Book Notes: Edible Front Yard

The Edible Front Yard: The Mow-less, Grow-more Plan for a Beautiful, Bountiful Garden  by Ivette Soler, 2011, Timber Press.  Retail:  $19.95

Reviewed by Debra Knapke

Front lawn perfection has been an obsession of American homeowners since the late 1940s, but a revolution has begun as gardeners explore options for the front yard.  The Edible Front Yard is a reworking of the ages old idea of growing one’s food.  If you think that food-based gardens are ugly, the pictures in this book will change your mind.  It’s time to be bold!  Proudly display your vegetables and fruits out front.  Don’t hide them behind the house.

The majority of the pictures are from warmer climes – Southern California, Texas and Seattle – but nearly all of the plants listed in the Front Yard Plant Palette are grown in Midwest edible gardens. This slim volume is overflowing with “how-to” information ranging from design to plant selection to implementation of your edible garden, and it is general enough to be applicable to most of the United States.  One caveat is that edible gardens are not low maintenance.  The time spent with maintaining it, and harvesting and processing the bounty may surprise gardeners who are unfamiliar with this garden style.  But what could be better than growing some of your food?

Beginner gardeners will be inspired to jump in and just “do it”, while more advanced gardeners will enjoy exploring a different way of thinking about the front yard.

One response to “Book Notes: Edible Front Yard

  1. Janet Panecki

    I love adding a few tomato plants right in the border with the flowers- and parsley makes the greatest edging!

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