Since moving to the Brighton, UK, I’ve seen many streets with homes with front gardens turned into whimsical curbside vegetable gardens. As well as that, there’s a bit of a village-spirit and identity here whereby residents have transformed street-based common spaces into well-loved and attended-to community vegetable gardens.
Folks here are not bothered by their front yards being tiny. Helped by an abundance of rain, and yes, an abundance of sun and fresh sea air, those who are into gardening have created overflowing flower, fruit, vegetable oasis out of them. I have seen even balconies as mini vegetable gardens!
So, that’s said, you can imagine that it’s really kind of fun walking in the ‘hood!
This simply-stunning community garden in the middle of the road caught my eye.
And it caught my fancy. Take a look around. It’s paradise.
Beautiful flowers such as marigold and giant poppies are mixed in very green garden beds.
Marigolds can be used in a healing tea. While in Italy, I bought marmalade spiked with poppies and it was delicious! All edible.
Growing your own food is hugely popular here. With the rich clay soil here, vegetables, particularly root vegetables, grow really well. As do strawberries…. yummy… I don’t know if you can tell, but those are strawberries on the bottom right of the next photo…
What I’m not showing is that the garden beds are about 2 ft. above the pavement level. This helps of course on keeping dogs out of the garden on their daily wee-wee walks. Most important.
Actually, we have foxes in this neighborhood and it’s encouraging to learn that despite that, lots of vegetables can survive and grow abundantly.
Who wants to come in my garden?
Cheery Curbside Gardens
Some of the curbside gardens are so fun and cheery that you just want to ring the bell and ask if you can play there. I’m too grown up to do that. But honestly, wouldn’t you want to go eat fruit from that fruit tree in the middle of that happy cheery front garden, and pick the flowers and have some tea here in summer?
Note that delightful ‘love’ mosaic. It’s an entrance ‘doormat’ for the front garden path… Well, wouldn’t that get you to book some mosaic classes right now? The owner of the garden teaches ‘m, so do ring her bell for that. Or break the dishes and get some cement from the garden shed to go make a mosaic by yourself? Yes. I know. How fun would that be.
… as an aside, here’s a DIY tutorial on:How to Make a Simple Mosaic
Grow Some Strawberries in your Curbside Garden
I’m growing some strawberries in my own curbside garden. So as to not disturb my neighbors too much.
The moral of the story is: Add whimsy to your curbside vegetable garden! Besides growing vegetables, make it playful as you’ll want to spend some time here.
As another aside, here are some other DIY tutorials for Recycling Crafts for the Garden to add whimsy and groove to your curbside garden.
I put a bench in my tiny front garden. To watch the world go by, and check if the strawberries are getting ready. I planted a gooseberry bush as well, but that one seems to take its sweet little time to grow tall. I guess I’ll have to wait a couple of years before making berry pies. (An update: the foxes LOVE my gooseberries, so I have a heavy netting around the plant.. which close to destroys its ornamental value.. but I have now get to eat at least a few of the berries each year).
Meanwhile, enjoy these photos from my neighborhood.
Btw. I’ve also just added a few more photos to my article on Vertical Vegetable Gardening . You’ll love the geranium-filled hanging teapots and the galvanized bucket gardens with herbs, I am SURE!
Before I go, let me get you a gift: a free guide to companion planting to make sure all your plants will grow happily!