A few summers ago I noticed that my front yard was looking a bit scraggly. It used to be a thing of beauty, striking enough to stop even the most curmudgeony of curmudgeons in their tracks. It had a strip of thick lawn bordered by two garden beds filled with roses, delphinium, other perennials and a variety of shrubs. I also had a voracious trumpet vine that had, on more than one occasion, eaten a passing toy poodle.
Last spring I came to grips with the fact that the shrubs had outgrown their welcome and were taking over the front yard. Something needed to be done with them. They needed a little trim or something.
So, I did what any gardener would do under the circumstances. I ripped out every shrub, plant and turf I could get my hands on and set about planting a front yard vegetable garden.
The truth is, I did leave a few perennials and about half of the roses, but for the most part, everything went to the dump or the compost pile. I was sick of powdery mildew, black spot, cutting, trimming, shaping, moving, splitting and spraying.
I figure, if I’m going to screw around and devote hours of attention, watering and feeding a plant in my garden, it should at least return the favour, eventually, and feed me.
I didn't give a single thought as to whether what I was doing was legal. I was removing ornamental plants and putting in edible plants. It's not like I was removing edible plants and putting in poisonous plants and inviting neighbourhood kids over to have a taste. Luckily I didn't have a problem with my municipality or any of my neighbours. But I would say that was just luck.
Here are a few tips for you to keep in mind in case you decide to rip your front yard apart, as well.