Eating Your Front Yard

I’ve gotten a lot of great feedback on our post “Lush Green Lawns Are Not Natural” and I wanted to share with you some alternative ideas for front yards.

While driving home from my daughter’s soccer game today, I saw a beautifully manicured front yard that did not look like fertilizer is used to keep it perfect, and they were growing pumpkins where someone else might have had a flower bed.  What a great use of space!

Manicured lawn with pumpkin patch

Manicured lawn with pumpkin patch

pumpkins growing on a mound of mulch

Front yard pumpkins

Now, that garden was mostly ornamental, but it was functional.  One of my neighbors is passionate about being good for the environment and growing healthy food for her children.  However, she does not have a large yard.  She makes amazing use of the space she does have.  The flower pots on her front steps are not just ornamental, they are herbs.  Down the sunny side of her house she has created an amazing garden of pots, planters and raised beds.  The space is not large, but the plants she grows are amazing and easily keep her family of four in fresh vegetables.

Container garden along a wall

View from the street of our neighbor’s container garden


Some of the plants are in former recycling bins

In trying to find some more front yard gardens to share with y’all, I discovered that some communities don’t allow vegetable gardens in their front yards.  It could be banned by zoning, ordinance, homeowners association rules or something else.  I have an opinion on that, and I bet many of you do too!  I hope if that is what stands in your way of planting a garden, you look into how you can change that rule!

Around here gardens are so popular that my church put one in its front yard!  And this is an architecturally beautiful and historic building no-less!


Raised garden beds in the front yard of our church

My friend in Louisiana shared some pictures of his yard as well.  He has done a beautiful job of avoiding the question as to whether food gardening is allowed in his front yard.  He has interwoven blueberry bushes, strawberries, blackberries, lemongrass, rosemary and a bay laurel (for bay leaves), into his highly stylized and fashionable front yard.


In this view you can see Richard’s rosemary & blueberries in the foreground with a large bay laurel on the right side of the house, with strawberries underneath it.


The very large bush on the right produces bay leaves to season their cooking and provides shade to protect the strawberries from the harsh southern sun.


I hope this inspires you to consider adding some edible and food bearing plants to your yard.  Just remember to be cautious with your fertilizing, because edible plants have different needs than grass. Anything that requires little yellow warning flags to be put on your lawn shouldn’t be used on the same lot as plants that you and your family will eat.

Happy Greening,



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  1. My girls got upset this year because I refused to buy flowers to plant. I just don’t see the point of planting something you can’t eat! Someday I’d love to have my whole yard be full of edible plants, but the soil here isn’t great so it’s a challenge.

  2. I would love to have a more edible front yard. Unfortunately I’ve not had good luck with growing veggies around here but I really should at least incorporate herbs into our landscape!

  3. When we move back into a house I want to plant more fruits and veggies in my front yard. Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. i really love this idea – so much wasted space and then people say we “need” GMOs to feed the world? CHA!

  5. Love this idea and I am always for finding new gardening spaces!

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