The abdication of sound landscape design practices does not have to come at the expense of installing a vegetable garden, especially if the garden is going to be placed front and center in a suburban front yard.
Good design can happen and an abundant vegetable garden can be attractive all year round.
It just takes forethought, a bit of planning and the desire for good aesthetics.
Basic landscape architecture 101 - Give your yard good bones.
If you have good strong architectural stature all year round your front yard vegetable garden will look good whether it is planted or not.
One achieves good bones by using both softscaping ( plants ) and hardscaping ( built structures) . Good bones creates order.
In my own front yard suburban vegetable garden I rely on a clipped boxwood hedge to frame and enclose my potager.
It is a small but prolific garden . It measures a mere 15 feet by 15 feet but in this melange I manage to grow a bevy of fruits, vegetables, herbs and flowers.
A simple axial path bisect the plot into 4 quadrants.
A terra cotta pot sits in the middle of the quadrant surrounded by a circular path.
In past years I have had a lemon tree planted in the large container while other years I have opted for a topiary rosemary shrub or a lushly planted herb and flower scheme.
Winter time potager
potager with glimpse of center leading path
Orange flowers line entry to potager
In larger potagers that I have designed and installed for the suburban front and back yard gardens we have used low evergreen hedges of boxwood and pineapple guava to lend architectural stature.
We have also planted living walls of espaliered apple , lemon and fig trees as well as cordoned kiwi and grapes vines to create a sense of contained order.
In several potagers we have use deciduous blueberry, raspberry and rose bushes to delineate the structure of the plate - bande.
Arbor's , trellis’s, fencing and well laid out paths can impart good architectural bones upon a vegetable garden by providing structured permanence.
By giving your garden a sense of grounded framework you can fill in between the lines with ephemeral seasonal vegetables, flowers and herbs and when they have been harvested your garden is not left lifeless without substance of form.
small potager in a suburban yard
A terraced vegetable garden