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I think about doing this often, considering the only full sun area I have is my front lawn. But I wonder what it would look like the other 9 months a year (here in Zone 6) when growing vegetables isn't going to happen! Not to mention the comments from everyone in our cul-de-sac, I can only imagine what the neighbors would say. They already dislike me since I've put all their borders to shame!

Shira, the most beautiful garden I know, bar none, is a vegetable garden that belongs to my friends Bob and Gerald, who are painters and admittedly geniuses. But the garden has a very simple, home-like beauty. It's gorgeous all year long because it's got a little bit of structure--miniature evergreens in the beds, fruit trees at the back, perennials and flowering shrubs at the sides, a couple of pots, a pair of amazing cement dogs, etc.

Vegetable gardens don't have to be flat plains of annual crops. They can be GARDENS. For an extreme example, take a look at this:

I agree that a front yard vegetable garden can be beautiful and doesn't have to be bare unless it's under a blanket of snow, in which case the whole garden would be snowed in anyway.

The way I would do it would be to use perennials like artichokes, lavender, rosemary, or blueberry bushes for structure, maybe a fruit tree or two for a focal point, some flowers to attract pollinators (annuals like alyssum, calendula, bachelor button, or herbs like oregano), and then, when the summer vegetables are no longer around, replace them with lettuce, spinach, or cover crops like fava, vetch, etc.

Why do so many people think that vegetable gardens can't be pretty?

Villandry is a case in point (I've been there twice and love it to bits) and my own humble ornamental kitchen garden seems to go down well with many a garden blogger.:-)

In France I've seen quite a few beautiful potagers.

I prefer real gardens to acres of sprayed to death front lawns. That's something that always puzzled me when watching USA tv series or movies: those endless, terribly boring front lawns. Why have them, what's the point?

BTW Shira, if your neighbours don't like you already, then you've got nothing to lose, have you? ;-) Go for it and create a beautiful front garden! Bung in some evergreen shrubs, a box hedge or two and grow winter veggies too. That way your garden will be looking good all year long.

I actually sort of envisioned a potager garden - I have a thing for classic garden styles. I guess the part that would be really ugly would be the deer fencing I'd have to put up around my whole front yard :( I actually already use many of the perennials and annuals Amy talks about in my borders - again as a way to trick those pesky deer!

Just read your comment on potager garden and I really agree, they can be amazingly beautiful. Everyone knows Villandry but have you visited this garden south of Chinon :
Check it out and if you have the time, visit the place in late september, I was amazed by the Vegetable Garden in that season.

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