So, the secret’s out. I’m just waiting for the HOA authorities to come knock on my door and ask for my seed packets and favorite garden trowel. Should be any time now… You see — HUGE news!! — there’s a profile about my rule-breaking outlaw garden in the latest issue of Organic Gardening Magazine.

Confessions of an Outlaw Gardener in the August / September 2012 issue of Organic Gardening Magazine

Are you excited? I am!! This is more exciting than a tomato harvest before July!

I’ve, of course, known this was coming. My editor assigned the piece nearly two years ago, when the garden was still mostly mulch and seed packets. I’m incredibly grateful that she trusted I’d be able to transform the front yard from scraggly lawn and boring shrubs to a thriving, profile-worthy vegetable garden in just a few short months. This assignment definitely kept me motivated!

Then, late last summer, the incredibly talented Rob Cardillo came by for a morning photo shoot in the garden. When I first heard his name, I (of course) googled him, and found his photography portfolio. Then, I freaked out. I couldn’t believe someone that amazingly talented was coming to photograph my garden. What!? Turns out that Rob is one of the nicest guys you could ever hope to meet. He’s also a gardener. He snapped photos, and then we swapped tips about growing tomatoes. The whole thing was a blast.

Finally, this spring, I wrote the article and shipped it off to my editors.

And, now, the article is in mailboxes and on newsstands across the country. Some of those mailboxes and newsstands are certainly in my hometown. It’s a smallish town. Yep. I figure the gig is up.

This is probably why my editor offered to let me use a pseudonym when we first chatted about the article.

(Don’t worry. I won’t let anyone hurt the vegetables.)

The August / September 2012 issue of Organic Gardening Magazine started hitting mailboxes last week. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s definitely worth a read. In addition to the Outlaw Garden profile, there are lots of other wonderful articles, including pieces about growing berries, root crops and school gardens.

But, before you read those, I hope you’ll flip to page 20 and read about the Outlaw Garden (or, read it online). Just, please, don’t send a copy to my neighborhood HOA.

brick path through front yard vegetable gardenstone border around front yard vegetable garden

And, speaking of that HOA (home owners association)… There’s really nothing special about my yard or my house or me. This is a typical suburban yard in a typical suburban neighborhood. My soil sucks after years of chemicals (the previous owners left their arsenal in the shed — I’m sure they thought they were being helpful), and it’ll be a while before I have the rich, deep, organic soil I dream of. Some of the plants are thriving, and some of them are not. And, none of this is fancy. I built the front path with bricks a friend had leftover from a previous project. The stone border around the garden is built of stones I collected — one at a time — from my parents’ property. The vast majority of these plants were started from seed.

My point is that none of this is fancy or expensive or perfect. There is nothing special about this place that allowed me to do this. Anyone can do this. Anyone can plant an edible garden in their front yard. In fact, a lot of people are already doing this. It’s becoming a trend, and I couldn’t be more thrilled.

Do you grow edibles in your front yard? Do you want to? Share your comments and ask your questions below. I’ll do my best to respond to all of y’all!

PS. If you like the idea of rule-breaking and front-yard-vegetable-growing, I hope you’ll come ‘like’ the Outlaw Garden on Facebook. And, while you’re at it, won’t you please share this fun news with your friends? Just click on one of the sharing icons below this post. Thanks so much!!

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