Front Yard Gardens: Growing More Than Grass was first published in 2003 and was an instant success, welcomed by gardeners who, like me, wondered why we were so dedicated to front-lawn monocultures kept green with pesticides and too much fertilizer when we could have biodiverse gardens that were not only lovelier to look at but were kind to nature. An updated and expanded edition of the book was released in 2010.
My message is still the same today. As one solitary gardener I may not be able to save the world from negative environmental practices, but I can practice what I preach in my own garden. And maybe, just maybe, other gardeners and their friends will take up the cause and we can weave together a network of poison-free, biodiverse, nature-friendly–and beautiful–gardens filling both the fronts and the backs of our properties. Then we can make a difference.
This excerpt is from Chapter Two, which addresses the history of pesticide use over the past century and offers solutions, including the movement toward pesticide bans which started in Hudson, Quebec, in 1991. The rest of the book is filled with practical examples of gardeners across North America (including me) who have removed their front lawns and created gardens of all styles, for environmental reasons or simply because they wanted more space in which to garden. Continue reading