Kitchen garden at front entry

by Gina B Wicker
(Gibsonville, NC)



My front yard is the only place where I have enough sun for a kitchen garden, and I'm wondering if I can mix edibles like tomatoes, peppers, eggplant, beets, etc without things getting too messy and cluttered. I've been in my house for 16 years, and I just pulled out all of my shrubs to start over.

I love the less formal look of a cottage garden with old fashioned flowers like peonies, lilac, gardenias, etc. I live in NC, and I have too much sun in the front yard for hydrangeas, azaleas or rhododendrons.

I have some photos, but I'm working on an iPad, and it doesn't look like I can upload them.

ANSWER

I love that idea. You can mix in edibles with lots of loose flowering perennials and even some shrubs (Lilacs, Compact Weigela, and Caryopteris, to name a few that all like the sun) to create a true mix of colors, textures and eats! You could even add in a focal point with a bird bath or a pretty structure for plants to grow on. All of this will provide a combo kitchen garden/cottage garden at your front yard and entry.

Planting a few of a variety together in areas helps make things a bit more cohesive. You can add some evergreen shrubs towards the front foundation for a bit of organization. They also make perennials and their flowers really stand out. Take a look at my book Designing With Evergreen Shrubs. Other than that, pay attention to heights, colors, textures. You can design this so that there is no grass whatsoever too if you like and place stepping stones through it. See my page on stone walkways. I think this is right up your alley!

Also, another landscape designer acquaintance of mine wrote a book called "The Edible Front Yard". Her name is Yvette Soler. I haven't read it yet, but it's supposed to be very good. It's available on Amazon.

I also provide online designs if you are interested.

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"Susan,  what a pleasure it was to work with you.  You made me feel like I was your only client - responding late at night and always so quickly!  Your design is amazing and we only hope we can do justice to it when we plant.  You have such fantastic ideas and you are so open to suggestions and changes.  Loved working with you - now if you could only come to Canada and plant it!!!"
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