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.