Front Yard Vegetable Garden! Revealed.

It’s done. Kind of. Actually it’s not done. A vegetable garden is never really “done”. It’s what’s known as a constant work in progress.

So, more preciesely, it’s done more than the last time you saw it.

I welcome you to (but keep your paws off my vegetables) my Front Yard Vegetable Garden.

Front W- Rose

As you can see, I ended up leaving some grass.  I went back and forth about whether or not to have grass but finally ended up deciding, even though I know it uses up a lot of water, it’s a lot of work and prone to up and dying … I like it.  I mean, those things don’t stop me from owning pets so ….  I’d like to introduce you to my newest pet; Blade.

It adds a nice amount of green and it’s soft on  my feet.   Plus it plain old looks pretty.


If you read this, you know the baskets all around are filled with seed potatoes.
Whole Front 2


The left side of the garden has radishes, beets, Kale, spinach, swiss chard, all kinds of lettuces, herbs, peas, fennel and to the far left, a couple of the heirloom tomatoes I grew.  Unlike regular tomatoes from the garden centre the heirlooms will grow very tall.  Heirloooms are “indeterminate” which means their height and size isn’t pre-determined.  Most garden centre tomatoes have been hybridized and genetically altered to make them “determinate”.  A specific size that they grow to and then stop.  I knew heirlooms could grow very tall, but was shocked, stunned and kind of frightened when a reader commented that hers had grown to 14 feet. That’s not a tomato.  That’s a character in a Brother’s Grimm story.


Of course the height is determined a little bit by the length of your growing season.  So hopefully mine won’t go too far past the 6 ft bamboo tee pee I’m supporting them on. Eep.

Front Left


You’ve probably noticed my wooden board in other pictures.  Because I only have access to my garden from one side, I’ve left strips of soil that aren’t planted with anything.  I can then lay the board down onto any of those strips and stand on it to weed and pick the vegetables all around me.  Otherwise I’d be stomping down and compacting the soil.  Works great.

Front Centre


The right side of the garden also has radishes, beets, peas and swiss chard.  Then there’s carrots, zucchini, acorn squash, potatoes, and a spot where sweet potatoes will go once the soil gets a bit warmer.

Right Front


This I am proud to announce is my first pick from the garden.  A French Breakfast Radish  as grown from seed.  (purchased from Cubits)



The entire outside of the garden is still filled with perennials like roses, phlox, lavender and other english garden staples.  BUT …

Side Through Picket


I’ve also filled in areas with rows of a variety of potatoes.  They’re planted in baskets and right in the soil.

Side From Back


Seriously.  Wherever I could shove a basket of potatoes I did.  In this case the potatoes have lupins on one side, peonies on the other and …

Potatoes &amp ;- Peas


Peas right behind it.



The general look of the garden is organized but not pretty, perfect, cutsie.  I can’t even begin to tell you how much fun it is to come out and see how much everything has grown overnight.  In a few more days I’ll have more radishes to pick and the lettuce is just about ready to use tiny bits in salads.

I’M FREAKING OUT.  It’s so very, very exciting.


Front 2


I grew 80% of the plants myself from seed, like the heirloom tomatoes.  The two at the front are Black Krim (a dark, almost black tomato) and Costoluto Genovese (a large irregular shaped, scalloped tomato).

Tomato Cages


As the tomato grows I’ll just loosely tie it to the tee pee to keep it from toppling.

Black Krim Tomato


The basil I grew from seed … the parsley I did not.



This big, puff of a bee was with me ALL day.  He didn’t bug me, I didn’t bug him.  It worked out.



Bee Close Up


Buttercrunch lettuce.  Grown from seed.



Mixed heirloom carrots.  Seeded in garden in April.



Freckles Romaine lettuce.  Seeded in garden in April.

Freckles Romaine


Red and Green leaf lettuce.  Seeded in garden beginning of May.

Leaf Lettuces



Left From Above



Right From Above


Red and yellow onions.  Planted from dutch sets in April.



MY POTATOES ARE ALREADY GROWING!!!  Planted in baskets beginning of May.



French Breakfast radishes.  One of the many radish types I’m growing.  Direct seeded into garden in April.


