An Alternative to Grass – Neighborly Inspiration

Besides enjoying writing about my veggie garden antics, my primary motivation for starting a blog was to help inspire others to also grow their own food.  It’s empowering to rely on oneself and a patch of land to provide sustenance for mind and body.  I’d like to admit that I was the neighborhood pioneer on my street in regards to this notion, but alas, I garnered my own inspiration from a bold and beautiful front yard veggie garden created by a couple across the cul-de-sac.  The front yard, as so many San Diego suburb yards do, consisted of green grass.  Now, I won’t go in to the wasteful and consumeristic qualities of watering, cutting and caring for anti-native sod in desert-esque San Diego, but I will say that although I do see it that way, I do have grass in my yard.  The chickens love it, as does my daughter.  Hypocritical?  A bit.  We love our badminton and soccer.

But, I digress.  This neighbor of mine is a gardener by profession and as it turns out, one heck of a veggie gardener to boot.  Enough yapping, here’s the photos.

The bed is raised about a foot higher than the rest of the front yard, filled with top-notch garden soil and homemade compost. It's protected by a cute green enclosure and little gate. There are stepping stones throughout so as not to compact the soil.

Here's a snapshot of his backyard, which I just got the pleasure of drooling over yesterday. Pretty amazing, right? In the past there was a meticulous lawn and now there is a natural, romantic garden with a gigantic raised veggie bed in the foreground.

He's finishing up with the cold weather crops and is about to heave-ho this bed into the spring.

The following is another cul-de-sac neighbor who took out her lawn a few years back and has put in California native wildflowers, succulents, natives and fruit trees.

I really am proud of these neighbors in my little block for stepping out of the norm and doing something unconventional and beautiful with their front yards.  Plus, they are saving on water, lawnmower gas and following the in crowd.

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