by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
In many places, especially in the Land of the Free and the Home of the Brave, growing vegetables in your front yard (front garden as we would say in Britain) is, I know, illegal and also, it has to be said, in some council areas in the UK it is frowned upon but there are a number of vegetables and perennials that could come to the rescue here.
Aside from being pretty in a way that no one would really notice that they are vegetables they are also good to eat, and would you believe it that one is actually the fruit of a flowering shrub, the fuchsia. I must say that even I was ignorant until the other day that the fruit of the fuchsia is edible and in fact good to eat fresh or to make into preserves.
In Britain, and other parts of Europe, and even better in the East of the Continent, we are lucky that there are no such regulations preventing food growing, whether in the back or the front yard. But that does not mean that one should not aim for a garden in the front that is edible as well as pretty and an asset to the place.
Even peas and beans have pretty flowers and can look extremely good in a front yard display and we must remember that peas were first planted in Britain, for instance, not as a food crop but for their flowers.
Other vegetables provide an interesting foliage, such as Swiss Chard, and here especially the colored stemmed varieties, as well as various members of the cabbage family.
In addition to that there are edible and medicinal flowers that can go into this mix and some also can act as companion plants for the vegetables planted in the front garden bringing pest “control” and color.
And then there are herbs such as lavender, rosemary and the like. Aside from lavender most of them don't have any showy flowers but what they lack in that department they make up for in scent. On top of that most of those are very drought resistant as they originate in warm climes.
Using every available space for our gardens to have at least some sort of food security should be our right and not a privilege or worse still forbidden and if and where such restrictions apply they should and must be fought, if need be by simple defiance. Gardening is an act of defiance anyway as you try, to some extent at least, to free yourself from the stores and government control.