• Tell Your Friends

Have you heard? There’s a woman in a Detroit suburb who could face jail time if she doesn’t remove the vegetable garden from her front yard. When we bought our first house six years ago, my spouse and I planted a peach tree and an edible garden in our front yard. We felt the fruits and veggies would make for great conversation starters with our new neighbors. And it worked. One of my favorite memories is when we first met Grace, an elderly woman who lives a block away, and learned that her family grows chard and collards in their backyard. We swapped our cucumbers for some of her leafy greens and our friendship blossomed.

Front Yard Vegetable Garden Controversy

Photographer Fritz Haeg (top row)

Top row photos via Sustainable Transition, from photographer Fritz Haeg & Edible Estates: Attack on the Front Lawn. Bottom row photos from Ecosalon.

Lately, as I drive around Atlanta, I’ve noticed more and more front yard gardens. We’re talking raised beds with tomato plants and rows of corn. As evident in this Sunset magazine article, front yard edible gardens are popular in California. With all that sunshine it would practically be a sin not to there. But apparently not everywhere, like the growing controversy in the Detroit burbs. Then there’s the gardener in the county where my mom lives who ran afoul of code enforcement for growing too many veggies.

Do you have or would you plant an edible garden in your front yard? Is it wrong if it’s the only part of the property with good sunlight? Is it plain old ugly? Or can it be beautiful?

Tell us what you think in the comments below.



29 Responses

  1. CplusE says:

    I fully support all efforts to reduce the amount of lawn grass in a yard — such a waste of water that could be used to grow edible plants! Considering the recent droughts here in Georgia, I would think alternatives to lawns would be encouraged. And a poorly tended lawn is just as unattractive as a poorly tended garden. In fact, our own front yard is a perfect example — too much patchy shade to grow a uniform lawn anyway, so we would like to eliminate grass entirely and plant a cottage garden, which is traditionally a mix of edibles and flowering plants. Luckily, we live in a rural area where no one will care! Also, too many attractive lawns are kept that way with undesirable chemicals, so I would rather have neighbors tending a chemical-free garden than maintaining a chemically treated lawn. However, as long is someone is keeping their yard in good shape without doing anything blatantly unsafe I say leave them alone!

  2. P Rhoads says:

    Using the ground to grow food is more important to me than the aesthetics of a nice-looking yard. Think of what the people with the "nice-looking" yards are doing to get them. Chemical pesticides, excess watering, etc. I think that should be banned.

    Eating the freshest vegetables right out of your garden is such a treat.

  3. Liz_HGTV says:

    Heather, I totally agree! Chard, for instance, looks so good with flowers that I can't imagine any neighbor complaining about that living in the front yard. It seems unfair to have a flower-to-veggie quota, though.

  4. Anna@HGTV says:

    From personal experience, one big negative for us when we had our front yard garden was theft of veggies and peaches. We woke up one morning to find that someone had shaken practically all the fruit out of our tree. On the other hand, if someone is with hunger, I want them to eat from my garden.

  5. Alen B. says:

    Usually we like to do such garden at the back yard of house, but your photos are really looking great. So, now we have another option added for our home remodeling plan. Beside a flower garden, we can also plant or make a vegetable garden too. Nice idea.

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