Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Edible Landscaping on the 4000 Block of W. 31st Ave.

Lurking, almost unseen, are vegetables growing in at least four of the front yards of houses in the 4000 block of West 31st Avenue, Vancouver, B.C. Word has it that someone on the block has encouraged others to plant vegetables in their front yards.

The first garden features Swiss chard growing among native plants adjacent to the front sidewalk. Further back, in an unlikely shady location next to the northeast side of the house, the pole beans are finished for the season but the nasturtiums are still thriving.

In the second garden, Brussels sprouts grow next to a rhododendron. Earlier in the season there were tomatoes and cucumbers. The owners were in the vanguard many years ago when they removed the grass in the front and landscaped with rhododendrons, witch hazel, etc., but now they make more space for vegetables each year.

The third garden has Swiss chard growing near the house. There is potential on this sunny south-facing exposure to grow a variety of vegetables.

In this mulched fourth garden, the green onions would not be seen unless you knew they were there. (A reminder--clicking on the photos enlarges them.)

Since no one has transformed their entire front lawn to vegetables, these are small endeavours. However, taken together, can we see the beginning of a movement? Perhaps next season there will be larger areas devoted to vegetables and more neighbors joining in.

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