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Great Gardening Books: Front Yard Gardens

August 17th, 2008

Lately I’ve been thinking about my front flowerbeds. I would like to make them bigger and includes few more bushes for structure.  I can’t really decide what to do, so I checked around to find a few books for inspiration.  I came across Front Yard Gardens: Growing More Than Grassby Liz Primeau. This book is about taking back your lawn to make more room for plants, which are more environmentally friendly for many reasons.

Liz starts off with a history of the lawn as we know it in the U.S., I was fascinated with the history.  She then shows many different front yard gardens and shows tons of photos of each.  I’m a HUGE fan of tons of photos in gardening book, so I loved this book.  She has examples of all different kinds of gardens: cottage, minimalist, woodland, prairie and more. She also shows her own garden and has photos throughout the years and explains all the steps she went through during her transition from lawn to gardens.  It is nice when garden authors show their own gardens, I’m always curious as to what their gardens look like and if they are as nice is they the ones they are featuring in their books/magazines.

This is a great resource for anyone wanting to expand the flowerbeds and take back your lawn.  I would highly recommend this book for the photos as well! It’s definitely an interesting read.

3 Comments to “Great Gardening Books: Front Yard Gardens”
  1. melynda on August 18, 2008 at 11:46 am

    Hi Susy,
    I found the link to your site from your comment on 101 Cookbooks. What a great site! I love all the harvest pics and those tomatoes look amazing. I’m in Denver where growing tomatoes is like mining for gold! Having come from the Midwest where tomatoes grow like weeds…it’s a change.

    I noticed that you said that you are from Colombia and I was wondering if you would have any trip tips for someone who is going to Cartagena for the first time. I’d love to know about any markets, day trips or amazing restaurants (fancy or not).

    Thanks for your time (and the great site)!

    Reply to melynda's comment

  2. Susy on August 18, 2008 at 1:16 pm

    Cartagena is a beautiful city! I’ve been there on many vacations throughout the years. The last time I went was 6 years ago, so some of the things I suggest might be a little different now.

    First, in the evenings you’ll want to take a horse carriage ride through the old city. Some of the guys don’t treat their horses well, so we always look for one that looks well-fed and we usually take some treats for the horse. When we go we usually take a ride each evening, I think there are different rides that you can take long ones and short ones.

    A great day trip is the trip to the Islas de Rosario, you travel on a small boat out to a few islands, depending on which boat company you choose they stop at different islands for swimming & various activities. Make sure you get the trip that includes a meal at one of the islands. They serve fish (the whole fish, fins, eyes, etc.) coconut rice (which is so delicious) and patacones (which are smashed fried green plantains). It is one of my all-time favorite meals!

    Traveling to the Castillo de San Felipe is a great day trip as well. It’s nice to go into some of the jewelry shops as well, Colombia is famous for their beautiful emeralds and gold. There is also a monestary (El Conento de la Popa) that you can go visit which is interesting.

    There are a few great restaurants inside the walled city. There is one in particular we always liked going to, it’s one of the nicest ones, the presidents eat there when they travel to Cartagena. I can’t remember the name of it, but I e-mailed my dad to see if he can contact one of his friends up there to see what it is. I have heard that Cafe del Santisimo on 8-19 Santisimo is good. Or Enoteca Pizzeria on Calle Centro for Italian. There are tons of little places to eat inside the walled city. It’s always a nice time to just walk around there. Ginos’ pizza is great for a different kind of pizza and Kokoriko is traditional Colombian rotisserie chicken, kind of fast food but delicious!!! (their platano’s maduros which is ripe plantian stuffed with guava and cheese is delicious!).

    If you like nightlife there are tons of chiva tours that go around to all the nightclubs & bars (we never rode any, not big on that so I can’t recommend any).

    — Cartagena de Indias Convention and Visitors Bureau, http://www.cartagenacaribe. com/entidades/cicavb.htm (in Spanish); Embassy of Colombia, (202) 387-8338,

    Hope this helps!

    Reply to Susy's comment

  3. Gardendivva on January 20, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    I read Front Yard Gardens”in fact I loved it so much I ordered it of amazon, I found it to be a great read, filled with gorgeous glossy front yard gardens from many different cities, along with Liz’s humor,her own experience through 10 years or more of removing grass in her front yard in favor of flowers, ground covers bulbs and shrubs to replace the boring grass. I first checked it out from the library, because I was doing a similar project in my own yard, making beds and borders all over my yard..I guess in the beginning I went a little crazy, it was a hobby that turned obsession for me. Anyway I kept checking out Liz’s book along with others on front yard and cottage gardening, mostly during the winter months to cure my addiction to gardening,(it does help a little) I always feel if I can’t garden in the winter I can at least look at gardening books and my magazines I order by the boatload, oh and how can I forget the endless supply of seed catalogs I get stuffed in my mailbox!!! It gets me through until I can start my own seedlings :) I now have many gardening books, alot I use for reference and some I just had to have em! I also like “The Undaunted Garden” By Lauren Springer, it’s a very good book for perennial plant freaks who have to have almost every kind of flower and love to start their own from seed, and it covers her experiences of moving to a new home from Philadelphia to Colorado and starting from scratch on her own gardens, lots of pretty pages, tons of latin names along with the common names and a good dose of humor as well. Cheers~

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This is a daily journal of my efforts to cultivate a more simple life, through local eating, gardening and so many other things. We used to live in a small suburban neighborhood Ohio but moved to 153 acres in Liberty, Maine in 2012.

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