I know they are doing their job. I am at an age when I believe if I am not setting you on fire, selling drugs or beating your dog, you should just smile at me and walk away. I really don't get all excited by these people, but I don't care for them. I have read the letter of my lease and there is no section that states I cannot have any fruit bearing plants in my yard so when they make an issue of it I look at it as a waste of my time. So, I understand if you are living in a strict home owner's association that you may not be able to tear up the front yard and put in a garden that will sustain your family right now.
|Dog Rose showing the bright red hips|
If you think at some point you will need garden skills and want to give it a try, start out with planting flowers. Flowers seem to be acceptable to both the desperate housewives and the yard guards! They do not need to know you are planting flowers with medicinal benefits or flowers that fruit!
Try planting roses. The rose hips (occur after the flower blooms, the petals fall off and the the seeds begin to swell). They are high in vitamin C and they pickle nicely. They are also used in jams and jellies. No one will complain about growing roses, even if you grow a wild variety.
Over planting is choosing many varieties of plants to place in a wide top planter. The planter has enough space to place a trellis in the center upon which you can train an eggplant or squash or cucumbers. You then surround the centerpiece with foliage, flower and herb plants that give visual variety and confusion.
Plant your tomato seedlings at least twelve inches apart and plant a colorful Coleus plant in between, These plants have very colorful foliage and as they fill in the space between tomatoes, they boggle the eye. No one will see the tomatoes as the ripen because they will be used to the bright colored leaves. I found this photo to the right of a window box with coleus and dill!
The secret to starting a garden in a nosy neighborhood, is to follow the KISS method. In the beginning, keep it simple, silly! Start with a large planter on each side of the garage. They should match. Maybe you can increase the planters to four if you also place one on each side of the front entry. Choose pots that fit in the setting and also are simple and easy to find more of in other sizes. Next, season you could add two pots to each of the first and make groupings of three.