As many of you know, my front yard is currently going through a metamorphosis. I’ve removed about two-thirds of the lawn, soon to replace it with a mixed ornamental and edible garden. Growing edibles in the front yard is not a new concept, but it’s one that has taken a while for me to embrace. As a gardener, I’m more concerned with aesthetic than production. However, due to increasing shade, we no longer have the luxury of sticking the vegetable garden in an out-of-sight corner of the back yard.
My good friend and fellow garden writer Shawna Coronado has been singing the “grow front yard veggies” chorus in my ear ever since I first met her, but I’d never seen her garden in the middle of the growing season until last month. After getting the tour from Shawna herself, I slipped back out into the garden with my camera.
Shawna’s garden is a seamless blend of edible and ornamental. In full bloom (used loosely because much of the color and texture of the garden is foliage), her garden was precisely the inspiration I needed to quash my concerns about the possibility of a food garden being attractive. From front yard to back, in full view and up close, the garden is a visual delight.
When I visited, Shawna’s newest addition — an outdoor living room — was just about complete. I was humbled that she chose three of my photographs to hang above the fireplace. I’ve always believed that we should share our gardens with our fellow gardeners, through stories, pass-along plants or other sentimental tokens. It’s our way of gardening together, closing the distance between us.
In the month since my visit, I’ve broken ground on my new front yard garden with confidence, buoyed by the inspiration found among the kale, coneflowers and creativity of Shawna’s amazing garden.