Front Gardening

This is only the second front garden I’ve had.  In the last house, the back was so large I just kept the front as lawn.  Here, though, the back is small and quite shaded; also I want to leave enough space out there so that the tent can be put up to dry if we have to bring it home wet.  So I’ve decided to put some vegetable beds in the front garden instead.  Here’s a photo of progress so far:

Front veg beds

The frames are old ones we brought with us, the rear one being made of old floor joists.  I’m a fan of ‘no dig’ gardening, on the basis that the soil is a living complex of fungi and other important beings that are better left undisturbed … plus it’s less work.  So I put down a layer of cardboard to cover the grass, then added the compost and some manure.  Then the seedlings went in: sugar snap peas, lettuce, spinach, broccoli, cauliflower and strawberries.  A surface mulch of straw should help with moisture retention.  In front I’ve planted a couple of rosemary bushes and some dwarf sunflower seeds.

The first night, a fox (probably) dug everything up.  I was really annoyed.  I thought, “What makes the fox think she can just dig where she likes?”  Then I thought, “What makes me think I can just install raised beds where I like?”  Still – I’ve put a sheet of wire mesh across the rear bed, about 6 inches above the soil.  The front bed frame was a kit and had a kind of square poly-tunnel over it. The plastic rotted but I’ve used the frame and covered it with chicken wire.  So far, that’s kept the animals away and the re-planted seedlings seem to be recovering.

One bonus of gardening in front of the house is that, while I was working, I had loads of short conversations with passers-by.  It seems that vegetables make people happy.

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