Friday, July 03, 2009
The all-American front yard
Should look like this as far as I’m concerned.
Or this. Or any other configuration that ‘s interesting and abundant rather than pinched and pedicured. That’s what I’m celebrating on this glorious 4th of July weekend.
I am thankful that I did not inherit a front lawn from the former owners of our property. Or a back lawn. Or, indeed, a pitiful little strip of side lawn. What I got wasn’t perfect, but at least it demonstrated that there are other ways to dress a house than with a patch of turf and some foundation shrubs.
As I walk around our neighborhood (where these images were taken), I see more and more people gardening in their front yards rather than merely maintaining them. This way of thinking differently about the front yard—as a vegetable garden, a rock garden, a place for interesting ground covers, grasses, and/or native plants—has spread throughout Buffalo and its suburbs, as well as throughout America.
If your idea of the perfect front yard includes turf, I think that’s cool too. What bothers me is the idea of people choosing it because it is the conservative or acceptable choice—or, horrors, because it’s all they’re allowed to do.
As we celebrate our freedom, I think we should find more ways to express that freedom in our gardening.