front lawn gardening

In about 10 days, we are moving in to our new house. The neighborhood is a subdivision that has farm fields about a tenth of a mile away. I don't see any sign of decent sized gardens out here, any raised beds, or really much gardening at all. There are simply large yards that people mow, evidently. I'd like to have a large garden, but the situation is that while I can do a little of this along our fence, the best place for it in our location (due to sun, etc.) would be our front yard.
I come from a farm background, and while I like flowers, I also like plants that give me something to eat. I tend to plant raised beds and borders with things that accomplish both.
While I'd like to simply plant the front yard to pumpkins and sweet corn, I have a feeling that the neighbors would at the very least resent it, and probably they would end up trying to cite me for some nonsense about my yard not meeting the neighborhood standards of looking like a golf course. I'm sure I'll already have some of them annoyed with us, because my wife is planning to put up a clothesline to harness solar power. (the old fashioned way - drying clothes with the sun)
So, in order to "break" the neighbors in to the idea of front lawn gardening, I was wondering what tried and true methods some of the rest of you have used?
I'm especially looking for productive vegetables that either have striking foliage or flowers.
Thanks!
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I haven't done this yet due to costs, but eventually I'd like to get some good permanent landscaping done in my front yard, with attractive edible bushes, fruit trees, herbs, and small plots for pretty seasonal vegetables. Corn and pumpkins scream "GARDEN," but certain types of peppers, brassicas, artichokes, and legumes can be very beautiful, and may even fool people into believing they are useless. Herbs are nice to tuck into empty spaces just like pansies or alyssum, and they are usually just as pretty. For flowers, try edible kinds such as chamomile, nasturtium, evening primrose, saffron crocus, violets, or amaranth. Grow vining beans, peas, kiwis, or grapes over an arbor. Plant a circle of small fruit trees in the middle of the yard, and put some benches under them. In areas where you want some "lawn" or other green groundcover, plant lemongrass, onions, or spreading herbs like oregano, mint, or thyme--then you can walk on it and also go out and cut some ever time you seed to season something in the kitchen!
I am really looking forward to seeing other replies to this, because I love the idea of edible landscaping and am always looking for new ideas. --S.
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The main thing is not to make it look like a "garden." I haven't tried it here since we have plenty of space in the back. I found a book on colorful vegetables that seems like a good way to start. I don't remember the name of the book and I can't find my copy right now. Rainbow chard was one thing.
--
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Artichokes, both globe and Jerusalem. Climbing peas or beans. Grapes. Herbs. Many flowers are edible. Fruit trees. My personal favourite is the globe artichoke for striking foliage. I like the quince tree for all round beauty, it has great flowers, attractive leaves and good looking tasty fruit.
David
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On Sun, 7 Mar 2010 11:55:24 +1100, "David Hare-Scott"

Okra!
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Asparagus would be a nice touch too.
--
"Fascism should more properly be called corporatism because it is the
merger of state and corporate power." - Benito Mussolini.
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Andy comments:
I give the produce different names when a neighbor asks.....
For instance, summer squash is a "Scandinavian Sunset Plant". Just remember to pick the squash off before anyone sees it. The flowers are beautiful...
Okra is called "Japanese Orchids". Again, remember to pick the okra early in the morning, every day...
Cucumber vines are "French Climbing Ivy".
I haven't come up with a good disguise for watermellons yet, tho.
This technique works best for vegetables that need to be picked regularly, and whose fruits are not observable from the street....
An exception is Swiss Chard, which is "Romanian Fern"...... It makes a good border plant.......
Good luck, and if you come up with something for watermellons, please publish it .....
:>)))) Andy in Eureka, Texas
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In article

Genius.
How water flower offspring?
Bill
--
Bill Garden in shade zone 5 S Jersey USA
<http://www.globalissues.org/article/75/world-military-spending
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AndyS wrote:

Parsley makes an excellent border plant too.

Evil. Pure evil. I love it.
David
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AndyS wrote: ...

love the imagery! quite funny. must try swiss chard sometime as it makes great wraps for salads and i adore it cooked too.
a green wig with fake spikes sticking out of it to make it look like a cactus? stand it up on the end on a similarly colored and spiked fake holder so the end doesn't break the stem. instant presto, cactus lawn ornament.
ok, that was my second idea. the first was taking a wooden box and putting a slot in one end that the stem can go through and enough holes in the sides for air circulation. put it over the watermelon and then put a potted cactus over it. this is texas you might as well go with something that can take the heat... people won't even notice the change before and after the harvest.
if you grow things up trellis you could paint them orange and call them religious decorations for All Saints Day. that way they can't bust you because it's a religious discrimination thing.
songbird
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plant some sunflowers with the corn to confuse the neighbours or maybe a marijuana plant or 2 as well.
rob
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Andy comments: Well, here in Navarro County, Texas, we have the best marijuana growing soil in the state...... ...... It is called a "Mexican Maple Bush".......
Of course, I know nothing of this............
Andy in Eureka, Texas
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In article

Just incase you never heard this.
Naked In Eureka 4:01 William Eaton Naked In Eureka New Age AAC audio file 100 12 3/14/10 3:42 PM
--
Bill Garden in shade zone 5 S Jersey USA
<http://www.globalissues.org/article/75/world-military-spending
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Bill who putters;880194]In article
snipped-for-privacy@33g2000yqj.googlegroups.com, AndyS snipped-for-privacy@juno.com wrote: - On Mar 8, 2:51 am, "George" snipped-for-privacy@ihug.co.nz wrote: - plant some sunflowers with the corn to confuse the neighbours or maybe a
marijuana plant or 2 as well.
rob-
Andy comments: Well, here in Navarro County, Texas, we have the best marijuana growing soil in the state...... ..... It is called a "Mexican Maple Bush".......
Of course, I know nothing of this............
Andy in Eureka, Texas-
Just incase you never heard this.
Naked In Eureka 4:01 William Eaton Naked In Eureka New Age AAC audio file 100 12 3/14/10 3:42 PM
--
Bill Garden in shade zone 5 S Jersey USA
http://tinyurl.com/4ucbrl
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wrote:

Exactly. I wouldn't get along in a neighbourhood like that. I like my clothesline and if I wanted to plant veggies in my front yard, I wouldn't want someone telling me I couldn't. In these days, everything we can do to cut hydro consumption and food costs should be applauded. Also, I think a well tended vegetable garden is a thing of beauty. I wish I was physically able to do it. .....Sharon in SW Ontario Canada
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you could go the whole french potager route http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Potager_du_roi tell them that Loiuis the 14th had one and they will all want one!
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In article

Always find gardening history wonderful.
Thanks
Anyone know of a book dealing with garden histories ? I'm confined to Japan for the most part with many haphazard miscellaneous tidbits all about .
--
Bill Garden in shade zone 5 S Jersey USA
<http://www.globalissues.org/article/75/world-military-spending
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wrote:

That's so over done here in northern California. <http://www.watchsonomacounty.com/2010/04/featured-articles/cannabis-coun try/>
--
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merger of state and corporate power." - Benito Mussolini.
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growth habit, striking color. A big assortment of hot peppers can be very striking, too. Swiss chard as a border. A bed of beets can be impressive, and the bonus is that both the beetroot and the greens are delicious. Edible landscaping authors always mention kale for its size and color but we don't eat kale so don't plant it.
Another thought is to plant vines that can be trailed over structures to give them height, if that would suit the front yard design-wise.. Cucumbers and melons would work for this. -aem
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