Front Yard Garden

Recently,  Jane asked about the garden boxes in the background of one of the photos.  Let me share a little about them.


Our backyard is very shady with large, beautiful trees.  Lovely to enjoy of an evening, but not such a good place to garden.


Our front mow strip (space between sidewalk and road), on the other hand, is PERFECT!  It runs east-west and has sun all day long.  You will notice that our yard isn’t bright green.  It takes too much water to do that in 95F heat, so we water enough to keep it alive and wait for cooler weather.  It is the responsible thing to do.


We built the boxes out of materials scavenged from a nearby construction site.  Not very fashionable, but cost effective. The mulch between the boxes is the grass clippings from the yard.  It is not at all humid here so they don’t mold, but slowly decompose while keeping the weeds at bay.


It isn’t fancy, but it is fruitful.  From these few boxes we get fresh vegetables daily from about mid-April (peas, radishes, greens) through late October (pumpkins, etc.).


It doesn’t take much maintenance and having it in the front gives us motivation to keep it looking nice.  When we are giving directions to our house, we usually end with “and the garden is in the mow strip.”  Not a bad thing to be known for.


11 thoughts on “Front Yard Garden

  1. I think that’s ingenious! If I had a neighborhood with sidewalks and mow strips, I’d definitely start this trend. Sadly, we have hills and no sidewalks. I’m going to think about how I could adapt this garden idea without one particular neighbor’s children killing it. =)

    1. In my personal experience, you invite that neighbors child to come over and teach him to garden, letting him know that the fruits of his labor are the cucumbers, tomatoes etc. Usually those little rascals need something productive to do, and when they have “sweat equity” in the garden, they will tend it, not destroy it. 🙂

  2. Beautiful and bountiful! Don’t think that would work here as the “park strips” (aka mow strips) are owned by the City….

  3. You all are so clever!!!! Great idea, hope it catches on!!I!! My first thought was: I’m surprised that someone doesn’t get to the fruit of you labor before you!!!! (I have nothing but SUN in my yard, am longing for all the ferns and the other shade-loving plants that I had to leave behind when I moved!!!! We’re never satisfied are we. God surely gets weary with our complaints!!!!)

  4. I think that’s great! Your courgette looks huge and very healthy! Super harvest to come. It is lovely to see something a little different – thank you.

  5. Those are Awesome Deanna! And I love how productive it looks. There is a high end restaurant where I live and they grow some of their own produce and their herbs for the dishes.

    With Kerry’s comment above, she could invite some of those rascally children perhaps to plant something for themselves in one corner of the boxes. Children won’t typically destroy something they have had a hand in to create or will eat something they helped make.

    Thanks Deanna, appreciate the photos and your sharing.

  6. My friend does that, too. At first I was surprised and then it sure made sense when she explained why, same reasons – backyard too shady, front strip sun all day. Nothing tastes better than fresh picked from your own garden!

  7. So very clever. Trouble for me, is my mow strip is shaded on both ends, only a middle gets sun. But the whole strip is a pretty steep bank, hiding a bunch of rocky soil underneath.

  8. What a wonderful way to utilize your grass clippings. I’ve been putting mine in a compost heap but like what you’re doing with yours. I have my parkway/mow-strip planted in strawberries 😀 They look pretty and provide desert if/when the critters don’t get them first.

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