23 January 2011

Food out the Front

When we first moved in to our current house, this is how the garden bed beneath our bedroom window looked - just a bush and tambark mulch.
And it stayed that way until last November, when the bay windows had to be repaired ...

The whole bush was removed ... and I was left with this.

I started to take cuttings of succulents and was slowly filling in the bed that way. But then I had a brain wave ... why not grow vegies?! It is a really good spot, very sunny, and the soil seemed to be pretty good too. My strip of vegie garden in the backyard was going OK, but not really well. This way I could double my vegie garden area, without having to actually make a new garden bed!

The convention of not growing food in your front garden stems from medieval times, when you could proclaim your wealth by not having to use every bit of your land for food production. Bugger that, hey?! Why the hell not grow vegies and herbs out the front?!

So anyway ... I put in thyme, tomatoes, zucchini, cucumbers, basil, chilli, butternut pumpkin, and strawberries.

The strawberries aren't going that well, they probably need a less shaded area (the zucchini leaves are shading the other plants, I keep having to lop them off!). But the basil is doing the best I've ever had, and the tomatoes and zucchini as well! In between the vegies are nasturtiums (also edible) and the succulents. It certainly helps that we're having the wettest summer in about a decade, too.

The cucumbers are just starting to set fruit, and there are a few flowers on the chilli plant. And because this part of the garden has tambark and rough eucalyptus mulch everywhere, the slugs and snails haven't been visiting. Well, that's my guess as to why, anyway ;)

Next season I'll make sure I leave more room for the zucchini, so they don't shade other plants. And maybe add a bit of trellis at the back for beans or peas ... and I'd better start planning the autumn / winter crops soon too!


  1. so awesome! for the last couple of years we had some bug eat our zucchini plants from the inside - so we had one harvest and that was that!

  2. Trying again - Blogger not playing well with others this afternoon.

    Great use of space and cheers for basil, my favourite soft-leafed herb.

  3. That's amazing, I am so glad you took photos all the way through: it's magic like on gardening shows on TV!!!

  4. There's a house that I can see from the train on my way to work that uses most of their front yard to grow vegetables. I thought "victory garden" and wondered what their neighbors are thinking about it. When we moved into our house, we planted buckwheat where the lawn was going to be to organically fertilize the soil. My neighbors were fascinated/appalled at it.

  5. Oh you clever girl!! I do love a little nasturtium in my salad. They taste like radishes, and they're sooo pretty. Bravo!

    (my verification word is oduckery. It's where they raise Irish ducks - right?)

  6. I too have used space in the front yard to grow veg and converted a big fish pond to my big patch and can manage it all better as our yard is too difficult for me to handle out the back. I think the neighbours are used to me tipping pots of tea leaves on the garden and the fact I wander and harvest in my Pjs. One side share my herbs as they are close to their side as well.

  7. That zucchini looks grand! I would love a veggie garden. Mark's mom has one in Fla.

  8. Good for you...I've done the same with tomatoe plants as my front garden has a full southerly view. As for the zukes I had an Aussie give me the recipe for zuchini slices...nom, nom, nom

  9. What a cool idea! I think veggies are as pretty as flowers.

  10. I always think it looks cool when the veggie bed is out in front, especially if they aren't in stiff rows.

    I love zucchini flowers - they look like bright orange starfish under the leaves.


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