Easy Landscaping Ideas Front Yard
Adding edibles to the front landscape is a wonderful way to get more out of an urban or suburban lot. But not all neighbors are totally understanding of these less-than-common planting schemes. If you want to add fresh vegetables and fruit to your front yard while staying in your neighbors’ good graces, these 10 tips should help.
1. Grow Gorgeous Veggies
Deep purple eggplants and peppers, giant globe artichokes, frilly kale and rainbow chard are just as beautiful as purely ornamental plants, but they also provide delicious organic food for your dinner table.
2. Wrangle Sprawling Plants in a Container
Depending on the size of your front yard and the tolerance of your neighbors for the out-of-the-ordinary, you may want to avoid some of the more sprawling vegetable specimens. Zucchini, cucumbers, squash and tomatoes can easily get out of hand, and later in the season, their leaves tend to look a bit worse for the wear. But if you want to try some of the more space-intensive veggies, consider containing them in a raised planter to give the sprawling vines some structure (and stop them from invading the rest of your garden). Ask at your local nursery for varieties that do well in containers.
3. Let Some Edibles Flower Without Harvesting
Artichokes and chives, with their purple blooms, immediately come to mind as having beautiful blossoms when left to flower. Plant enough so you can let some flower without harvesting, and enjoy blooms not often seen in flower shops.
4. Attract Birds and Butterflies
Pollinators like birds, bees and butterflies will help your garden be more productive. And who doesn’t love to spot hummingbirds and butterflies? Mix pollinator-attracting plants and a beautiful birdbath (bees, birds and butterflies all need water!) with your edibles for a colorful garden everyone will love. Good choices include bee balm, lavender, purple coneflower, salvia and verbena. Plant in clusters of three or more to attract more pollinator attention.
5. Swap Out Ornamental Foliage For Edibles
When you’re beginning to transition a traditional front garden to an edible landscape, you can replace purely ornamental foliage plants with lettuces, kale, Swiss chard or even rhubarb. These greens look just as lush as their ornamental counterparts, but they work even harder, providing fresh produce for your dinner table.
Food safety note: Unless you have a tall fence around your front garden, there’s a good chance that some of the plants nearest to the sidewalk will get a “visit” from neighborhood dogs, making any edible plants inedible. To be on the safe side, keep edible plantings closer to your house or up high in containers. Cats can also be a problem — bare dirt is most likely to be used by cats as a litter box, so it helps to minimize space between plants or fill with ground cover.