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Front Yard?

 
Nicholas Covey
Posts: 180
Location: Missouri/Iowa border
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Ok, so we've all heard the comments about people who have planted a front yard garden and brought down brimstone and fire from the local ordinance enforcers. With that in mind, I see a lot of perennial plants and shrubs and trees, and even ground covers that can be employed in place of fescue, etc. Ergo, if the issue is that a garden, with rows of tomatoes and squash and lettuce is perceived as ugly then a sculpted, curved, organically shaped well tended polyculture of aesthetically pleasing edibles might actually fly under the radar of most nosy neighbors and Dept of Making You Sad goons.

Anyone tried this? Successes? Failures?
 
Charles Tarnard
Posts: 337
Location: PDX Zone 8b 1/6th acre
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I'm trying this now. It's too early to post results, though. My theory is if everything is connected in a logical manner by flower lined paths with highly visible evergreen shrubs, no one will be the wiser that it is a weed infested mess. We'll see how it goes.
 
Thea Olsen
Posts: 95
Location: suburbs of Chicago USDA zone 5b
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I've been working on this. So far I've planted several fruit trees in the front lawn, and I'm planning to gradually plant other things around the fruit trees, so the garden areas gradually spread and take over. Currently the trees are all mulched , so the grass isn't too close to them.
I also have an area between the house and a short retaining wall next to the driveway that is currently planted mostly with perennial flowers, which I'm going to replace with useful plants. This is where most of my annual veggies will grow.
I have to be very careful to avoid the wrath of the lawn police. We don't have any ordinances saying you have to have a front lawn, but we aren't supposed to have any grass or weeds taller than 8". The way the law is written, it doesn't really define what constitutes a weed, so it pretty much means if someone from the Division of Property Standards doesn't like the look of your yard, you get a threatening letter from the city.
Several years ago we moved out of this house, intending to sell it. Soon after the city declared it vacant, which meant they could come in and do whatever they wanted to our yard without a warning. Then they wreaked havoc-cut down all the raspberries, mowed the patch of prairies plants, pruned the trees improperly, etc. They left it a mess and then tried to fine us. We didn't pay and they have pretty much left us alone since our attorney (aka my dad) sent them a letter, but I don't think the charges have been dropped altogether. We eventually had to move back because the housing market went bad and we couldn't afford to sell.
Needless to say, we are proceeding with caution in our current gardening endeavors. The first summer we were back I mostly planted things in containers, and now we're gradually redoing things, which a major focus on making it look pretty, in hopes of avoiding further trouble. I'm carefully choosing veggies that are ornamental, and planting flowers in between. So far, it seems to be going ok- no threatening letters. We shall see.
 
Chris Smaglick
Posts: 26
Location: Amory, MS
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Well I just have to share my urban frontyard garden experience. I live in a small southern town in Amory, MS one block from city hall. Been living in an attic apartment for a couple years and finally got up enough to rent the next door 90 year old house. I started with a gravel base people had been parking on for a year or more.

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Chris Smaglick
Posts: 26
Location: Amory, MS
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Sorry, posting from a phone and I am technically behind the times. So, I started digging after watching and loving what Sepp had done to that mountain side, and planted all I could in the first Hugelkultur mounds I had tried.

I received Yard of the Month.... Lol, and next week they cut a 46" in my frontyard. I talked for many years, but once I took action, showed people what could be done with some shovel work, only then did they see the potential. I have since gained two clients, and we are building Permaculture landscapes. I pray it invades the entire city!

Kudos to the street dept here in the city, they have a great sense of humor and support and see what I am doing.

May you also have success on your own front. Just keep digging and planting.
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No. No. No. No. Changed my mind. Wanna come down. To see this tiny ad:
2017 Permaculture Design Course and Appropriate Technology Course at Wheaton Labs
http://richsoil.com/pdc
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