So, the title is a little racy, a little out-there, but it describes to a tee what front-yard and community gardeners do. They put it there, they expose themselves in their gardening exploits. They don’t keep it in the backyard — they bring it out front, full-front, where it can change lives and make a difference.
This past week I had the pleasure of speaking at the Blooming St. Paul awards. Officially speaking, the purpose of the awards is to promote and recognize beautification efforts by Saint Paul’s citizens through gardens and art in the public realm. Good on them! In my world, it was like speaking at the Oscars.
“All gardeners live in beautiful places because they make them so.” -Joseph Joubert, 18th century French writer.
Below are some of the photos from my presentation, Full-frontal Gardening, to help you get ready to bare it all this spring.
I will not disclose the location of this photo, but it is in our greenzone, maybe its on your block. It’s next to one of the least inspiring parking lots in front of a Subway/gas station in the city. Typically, I crop out the hardscapes in such photos but I love a group that is as intrigued in the blight as they are in the beauty. This could be a field out in southern Minnesota. Full frontal gardening, its about the contrast — the power is in the contrast. It’s ike music: music happens in the negative space.
This could be one of your cars for all I know, I roam the streets, snapping inspiring photos. It’s a car after a full-frontal gardener’s heart. A pure petal pusher drives this car.
Overdosing on tulips on the boulevard is a welcome practice. It makes the neighbors love you and welcomes spring in a big way. The gardening equivalent of bingeing on Easter candy.
Sometimes no design is the perfect design. A wildflower stand of English painted daisies makes a friendly fence.
Pee-ah-nee or pee-ooh-nee, no matter how you say it, nothing speaks Minnesota spring like a stand of them.
Travelling plants salesmen would roam the countryside selling these to homeowners in days gone by, and we still reap the benefits. Sweet garden confection.
Poppies are really my favorite flower. Beautiful before, during and after blooming, then they slowly fade away until they pop up renewed in the fall, die-back until spring, then begin the show again. Put them in your front border; they will stop people in their tracks.
A walk to the front door past a lush stand of ‘Moonbeam’ coreopsis doesn’t get much more inviting.
Is the front entry of your home welcoming? Inviting friends to enter? I mix of soft textures and a cozy sitting area helps.
Delphiniums are a flower I let other gardeners grow–boy, do they make an impact in a front border.
Happening upon a highly naturalized area in an urban setting slows the pulse. This is near a busy intersection, yet miles away.
Spikes of Veronica are like candles in the garden.
A window box of petunias is grand. Window boxes will make any place a garden home.
Droopy sunflower heads are an almost melancholy expression, but sunflowers in the front border are like neon–they command attention.