Three Front Yard Vegetable Gardens

I spotted some nice front yard gardens while I was out for a walk the other day. Check out these finds:

Above, these gardeners have used some scrap lumber as retaining walls to allow them some extra soil depth for planting. In this small front yard bed they’re growing beautiful kohlrabi (my new favorite vegetable), some climbing beans and a few different kinds of squash. Keeping a veggie garden doesn’t have to be either complicated or expensive. Neighborhood gardens like this are really what inspired us when we started out. They taught us to plant boldly, to plant casually, and to plant anywhere we wanted.

This yard above delighted me. It seems they’ve given up on their lawn and instead have planted an army of caged veggie seedlings in orderly rows across their front yard. Not pictured is a little strip ofย  established food garden at the front of the yard. It looks like they wanted more room and said, “To heck with the lawn!” I’m going to keep checking progress on this one.

In this front yard, the lawn has been replaced with drought tolerant perennial shrubs and grasses arranged around gravel paths. It’s very pretty. I like that the landscaper included some artichoke plants in the mix, proving that gardens can be edible and stylish. Many people don’t know that artichokes open into huge, striking purple flowers if you don’t harvest them for food–so it’s win/win either way.ย  And bees adore artichoke flowers. They roll around in the thick pollen like gangsters in cash.

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  1. Thanks for the photos!
    It’s inspiring to see what people are doing in small spaces.

    • Artichokes are the best! So much goodness for so little input. We’re on a campaign to get anyone who lives in the right climate to plant them. Frankly, I don’t know why they aren’t in every yard in California.

  2. Those cages are neat. I like the way they have them anchored. It looks like some of my “fences,” just enough and not anchored against an onslaught of rampaging whatevers. Did you see what was in any of the cages? This will be interesting if you keep us posted. “Gangsters in cash” made me lol.

  3. Exactly what I would like to do with our front lawn. But I have not figured out how to end my hubby’s affair with a lush green lawn.

  4. My front garden is a mixture of ornamentals and edibles. But most of the ornamentals are edible too…honeysuckle, bergamot, artichoke, lemon balm, roses, lavender, day lilies..

    It’s interesting that lemon balm is not viewed by my neighbours as an edible. A little girl asked why I had mint growing in my front garden? I explained it was lemon balm and her mum said I thought so, mint in your front garden would just be weird.
    She obviously missed the courgettes a couple of years ago, then.

    I had yellow mangetout peas growing up a trellis last year, which most people assumed was a sweet pea.

    I look out for edible front gardens here all the time, but I see very few, unfortunately. Perhaps in more urban areas I’d see more. In this area people are either too conservative or have a big enough back garden/an allotment to grow veg. Or both.

    • I have mint in my front yard! Planting strawberries this year, too. Delighted to join the weirdos…boring otherwise…

  5. The third yard looks just like my neighbors yard right now. We’ll be doing our own version this fall. And GOOD GOD you made me laugh out loud at work like an idiot. Thank you ๐Ÿ™‚

  6. OMG these are pretty, especially the last one. I’ve been seriously thinking of growing artichokes and seeing them in action is exciting.

    I’m having an edible front yard photo contest over on my site starting June 1st … please ask them to consider entering. ๐Ÿ™‚

  7. This is awesome! My neighborhood has a ton of little front gardens and this has inspired me to go take some pictures ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. I love vegetables in the front yard! Lots of great examples of this in my neighborhood, in a mostly Cantonese-speaking part of Oakland, too. The best part is that I don’t even recognize a lot of the vegetables. We’ve grown tomatoes and beans in our front yard with success, although I’ve been doing edibles in raised beds (in the back) since our soil tested high for lead, GAH.

  9. Can you tell me what the other shrubs are in the picture with the artichokes? Specifically the silvery one. Thanks!

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