Magazine article Sunset

Veggies in Front: Corn, Squash, and Other Crops Make Up an Edible Entry Garden

Magazine article Sunset

Veggies in Front: Corn, Squash, and Other Crops Make Up an Edible Entry Garden

Article excerpt

Vegetables have traditionally been confined to the backyard. But innovative gardeners like Deborah Risi are discovering that edible crops fit beautifully up front too. When she remodeled her home in Menlo Park, California, Risi redesigned her front yard around three raised beds dedicated entirely to edibles. In the process, she was able to preserve the backyard as a play space.

"My primary objective was to create both a functional and inviting gardening space that optimized the square footage available and took best advantage of the sun," Risi says. "I wanted to create an environment where we would want to spend time--it seems that no one ever uses their front yards."

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Risi's beds complement the contemporary style of her house, providing nearly 150 square feet for growing crops. Landscape contractor Helmut Kroos built the beds, which each measure 4 feet wide, 12 feet long, and 18 inches tall, and filled them with a combination of standard potting mix and native soil. The beds are surrounded with pea gravel for a clean look and low maintenance.

Risi cares for the garden with her two children, Joseph, 6, and Nina, 5. "I want gardening to be part of my children's lives," she says. …

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