3201 Butler Avenue - Cluster 2

Edibles…lots of them…growing in the front yard

Click here for audio description of this garden.

For years the owners grew tomatoes, strawberries and a few things like that on a narrow strip on the southeastern side of the house next to the neighbor's driveway.

New neighbors built a fence cutting off vegetable garden’s light. The children, now older, no longer used the grassy area in the front yard for play. it was time for a change. The backyard doesn't get as much sun as the front, so the owners determined the front yard was the place to site the new vegetable garden.

The Westdale soil, as all gardeners there know, is terrible. Rather than trying to amend it to something less than terrible, the owner decided to construct raised beds. Using stacking joints manufactured by frameitall, they
were dead-easy to put together. The first year's produce, in 2011, justified the decision. The owners have grown onions and garlic and potatos and carrots and beans and snow peas and lettuce and cucumbers and tomatos and zuchinni and pumpkins and corn and parsnips and a load of herbs.

Solar-powered fountain

Walla Walla onions, cut thick and grilled on the barbecue, became a favorite summer food. The owners just finished the last of their onions in January, having been self-sufficient since June.

The surprising side benefit growing edibles in the front yard is the social aspect. The owners have met more people in the neighborhood than ever before. They stop by on the weekends to see what's going on…sometimes leaving with some excess zuchinni!

This is still a work-in-progress. New for this year are a solar powered fountain and espaliered apple trees. The unwatered grass is dying but not gone. The owners are adding more planters and then will put in low-water natives and stepping stones to create a more pleasing look. Right now, the owner/chief gardener has more vision than time!