Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Edible Front Yard Landscaping

Those are not mysterious, alien crop circles you're seeing on our front lawn.  They're my attempt at laying out  plans for our new edible front yard.  The sticks represent apples, cherries and haskaps (honeyberries).  The circles represent the areas around the trees that will be home to various other edibles like herbs, edible flowers and vegetables.

I have been trying to figure out how to transform our backyard with fruit for years, but between the patio, the kids' play structure and the need to be able to spread out a picnic blanket now and then, there's not much room.  And the thought of using the front yard never really dawned on me - it's just not done!  And then, there's the fact that it's a north facing yard with some big elms close by.  But lately, due to some unfortunate tree mishaps (no, I didn't sabotage them), there is more and more light out front.  So, I figured this is the year to transform our empty, front lawn into an edible paradise.  Ok, paradise may be overstating it a bit, but you know what I mean.

It's been a challenging and interesting process - like solving a puzzle.  I've been pouring over catalogs and websites to plan what to grow and how to arrange it all so that the space also looks attractive.  I've enjoyed drawing numerous plans on graph paper and have finally got something to go from.

The circles represent what I laid out on the front lawn, the other shapes are other herb/veggie plots I was thinking of adding as well. The space around the plots would be covered in natural tree mulch, leaving just a bit of grass on the one side.  The other side of the front walkway is too shady for fruits and veggies - but some day I'll work on that side.  

Now that I can compare my winter drawings to my actual front yard, I see some changes that I have to make.  

Back to the drawing board. 


Periwinkle Dzyns said...

this is fabulous! love it! grass is such a useless resource hog (unless you are talking a soccer pitch)
My only tip is watch where the water main and gas lines go - if you ever have a water line break or something you may loose some of your hard work - been there :)

getty said...

Good point! It never occurred to me to think about what's going on under the ground.

WolfSong said...

I have wanted to expand my garden space to the front for years, however, we have less than pleasant neighbors on one side, so I think it would be in vain.

In fact, the first few years they were here-they bought the place a couple years after we'd bought ours-the woman would come and rip out any flowers I planted in my front flower boxes. For no reason, other than she felt like it. She wouldn't even take them and re-plant them, just rip them out and leave them on the public sidewalk.

If you've got good neighbors and can make this work, then YAY! for you, and I will be the first to admit I am jealous. ;)

Periwinkle Dzyns said...

haha, that reminds me of the Good Neighbour episode where someone is stealing their leeks out of the front yard garden and they shoot him in the bum with a bb gun - the shooter goes to jail, so I don't recommend it!

EdibleLandscapeDesign said...

I just stumbled across this post. How fun!

I love it that you're drawing out a plan ... it'll be interesting to see how it turns out!

Heartleaf Design said...

You are so lucky to have such a huge space to work with! Kudos to you for wanting to do this.
My only suggestion would be to check the bylaws...I believe a garden has the same rules as a fence. Plantings must be a certain distance from the sidewalk.

I'm loving you blog. Difficult to find anything on things for zone 2b.
On Saturday I and my 4 yr old son just planted lettuce, spinach, chard and peas. Old windows are protecting them in a makeshift green house. I too find it irresistable to plant too early.

Looking forward to more posts!

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