Front yard to street: “Bite me.”
The blog has been looking kind of black and white lately, so it’s time to green it up and then some.
Architect Fritz Haeg’s Edible Estates project appeals to gardeners and urbanists alike. He launched an “attack on the front lawn,” which calls for eradicating grass and planting vegetables, herbs, fruit trees and bushes, and edible flowers. Haeg helped install a handful of demonstration gardens around the country and in London, and his lead has inspired many others.
In Providence, where many neighborhoods were developed in the 18th and 19th centuries, some houses are built up to the front lot line, and the front yard is a front porch. Near the corner of Vinton and Grove streets, residents festoon their facades with flowers or tend tomatoes above your front door.
The planters surrounding Phoenix Dragon Restaurant at the corner of Broadway and Battey St. are filled with eggplant, squash or melon, and other edible plants. Check out the incredible vines and fruits growing on a trellis in the parking lot!
Fritz Haeg wasn’t the first to advocate farming in your front yard. I’d like to think it was Dr. Montgomery. For some 25-30 years (at least), he has farmed his front yard and sidewalk strips on Morris Avenue. In this streetcar-suburban neighborhood on Providence’s East Side, Dr. Montgomery broke new ground in more ways than one.