Whole Front


And finally … one of the plants I bought at the nursery ’cause I just couldn’t help myself.  I love growing everything from seed, but there’s comes a time in gardening when you’re sick of waiting and you want some INSTANT gratification.  I got it in the form of celery.

Celery 1


I planted the majority of it in the garden, but decided to throw this one in a topiary cage.  Just for fun.  It’ll probably die.

Celery 2


But until then … I will sit, relax and enjoy looking at it.

Celery 3


This isn’t  every plant I’ve stuck in the ground, but the majority of them.  I also have jalapeno peppers, green chile peppers, zucchini, a few more tomato plants, a bunch of acorn squash, some fennel (did I already mention the fennel?), and the plant I’m probably most excited about … a Bay Laurel.  Yup.  Growin’ my own bay leaves.

This long weekend in Canada I got everything planted other than the Sweet Potatoes which I’ll put in next weekend when the soil has warmed up a bit more.  And then … it’ll be done.

Wait.   No it won’t.  I already explained that.

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  1. Beth says:

    Your garden is so lovely! I’d never leave that bench! I’m stuck with just container gardening this year, and the containers seem to keep multiplying. I’m jealous of all your space!

  2. ruth says:

    It’s beautiful, I love it, and I can’t wait to see the next stage of growth!

  3. Angela says:

    Lovely garden! Did you make the teepee? Love the new (?) sod. It adds a lot to your garden!

  4. Susan says:

    Gorgeousness!! How do you do all this and a Blog too? I got it; you must not sleep.

    Wonderful job. Thanks for the inspiration. Now I gotta go out and replant because stuff didn’t come up.

    Not to mention spray the Stoopid Slugs.

    Love ya, S

    • Karen says:

      Susan – I haven’t been able to find it in Canada, but “Sluggo” is supposed to be GREAT for stopping slugs. ~ karen

      • Susan says:

        Thanks for your reply! I make up my own spray of 1/4 ammonia and 3/4 water. Spray El Slug and watch it die. Satisfaction and cheap.
        I’ve heard of using wood ashes too.<3 Susan

        • Lonelle says:

          You can also hot glue gun pennies around the boarder of your garden if its a raised one, or on paperplates. You cut the middle out of the paperplate, glue pennies to it and then slip it over the plant. Slugs don’t like the copper!!

  5. Patti says:

    Oh, Karen! You are going to have so much fun! We did our veggie garden last year for the first time, and it was the most rewarding activity I think I`ve ever done! They`re like little babies!

    There is just nothing like pulling something fresh from your garden and popping it into a salad, or a stir fry or whatever. It`s amazing!

    And once you`ve had zucchinis plucked straight from the garden, you`ll never even bother with the teeny weenie zuchs at the grocery store! Two different worlds!

    Enjoy! Great work, Karen!

    • Melissa says:

      The plants >are< like little babies, which is why it's so darn frustrating when something (I think a little skunk, in our case) eats them!!! We lost all our Swiss chard, and now I'm afraid to plant anything else for fear of losing it.

  6. Karla says:

    Love the garden. Do you have a small greenhouse for all the seeds you started in April? I planted my first veggie garden last weekend from seeds directly into garden boxes. I do not have the room to grow inside the house. My radishes are already peeking through…so exciting.

  7. Mary Werner says:

    Beautiful! I love fennel and plant it all the time. I have MANY butterflies and caterpillars as a result.Used it’s flower heads (mostly seeds) as a gorgeous green arrangement in my daughters wedding. Lined the church pews with cones from brown paper filled with fennel and tied up with brown ribbon. Her wedding was brown and green and she released butterflies – good luck with your fennel! Used butterflies on the alter green plants instead of having flowers and it was wonderful. As I love natural more than “arranged” I love your front yard garden.

  8. Annie says:

    Looks amazing, Karen. I’m so envious. Your garden is absolutely perfect. Looking forward to the next update!

  9. Kristen S says:

    Thanks Karen! You inspired me. I turned a 26’x1.5′ strip of lawn in my tiny urban backyard into a veg garden!

