Looking for Inspiration (front yard veggies)

melle_sacto(Z9/Sunset 14 CA)February 18, 2013

We're in the process of renovating the front yard, following a plan we worked out this past fall/winter, and today I started thinking about amending the plan to include a "free floating" low raised planter for veggies. The area was going to have groundcover otherwise.

Please share your photos of front yard planters that grow veggies. I really admire the cottage gardening style, and I would love to see some REAL examples of front yard veggies rather than the magazine pics.

Bonus points for planters that are "free floating" in the yard rather than along the foundation/walk!

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By "planter" do you mean containers or something that is part of the hardscape and perhaps made of brick or stone? If you don't get enough pics here you might "find more on Google!"

This blogger's garden immediately came to mind. She only uses containers for potatoes altho planted her "vegetable garden in her front yard" which IMO is very attractive. You can find other links there to see the garden at different times of the year.

Not sure if this rates any bonus points as the containers are within the boundaries of the beds. LOL

I've only ever done herbs in containers and don't have a pic. I always keep my herb containers on the deck as otherwise the critters around here (marmots, squirrels, and chipmunks) will eat everything.

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 7:43PM
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melle_sacto(Z9/Sunset 14 CA)

Thanks for the links :-)

What I specifically had in mind for our house was a raised stone (the common ones used for stacked walls, DH calls them clamshells) bed about 1 1/2 feet wide at the ends, 8 feet long, and rather than be a rectangle it would bow out in the front to a max width of 3 feet but the back would remain straight across. It might be 1/2 or 1 foot high at the most. I hope that makes sense!

The bed would be located in front of an informal "hedge" (ie row) of Veitchii gardenias growing across the front of the house. I wasn't sure if a gardenia backdrop would look weird -- usually the planter beds are right along a house -- but they do well there. Our house faces north, but it's on a corner so we also get a ton of western sun. The gardenias are shaded most of the day and have sun in the mid-to-late afternoon.

Having the bed sit forward will allow the vegetables to get enough sun. I just have never seen an example of this -- shrubs along the house, then a raised bed in front of the shrubs. In my mind it looks great LOL!

I don't know how to post links within my message, but I've linked to a photo that has a raised bed similar to what I was imagining, but it doesn't bow out in the front and the pavers aren't exactly what we would use.

Here is a link that might be useful: raised planter

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 11:48PM
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melle_sacto(Z9/Sunset 14 CA)

This bed bows out in front, kind of like what I was imagining, but it's right next to the house rather than floating in front of an informal shrub hedge.

Here is a link that might be useful: bowed bed

    Bookmark   February 19, 2013 at 11:50PM
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Thyme2dig has a really nice veggie garden in front of her house. There is an ornamental bed along the front porch, a path that goes in front of that, and then two veggie beds which have paths between them and on all sides for easy access. There is an outer ornamental bed as well, and then a picket fence. She has two really nice 4-sided wooden obelisks for tall plants like tomatoes or beans.

Hopefully she will notice this post and can add some photos.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2013 at 10:46PM
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melle_sacto(Z9/Sunset 14 CA)

I would love to see those pictures, I'll search the forum and see if maybe they are in another post :-)

Even if can't find an example of what I have in mind, I want to try it and my DH is on board with helping to build it. We can always take it down if it doesn't work out, for whatever reason.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 7:15PM
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melle_sacto(Z9/Sunset 14 CA)

I found some pics of her front yard in another thread, but my attempts to link the thread were unsuccessful (hence my editing this post)

LOVE this slope w/the mixed shrubs/perennials. I'm trying to do something similar with our yard, but it needs a few more plants and our space isn't quite as big or as much of a slope.

Here is a link that might be useful: font yard I spied in another thread (Thyme2dig)

This post was edited by melle_sacto on Sun, Feb 24, 13 at 19:26

    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 7:22PM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

Check out the Potager forum, there's a gal from Georgia there who's gardening in terraces but the shape and materials she's used are exactly what you describe you want. Her garden is beautiful.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 8:51PM
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melle_sacto(Z9/Sunset 14 CA)

GGG -- thank you! I didn't see that there was a Potager forum, I'll browse after my boys go to bed tonight :-)

    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 9:05PM
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melle_sacto(Z9/Sunset 14 CA)

I checked out Potager Gardens, definitely lots of front yard veggie gardens there. Thanks so much for recommending it!

I even found an OLD POST I made there, in 2008 LOL! So I guess I did go there before, but forgot about it :-)

    Bookmark   February 24, 2013 at 10:45PM
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Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

Hi Melle, Sorry I didn't see this post. I've been offline for a while. I have a cottage area in front of my farmer's porch. I used to have the middle beds filled with daylilies and other perennials but decided since this was the area in my yard with full sun and a fence that the deer don't jump it was the best place for vegetables. We happened to take a picture from the farmer's porch roof a few years ago, so you can see what the bed layout is.
We transformed 2 of the middle beds to veggies last year and then readied the 3rd bed for planting this spring, so all beds in the middle will be veggies (although I'm also leaning on using a portion of one of them to start some seeds).
This is the one longer bed (to the right with the daylilies in the first picture:

And this is the middle bed. I planted a pinwheel of different color lettuce in this bed and also planted nasturtium seeds around the edge. Once the lettuce was done the nasturtium took over and kept some nice color going. (I had another area where I was able to plant more lettuce to continue that little crop).

Here's another pic I just found from a different angle when it was less grown in. You can really see all the beds in that area from this angle to see how the perennials, shrubs and then veggies all work together.

Overall I was really happy with how it all worked out and am looking forward to adding the 3rd bed over by the arbor this spring.

    Bookmark   March 7, 2013 at 4:50PM
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girlgroupgirl(8 ATL)

Oh, thyme, I want that!! GORGEOUS!

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 11:49AM
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That is absolutely stunning!

I Personally, I think vegetables are beautiful plants and look lovely incorporated in with flowers anywhere in the yard.

Here's another veggie you might plant: Artichokes.

They grow tall, so look stately toward the back. They make a pineapple-like flower but on top that you harvest to eat before they open. Of course, they are also delicious steamed and served with lemon juice and real butter. Yum!
Grow extras so you have some in the garden for looks and some to eat!


    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 5:57PM
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Thyme2dig NH Zone 5

GGG and Annie, Thanks!!

Annie, I just came downstairs from my seed room after starting some veggies, and you must be a mind reader because this year I'm definitely doing artichokes. It's the one vegetable I'm really excited to see what it does in the garden.

    Bookmark   March 8, 2013 at 6:52PM
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If you can grow thistles, you can grow artichokes.
I believe they are of the same family.

    Bookmark   March 9, 2013 at 2:56AM
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