Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Suburban Rebellion

Behold my new herb bed!  (Public thanks to DH for hauling most of a ton of landscaping brick and topsoil from the hardware store to the house!)  A beautiful bed of multicolored herbs will now brighten my summer, but it will also serve as my own little act of rebellion.

Front yards are wonderful spaces; those of us lucky enough to own some land should be thankful.  I recently realized this when engaging in a conversation about gardening with an urban dweller; when I started into my standard suburban apology for only having .71 acre on which to garden, he admitted to buying a house sitting on a tenth of an acre, almost solely because he could garden on it.  I feel very blessed.

But often these front yards drive us far away from our neighbors, into our back yards.  It is true of me:  Sure, I trim the grass, prune the trees, and plant flowers out front, but the real fun -- the vegetable gardening -- goes on in the fenced in back yard.  It is the same for many suburbanites:  the front yard is for show, and the back yard is for living.

So this year, I planned and executed a little suburban rebellion, by expanding my food operation into the front yard.  Yes, I picked the prettiest plants -- the amethyst basil, the lime thyme, the feverfew -- for the front yard, but this year I will be kneeling out front, pulling weeds, and harvesting some of my herbs while the neighbors walk by. 

Maybe they'll ask me for a sample.  Maybe they'll be inspired to grow a food plant for the world to see, too.  Wouldn't it be wonderful if we all did?
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