  10. Rachel says:

    Hi Karen ,
    The garden looks great. I also planted celery this year , but I used regular celery from the grocery store. Its true , when you purchase celery for eating , cut all your stalks of about 2 inches from the bottom (as you use them of course). This leaves you with a solid 2″ chunky base of celery. Viewed from the top it kind of looks like a celery rose. Soak this in small bowl of warm water overnight ,almost , but not completely covered with the water. The next day take it out to the garden ( or use a plant pot if you want to keep it in the house) and plant it , covering with about 1/2 inch of soil. Thats it!! Within a day or two you’ll have celery leaves popping up above the soil line and boy , does it grow fast!
    I am envious of your garden , mine does not look nearly as organised and pretty as yours. Thanks for the pics’ cant wait to see how it will look in a month or so.

  11. Melissa says:

    I love your garden. It looks amazing, and I’m excited to see what works, as I think we have similar climates (we’re somewhere between zone 4 & 5, on account of micro-climates)… so if you can do it, I’m more inclined to give it a try. Beautiful work. Just awesome!

  12. deneen says:

    recently bought a book ‘the front yard garden’ but kind of punked out & didn’t do it. Your garden has rekindled my somewhat delusional ideas that I could do this!!!

  13. Mickey Arbour says:

    In a word….awesome!

  14. Joan says:

    Fabulous garden! Your slow moving bee friend is a Carpenter Bee…..he is looking for wood to bore into and the queen will lay eggs. Like salmon, they return year after year to the same spot boring deeper…laying eggs. They like soft woods, Like the cedar trim on my house… don’t make friends he is just using you for your wood!

    • Karen says:

      Joan – THAT makes sense! He was here last year and drilled a hole on the underside of my porch railing! You wouldn’t believe the sawdust he left behind! And … he’s doing the same thing this year! :( ~ karen

  15. ellen says:

    Very pretty! I am going to try to steal your board idea instead of the permanent stepping stones I was considering, although I may not be able because my plants are too big and close together. No plant enjoys compacted soil.

  16. Diana says:

    Hey Karen,
    I think you can be proud on you!! Well, I am proud, when I see how many love you put in your vegetabel!!!
    I have only 5 plants of Tomatoes, 2 cucumber salads and a lot of strawberys!!!
    Next year there will grow Hokkaido pumpkin and Zucchini…
    I`m on my way!!!

  17. AmieM says:

    I know you have probably mentioned this before, but where do you get your timelines for planting dates? both from seed and from seedling.

    • Karen says:

      AmieM – You know what? With all the information on the Internet etc., I find a book that I bought when I was a teenager most helpful. Sadly it isn’t published anymore. Also I just “know” with most things. Look up your “Zone”, (I’m apx. zone 6) and then just start Googling. There are cool weather crops which you’ve really missed the planting date for in Zone 6, but cool weather crops can also be planted at the end of July/start of August so you harvest in Oct./ Nov. (peas, spinach, kale, beets, etc.) Just google your zone and research it. You’ll find a lot of conflicting information, LOL, but just go with your gut. ~ karen!

  18. Emma says:

    This garden is amazing and inspiring! Nicely done.

  19. Sherry (BTLover2) says:

    Incredible, Karen. That’s a lot of hard, hard work but the rewards are going to be so worth it. I’m impressed as always. Looking forward to seeing your produce (and I don’t mean that facetiously)!

  20. Langela says:

    You suck!

    J/K The garden looks perfect. Here’s a fun thing to try next year for smaller, direct seeding seeds like carrots and radishes.
    It works really well and gives you some “gardening” to do in the winter as they can be made well in advance of planting time. It’s also a cool way to keep your rows perfect.

    Again, great job on the garden. I love the green grass, too, only I wish it wasn’t so perfect so it would look like a normal person’s garden. But then again, you aren’t quite normal, are you.

  21. Barbie says:

    Girl…..Your gonna have yourself some mighty fine salads this summer! Looks FAB! Can’t wait to watch the progress.

  22. Gwen says:

    Well done, you! Firstly, how the hell did you get that picture of the bee? He sounds very obliging.

    And, if your find your tomatoes are trying to go past the top of your teepee, you can pinch off the center runner to stop them from growing vertically any longer — or you could cut it off, and plant the bottom in some soil — will give you a new tomato plant, since any part of the plant that is buried will develop roots.

