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Are Front-Yard Veggie Gardens an Eyesore?

City counsels are forcing residents to remove vegetable gardens from front yards, which officials say are unsightly. Where do you stand on this impassioned garden debate?

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Sure, front-yard vegetable gardens aren’t as prim and tidy as foundation plants and perennial borders. Veggies need stakes and trellises, which can make a yard look messy.

But you can’t make a salad from azaleas or put up jars of pansies for the winter. Front-yard edible gardens feed the home owner and neighbors, and they don’t waste precious water that lawns demand.
This debate is raging in Drummondville, Quebec; Ferguson, Mo.; Oak Park, Mich.; and Tulsa, Okla. Those cities have ordered home owners to cease and desist growing vegetables in their front yards, pitting environmentally friendly gardeners against their curb appeal-loving neighbors.

The cities say front yard vegetable gardens violate a raft of city ordinances. Officials have threatened home owners with fines and jail; Tulsa even mowed down one edible garden, including fruit and nut trees.

But Victory gardeners aren’t letting their tomatoes go gentle into that good night. The Tulsa home owner is suing the city for wrecking her edible and medicinal garden, and the Quebec couple is collecting online signatures asking their municipal counsel to reverse its garden-removal decision.

Where do you stand on the front-yard garden debate? Do you support edible gardens front and center? Or do you think they wreck curb appeal and bring down property values?

lisa-kaplan-gordon Lisa Kaplan Gordon

is an avid gardener, a member of the Fairfax County Master Gardeners Association, and a builder of luxury homes in McLean, Va. She’s been a Homes editor for Gannett News Service and has reviewed home improvement products for AOL. Follow Lisa on Google+.

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