds. In the early Spring I removed the card board, or what was left of it. I Raked aside the wood chips and put down a layer of composted horse manure. Then I planted seeds: Sunflowers, zinnias, black eyed Susan, red salvia, marigold and basil. Thank you to my sweet neighbors and sister, who contributed purple cone flower, lantana and begonias, iris and day lillies. I am loved! You know, lately it has been all about the food I could produce, but let’s face it when you live in the city, it has to be about the looks of the food being produced. Sometimes I am watering those flowers and I think, ” Boy, these flowers take more water than the food I am growing.” But then I remind myself that in my city, I have a complaint driven system. That means that if someone complains to the city, they are on me like flies on buttermilk. I would like to avoid that if all possible! So, with that in mind , I find growing a few flowers wonderful! I have managed to stick a few herbs in(rosemary and basil) and even veggies(melons and chives). Let me just say here that basil and marigolds are my saving grace! Save seeds from everything you grow and then plant it back in early Spring! Cut back the marigolds and basil, I mean way back, in the hot part of the Summer(August) and they will bloom again when the weather turns cool. Plant the seeds of larkspur in the cold of Winter(February) and you will be rewarded with copious blooms of pastel flowers in the Spring. Create something for your neighbors to marvel at and they won’t even notice the tangled mess of tomato vines you’ve got going on.
2. When you create your front yard garden make a border around it of 4 or 5 inches that can easily be controlled with a weed trimmer. When I created my garden it was A LOT of work, the last thing I was thinking of was defending the outside perimeter. Well, defending from rabbits for sure, I put chicken wire half way up my picket fence to keep those buggers out! See how I made a fence out of free pallets here. A season later I could see how the grass and weeds had used the chicken wire to their advantage. They had grown up into it and it was quickly becoming a mess.
So when you make your front yard garden or community garden, create a border around it of 4 or 5 inches that can be maintained. Pay someone to maintain it if you have to, it will be worth it in the long run. I had to go back and trench all around two sides of my garden. It wasn’t fun.
So if you are going to put in a front yard garden, create a little P. R. in front with flowers! Also create a buffer around your garden that can be maintained easily. I have to say a big thank you to my sister here, who has a God given gift of making things beautiful! Thank you, Elizabeth, I love you!