    May your garden grow, and grow! :)

  23. Reg says:

    What a beautiful vegetable garden. It is pretty and you should be very proud of your efforts. I’ll look forward to updates on the progress and harvesting stuff when ready. Oh wow, I hope some things show up in your Weeks Menu. I don’t grow veg because nothing will survive the three very large Black Walnut tress in the yard. Even finding shrubs and flowers that thrive is difficult.

  24. Traci says:

    Love it!!! I have a VERY smalll front yard garden, just a strip between my driveway and the sidewalk to the front door but I completely get your excitement! Everytime I find a new veggie growing…SQUEE!!!!!!

  25. Diane says:

    Ahhh it looks fantastic. I’m so jealous. Especially all that lettuce. Now if only I had a garden….and a green thumb.

  26. marilyn says:

    wow karen that is so awesome! kudos to you, that is a ton of work! who went up on the roof to get the aerial or the fella? lol good job girl!

    • Karen says:

      Marilyn – The fella’s afraid of heights. HAH! Just kidding. I just climbed up on a ladder is all. :) ~ karen

  27. Jonna says:

    Karen, this looks freaking amazing. Nice job.

  28. Gayla T says:

    Beautiful, wonderful, inspirational and all that jazz! I love that you did grass even if you have to name it. You still have a front yard that looks normal but all those wonderful vegies growing everywhere you look. I expected raised beds for some reason but this is much nicer. How are you going to hill up your celery? It wants a basket, too. The baskets are just beautiful. Around here you see the potatoes growing in old tires, piled high. Baskets are so much prettier but pricey unless you have found them at the $ store. LOL I’m happy to see you have added some herbs but where are your companion plants? They are such a pretty touch and so useful. Your tomato cage is a work of art and it looks like it’s ready for the tall maters. Here in KS it’a contest between the gardeners and mother nature to get the first tomatoes by July 4th. What is a realistic goal in Canada? Have the girls seen it yet? They are good bug disposers until you start bearing fruit but usually by the time you have to fence them out the bugs have all hatched and been eaten. They were never allowed in the strawberry patch though. For a species that is supposed to be color blind they sure could zone in on a red spot among all that green and go right for the fattest berries. I’m looking forward to the next update. As usual, you are amazing!

  29. Kim Merry says:

    Looks great Karen!!! Whose tree did you climb for the whole garden shots??

  30. angela says:

    this is AMAZEBALLS!!!

  31. cred says:

    This is fantastic! I am a big garden geek and loooove the look of veg gardens. It will be so beautiful once it starts filling in (and exciting).
    I must get some of those baskets for potatoes. I just got my seed potatoes but honestly not sure where to plant- our yard isn’t small but only a small portion is sunny enough. I have bigger growing ambitions than sunny space. I love this idea for potatoes.

    Best of luck growing! It looks like it will reward you with lots of beautiful food.

  32. Anita says:

    Looks fabulous!

  33. LOVE IT ALL!!! I think it is brilliant! (and…crap. I haven’t even planted yet. This weekend….)

  34. Cindy Marlow says:

    AMAZING! What a transformation. Your garden is beautiful as is your photo presentation. I’m stunned by the amount of vegetables you planted in your space. I have slightly over an acre and haven’t planted a garden because it seems so overwhelming. You showed how I can take a portion of my property, not be overwhelmed, and make it worthwhile to grow my own. Thanks!

  35. Karen Page says:

    The garden looks fabulous! Can’t wait to see the bounty of goodies you harvest!!! I’m not able to dedicate time to a garden, but I’m eager to grow my own herbs. FYI: Here in Georgia, the bumblebees are always very curious of what we do outdoors… never getting in the way, just watching. Oh, and 14 ft. tomatoes is like one of those corny B movies… Attack of the Killer Heirloom Tomatoes.

  36. Your garden is beautiful and so well organized. I can tell you’ve put countless hours into design and execution of your plan. I’m amazed at all the plants you’ve started from seed. I hope you post photos often so we can track the progress.
    I know what you mean about going out everyday to see how things have grown while you were sleeping. So exciting.
    Did the radish taste amazingly delicious?

  37. Beautiful, beautiful job! Wow! I’d be gazing over your fence for sure…stalking your veggies (so to speak!) I can’t wait to see an update when it’s all lush at the height of summer. wendy

  38. Jen says:

    Looks wonderful! I like the grass you left. I LOVE going out …several times a day…and looking at my garden too. And then when you finally get to “harvest”….(I say that all the time….makes me sound farmer-ish) ….and eat it….NOTHING BETTER! So excited to follow along…and excited for you.

