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Yards and Lawns What do We Really Need?

Updated on March 31, 2011

front yard gardens

Why are we obsessed with the lawn, sure this s changing but slowly very, very slowly. There are several reasons for the change. One, it is expensive to maintain a lawn that looks like it somehow got detached from a golf course. Two, people are looking for ways to save money so some are growing their own food, although this, for the most part is taking palce in the backyard and not out front where all can see.


The Obamas helped by converting some White House lawn to an organic garden, however, I’d will give the bulk of the credit here to the folks who were behind the movement to make this happen.


Another reason is the growth of the local food movement and peoples' desire to have food that is fresh and naturally grow, however, this desire usually happens in the backyard and/or community garden plots.


What about the front yard? What is wrong with turning this space into a flourishing vegetable garden or orchard?


Part of the problem with converting front yards into food gardens lies squarely in the fact that far too many people do not see food producing plants as beautiful.


We see the beauty in a gladiola, a rose or a tulip but not in a cabbage, beans, or tomatoes. We see beauty in ornamental flowers gardens and we should they are indeed beautiful, but there is great beauty in the plants that feed us.


Pause and consider these two scenes; scene one, you are walking along the sidewalk and pass a house that has a carefully manicured lawn and a garden bed full of colorful flowers.


Scene two, you are walking along the sidewalk and spot a front yard that has herbs, tomatoes, beans, peas, cabbages, spinach and more growing, what are your reactions?


As I said earlier this is changing but in far too many neighbourhoods the first garden would be recognized as positive addition to the community and the second a disgrace.


One of the reasons behind this perception is that, again, until recently, growing your own food was soemthign that only poor people did, people who could not afford to buy their own food.


In addition, the well-manicured lawn has been associated with social and financial success. for many years now, and while this is shifting. there is till a long way to go before the front yard garden is seen as a welcomed addition to the neighbour and people all up and down the block are busy planting their own fruits, herbs and vegetables on their front lawns.


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  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick

    True enough, gardens are only do harm when the gardener does not follow Nature

  • profile image

    Jon 8 years ago

    Gardens are not inherently evil - they just need to be ones that support wildlife - pollinator gardens (bees, Butterflies) as well as act as food sources during the year - Check out Birds and Blooms ....

    Also, Gardens should be drought tolerant. Look into xeriscaping and hydrozoning. Also look into shade gardens - not everything has to be sun-loving.

  • Bob Ewing profile image

    Bob Ewing 8 years ago from New Brunswick

    Thanks you all for dropping by, happy gardening.

  • profile image

    poetlorraine 8 years ago

    enjoyed the video ........ far too lazy to garden to that extent three cheers to her....

  • Hello, hello, profile image

    Hello, hello, 8 years ago from London, UK

    A very thought provoking hub. I definitely turn my back garden into a vegetable garden.

  • cally2 profile image

    Paul Callaghan 8 years ago from Paraparaumu, New Zealand

    Wow. I was just talking with some people an hour ago about veggie planting my front lawn. Could you hear me from there? I always have a little smile when my green friends still have their lawns. The status symbol of a lawn is so wrong. Why is something that reduces biodiversity and wastes water considered to be desirable. We have to get over the idea that only the poor grow their own food. You are right it is changing but very slowly.