After reading Colleen’s piece over on Treehugger about the woman in Oak Park, MI, who is being taken to court by the city for growing vegetables in her front yard, I realized how thankful I am to live in the neighborhood that I do. The above photo is not from where I live. This is what I imagine the control freaks in Oak Park want their neighborhood to look like. Just look at all that neatly mowed grass, evenly spaced plantings of mundane shrubs, and overuse of New Zealand Flax. It’s all so Stepford, isn’t it? It’s OK, I guess if you like things neat and tidy. Or if you dislike color. But it’s not for me. Let’s take a quick stroll through my neighborhood. Shall we?
This is where the anarchy really began on my street. About seven years ago, these folks ripped out their front lawn and planted fruit trees! They now have a fairly mature peach and pear tree in front. On the side of their corner lot, they have a fig and pomegranate.
This house is positioned right along the creek which is lined with huge Eucalyptus trees. They get very little sun in their back yard. So what’s a tomato lover to do? Why grow them in the front of course.
In addition to the front yard victory gardens, my neighborhood is noticeably lacking in turf grass. Perhaps that’s because our city has been preaching the wisdom of going drought tolerant in our plantings in order to conserve that which is scare. Perhaps we just don’t like to mow.
Whatever the reason, it means I get to enjoy stunning splashes of color like this Calandrinia/Tickseed combo on my walk.
My neighbors are also a creative lot and like to embellish their yards with interesting planters. Those rustic succulent planters are actually upturned mailboxes.
Some like to add unexpected splashes of turquoise with a bit of paint.
While others tuck in a statue or two.
Succulents are everywhere and do quite nicely.
Our hell-strips are often a bit untidy.
And who says water-wise needs to be boring? (These folks also mulch with sea glass and sea shells. Crazy, I know.)
This neighbor was actually a customer of mine when I worked at the nursery in town. I sold her that red carpet rose just to the left. She must have liked my suggestion because in the past couple years I see a few more being added to the landscape.
Yes, I’m glad I don’t live in Oak Park, MI, because I fear I’d miss out on gorgeous floral displays like this one.
Which brings us back where we started. Looks like it’s going to be a good peach harvest this year.