Yesterday I picked up a book while out shopping with Parker, and I've already flipped through it several times, and read all the way through half of it.
The book is The Edible Front Yard: The Mow-Less, Grow-More Plan for a Beautiful, Bountiful Garden by Ivette Soler. I've been inspired for a while now by the concept of sustainable gardening replacing the modern water-wasteland of a lawn that is currently the neighborhood norm. It's also important to me to maintain a beautiful visual statement and have a pleasing sense of design and purpose to my front yard. When I saw this book, I gravitated toward it, and with a quick flip through the pages, realized this was going to be a wonderful resource for me.
Soler shares information on choosing plants that are not only edible, but also maintain integrity and visual appeal well through the year. She also gives design advice for creating a pleasing yard that works with your style of house, and gives suggestions for elements that will tie the space together during off-season months.
I loved the images of blooms of common plants that give great visual appeal, and was excited to see suggestions of the more ornamental varieties of plants that their common varieties are otherwise a little on the plain side visually.
Some of my favorite tips are to use lettuce and leafy edibles for borders, thyme to create a thick lawn-like bed of foliage, and to repeat plants for visual and design stability.
If you are interested in creating a garden space in your front yard, I suggest you check this book out. It's a great resource for any sustainable urban gardener, or anyone who is just tired of mowing and watering a lawn that doesn't give them much in return.