Front-Yard Veggies: A garden

Please don’t think I’m all about the flowers. Walking through the neighbourhood today, I was impressed with this front-yard veggie plot. Unsure if you can see it in the smaller photo format, but this little river of vegetables goes aaaaaaaaall the way back.

To me, this looks like the work of an experienced and confident vegetable gardener. I might have said that the curcubits looked a little too close together, but when was the last time I grew anything in the squash family. However, that framework for the tomatoes means serious business.

Now this is one awesome raised bed, supported on the sides by knee-high metal sheeting. Untold yards of soil went into filling this baby up.

The overlaps in the sheets are sure to leak somewhat at watering time. However, the ridges and valleys in this planting should slow down any quick run-off.

I’ll be passing by from time to time this summer to report on its progress.


  1. I look forward to the reports. I am all for this concept of planting front yards, if you so choose. I, however, need some of it for the dogs — if you know what I mean! Yeah, I also think she planted the squash a bit too close. But, I tend to do that, also. Perhaps she (or he) was going to have them trellis on each other???? In particular, would love to see a close up of the tomato supports…

  2. We visited the garden today and noticed that the materials raising the beds are mostly recycled materials. Some of the soil-holding supports are those lucite floor covers used in offices so a rolling office chair can roll on carpet. The sheet aluminum is sunk into concrete, and the link fence provides the rest of the support.
    The gardener told us that the garden has been in place for 20 years or more.
    The garden curves all the way around the house on the corner lot. And that soil looks fantastic.

  3. Island Gardener, there is a 4 foot strip of grass next to the house, so any doggie requirements could be fulfilled easily.

  4. Helen and Sarah, thanks for the tour! When I grow up, I'm going to be a vegetable garden tourist exclusively. I'll dodder around, poking my nose in and evaluating how things are done. And that soil does look wonderful. Thank you for the peek!

  5. I know I'm late to the party, but seeing this post made me laugh: I drive my daughter nuts by spying on neighborhood vegetable gardens and commenting on what's growing and how. Last autumn I ran a post about a neighbor's garden, and will run more about other gardens this season. One of my favorite tips for newbie vegetable gardeners: look at what other gardeners are doing and learn from it.

  6. Could you please help me understand whether it is legal or not to plant vegetables in front yards in Toronto? I want to start a front yard garden (no soil in the back yard), but don't want to get into trouble, and acquaintances keep telling me it is against by-laws, but I can't find any information on that. Also, I don't get why a garden would be harmful to anyone. Thanks for your help to clarify this!

    1. Polina, The standards for front-yard planting are governed by the Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 629. I can't say for certain, but I suspect that one of the "open to question" areas about front-yard veggie gardens, versus grass for example, has to do with groundcover, water and erosion control. There doesn't seem to be anything explicitly forbidding front-yard gardens, but some neighbours and inspectors might interpret the code differently. Just keep "good neighbour" practices in mind.

      Here's a link to the most recent copy of the code I could find online. You might have to copy and paste the link into your browser:

You might also like