Upon seeing this book on the shelf, my hands went toward it as if drawn magnetically. Once I had a few moments to read through its pages, I found it to be colorful, unpretentious, well thought out, and useful.
There’s a good blend of plant descriptions, garden design ideas, practical advice on building soil, and using hardscaping materials. Personally, after seeing some photos in this book I’m dreaming of a concrete paver installation in my backyard.
My only slight criticism of the book is that for the gardener outside the year-round gardening bliss of southern California, there was a notable lack of maintaining an edible garden through the winter, and how to actually make it attractive through the long winter months. A few things I’d advise would be evergreen herbs (like rosemary) or plants with bright red berries or fruits (rose hips!) to make the front lawn gorgeous through the colder months.
There’s also a point in the book (“dreams vs. reality”) where the author states that tomatoes aren’t the best used in edible front yards, yet in the photo on the next page (and many other photos, upon closer examination) definitely have tomatoes featured. Ms. Soler even sports a cute bunch of tomatoes behind her ear in her bio photo! She does state that cherry tomatoes are the best bet, so I’ll have to agree with here there. Sure if you’re going to have to blanket a tomato with insulation in order to get fruit it’s not easy on the eyes, but personally I think the bold yellow blossoms, glossy fruit, and the distinct, amazing smell of tomato plants make it a perfect addition to an edible garden.
The Edible Front Yard by Ivette Soler.