  39. Bridget says:

    Lovely! I am trying to grow a garden for the first time this year, and my plants are not doing very well. I think it is the dirt. Did you amend yours? It looks like wonderful dirt! Next year I will.

    Also, I planted carrots, but how do you tell if they are ready to harvest if you can’t see them?

    Thanks for sharing pics of all your hard work! It is truly beautiful. It is a fantastic feeling to be able to walk out your door and pick something to eat!

    A Newbie Farmer in NC

    • Karen says:

      Bridget – You definitely need to amend your soil. Mine was already really good, but I still added compost. If you want, you can top dress with compost right now. Just buy or get a few bags of it and literally just spoon/shovel some around the plants. You can dig it in a little if you want, but you don’t have to. It’ll help. ~ karen!

  40. Brenda says:

    Looks fantastic Karen. You guys did a great job, can’t believe you are harvesting already. Great shot of the bee.

  41. Jan says:

    Also, don’t know why but I can only see one comment, the latest.

  42. Jan says:

    Incredibly exciting to see as I am still planting some veggies. Our fun plant last year was Stevia, used as a sweetener. The kids got a kick out of the fact that the leaves taste sweet. I just drop some in tea or use the leaves as a garnish for sweets like cake or cupcakes.

    I seem to have best results growing my lettuce in part shade lthough the rest of my veggies arecibo full sun. How much sun do you give your lettuce?

    • Karen says:

      Jan – You’re right, lettuce can definitely take partial shade. Mine is in full sun because I have a corner where I’m going to seed (thanks for reminding me) again that’s partial shade. Full sun is O.K. for the spring but by summer even just the heat will make lettuce bolt and get bitter, let alone being in full sun. ~ karen!

  43. Elle says:

    This is so exciting!
    I don’t have a garden just a deck with a long (30 ft) built-in planter (about 2 ft wide and 2 ft deep). Now there are mostly flowers in there from the previous owner of the house but also a grape-vine and some herbs (parsley etc. and hot peppers). I also planted strawberries and although they flowered, there were no fruits.
    This is the first time I’m growing anything (I’ve been known to kill cacti) and I really want to learn more about growing food in containers – it just makes me happy to think of growing my very own vegetables. Hopefully next year (I’ll start preparing for it in the fall).

    • MJ says:

      You still have plenty of time to grow, at the very least, some tomatoes in a container(s)! Not much is more satisfying that your own gorgeous and delicious tomato to get your gardening going!

  44. Moe says:

    Wow, it looks amazing. Almost makes me want to have a garden of my own.. almost. If I was retired and had the time to tend it, I’d love to have one. Keeping up with my flower garden is hard enough. Enjoy sitting there watching things grow :o)

  45. Jeanie says:

    It looks BEAUTIFUL! You did a really wonderful job with the yard and I love the creativity you used in finding place for your seedlings. I can’t wait to see how it looks at they all grow.

  46. SK Farm Girl says:

    It is so exciting to watch your very own garden grow and mature! It is such a great sense of satisfaction to grow something so wonderful, so nutritious and so tasty! Good thing I live a few provinces away, otherwise I would be raiding your garden under the cloak of darkness . . . just a few things here and there! Happy gardening you farm girl at heart!

  47. Judith says:

    Karen, your garden is beautiful! Love the neat rows that will turn into rounded, fluffy (but still neat) rows as time goes on. And the radishes – we love ours too. Just sowed them plus a whole mess of other stuff this weekend. I’ll never stop being amazed at how you can put this teeny tiny seed in the ground and it grows into a whole dang plant!

  48. cheri says:

    Karen-It just looks fantastic!! I love planting from seed. It’s always amazing to see what comes from some of the tiniest seeds. Can you imagine what this place will look like in another month???? Maybe you can start a produce stand. and fresh eggs. You need a cow.

  49. Laura says:

    Truly impressive! You are a really hard worker.

  50. Shannon V. says:

    Karen, your veggie garden looks wonderful! Enjoy all the bounty that is coming your way!

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