Garden in front yard?

colokid(5)October 8, 2010

The question came up with a friend that is looking at a house that has a very large front lawn. No grass cause it has been empty for several years. No way does he want to use the water a lawn would take. He does like garden, melons, pumpkins and corn.

I wonder if there is any ordinances against this. Its SFR zone, small family resident. Regular city type location, but a small city that doesn't yell too much.

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I know people who do it in the thriving megalopolis of Denver. I've never seen/heard of ordinances that would prohibit that sort of thing, although HOA's or CCC's might be different.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2010 at 11:31AM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

[planner hat]

Depends upon the city's zoning code, and whether it is in a HOA and covenants restrict.

The zoning almost certainly is on-line to check. Sometimes it is under 'landscaping standards' or 'nuisance' as well.

[/planner hat]


    Bookmark   October 8, 2010 at 1:11PM
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Thanks, I would kill/dis-own him if had any HOA and covenants things.
I think sweet corn might raise a few eyebrows. Melons next to the side walk could be a problem.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2010 at 1:53PM
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windwhipped(Z4 WY)

There is a nice house here in Casper that has a series of raised beds in the front surrounded by hardscaping such as walkways, benches, etc. Just low growing veggies (you're right about the corn). They just put ornamentals near the sidewalk due to pollution from traffic and passing dogs.

    Bookmark   October 8, 2010 at 4:39PM
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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

My veggie bed is in the front yard, because that's the sunny side of the house.

This picture was taken at the end of July, but by September the tomatoes are taller than the fence, and it does look a bit like a jungle. I do edge it with basils and marigolds to hide some of the veggies, and we curved the bed to match the perennial bed on the other side of the porch.

There are plenty of herbs and veggies that can be incorporated incorporated into flower beds too.


    Bookmark   October 8, 2010 at 11:27PM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

In the Pacific NW, front yard conversions are very common. I went to school up there with a woman who volunteered for the local chapter of 'Food Not Lawns'. A recent Sunset magazine had a good arty about it recently. No shortage of ideas out there. Yay!


    Bookmark   October 9, 2010 at 6:31AM
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If there are any, I suspect that most ordinances of this sort are enforced only on a complain-driven basis.

I'm a little dismayed that this is the case in certain instances but it could work out well for your friend, Kenny.

It probably comes as no surprise to some that raised beds and paths can be quite attractive just by themselves. I no longer have frames around any of my beds and paths are just earth beaten by my #13's. But, a better landscaped vegetable garden could look nice no matter what the season.

Weeds would be a problem, of course, but so could a "casual" harvest. It would probably be best to remove the entire plant at harvest to keep things attractive.

The complaint-driven issue: the neighbor at one of my gardens is a relative of the owner. The owner had the property park-like while he was able to care for it. Now that age has caught up with him, he relies on the tenant. It ain't working . . .

Cut brush and branches have been piling up along the hillside for, the last 5 years. A pile of boards, added to regularly, has now completely blocked the driveway to the garage. Around these combustibles, weeds have grown unhindered all that time.

Once I arrived at the garden to find a police officer standing near those piles of trash. The hillside was on fire and a fire crew was busy putting it out. The cop was "protecting property" or something . . .

That was the 1st time the hill caught on fire - it happened again this year. Nothing has been done with the brush and board piles -- except, they have been added to.

The garbage service (of all people) filed a complaint about the pile of brush in front of this guy's house. He was royally PO'ed and told whoever would listen about it. He pulled the brush inside his fence and added it to the pile against the hillside . . . ?!

Sometimes you just gotta wonder, "What does it take!?"


    Bookmark   October 10, 2010 at 3:06PM
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OK, I so know people like that Steve, really are you sure you live on the other side of the mountains??

Back to the garden in the front yard. I learned after 20 years in the Arizona desert that gardens there only grow halfway decent on the East and North sides of the house, south and west only roast (not bad for chilis, roasting I mean).

Anyway, at one point we lived in a town home with a very crabby HOA. You could not do anything with the front yard, your front drapes even had to match everyone else. Anyway, my backyard faced east, so I did not have a problem, but the neighbor across the parking lot managed to convince the HOA to let him plant his veggies in the front yard. Sometimes you can get around the silliness of the HOA.

One comment though, its not really nice to see your neighbor harvesting in their jammies.

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 2:55PM
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highalttransplant(z 5 Western CO)

Have you been spying on me again, Billie? LOL!!! I'll admit to stepping on the front porch to pinch a leaf or two of lettuce for sandwiches for my sons school lunches, but that's it ... really!

: ) Bonnie

    Bookmark   October 12, 2010 at 7:14PM
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dsieber(z5 (Lakewood CO))

Yeah if anal HOA attack you point them to the First Lady!!!

    Bookmark   October 18, 2010 at 9:28PM
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I've moved some things to the front of the house this year. Sages, oregano, strawberries, chives and a couple casaba vines. Since it was mixed in with a variety of perennial flowers it looked acceptable if not good to me.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2010 at 1:20AM
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I really wonder who's idea it was to hide the veggies away in a back corner somewhere.
I mean seriously most of the veggies can be prettier than the plants you usually see in the front yard nowadays.
But on the other hand, I suppose that it might have been a self preservation issue. In some neighborhoods your front yard garden can be a heart breaker due to unruly teenagers and their lack of parental guidance and poor ability to entertain themselves without the destruction of someone Else's property.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2010 at 1:05PM
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dan_staley(5b/SS 2b AHS 6-7)

We have an HOA and I ripped out the treelawn and replaced with xeric bed, but had to go to City for a permit. Being an urban planner the process wasn't hard, as I had already done the diagrams on mapping software anyway...


    Bookmark   October 19, 2010 at 1:07PM
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I was visiting someone this morning who has a lovely front yard garden, probably 80% vegetables and 20% perennial flowers. It's a bit tattered now in late October, but still attractive with some beautiful dark Swiss chard, green onion, collards, and some other stuff scattered around the beds.

    Bookmark   October 19, 2010 at 4:13PM
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