Saturday, July 25, 2009

Front Yard Folly

How Our Garden Grows
video
Not too long ago we had a fairly normal --although very small -- front garden. A visit to the county fair, a friend's trip to an organic tomato farm, and running out of room
in the backyard changed all that in a hurry.
We got the idea to make a fence of tomatoes.
James started off looking for cattle or hog panels (found them in Acton but weren't really sure how to get them home) and ended up with green wire fencing that stretches across the front to hold our -- grown from seed -- San Marzano tomatoes
James loves corn. We don't really have
enough room for corn but I had to give it a try and in went Country
Gentleman and Stowell's Evergreen -- two heirloom sweet corn varieties. Corn was too much of a temptation -- once it got about 10 inches tall I attempted a "three sisters" garden adding beans (Signora della Campagna, Maraviglia di Venezia, Painted Lady Runner Beans) to wind their way up the corn stalks and squash (Marina di Chioggia Squash, Jarrahdale Blue-- a New Zealand Heirloom-- and Rouge Vif d'Etampes Pumpkins -- a French heirloom) to keep the corn's "feet" nice and shady.








I liked the idea of creating a formal garden arrangement with the "wrong" plants so . . . mirrored on both sides went Persian and Lemon cucumbers (on the trellises), Jimmy Nardello Frying peppers, and Violetta Eggplant.
A row of marigolds (for pest protection) and delicious alpine strawberries covered the front with basil, thyme, oregano and other herbs tucked in for good measure.
If you thumb through the organic gardening classic Carrots Love Tomatoes you'll quickly find that corn and tomatoes are not the best of garden companions -- against the best advice available we forged ahead but put in a row of Snow White carrots for luck.
A story like this wouldn't quite be complete without a before picture -- so just in case you're curious, here's our front garden before vegetable madness made us the house with the front yard corn.

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