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Front Yard Gardens: Growing More Than Grass Paperback – March 11, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-1554075980 ISBN-10: 155407598X Edition: Second Edition, Updated and Expanded

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Front Yard Gardens: Growing More Than Grass + Lawn Gone!: Low-Maintenance, Sustainable, Attractive Alternatives for Your Yard + Beautiful No-Mow Yards: 50 Amazing Lawn Alternatives
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Firefly Books; Second Edition, Updated and Expanded edition (March 11, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 155407598X
  • ISBN-13: 978-1554075980
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 0.8 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #91,926 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Primeau, founding editor of Canadian Gardening magazine, posits that a perfect lawn may not always be a good thing, arguing that well-manicured lawns are high-maintenance, chemical-dependent water guzzlers; she would be happy to see them all replaced by the flower gardens so often relegated to the back yards of urban and suburban houses. Starting with the luxuriant display of flowers, foliage plants, and shrubs in her own front yard in Toronto, she discusses more than 70 front yard gardens, most of them in Canada but some in Texas, Arizona, California and Wisconsin. She divides these front yard gardens into eight types-cottage, small city, opulent, minimalist, fusion (some grass allowed), natural, neighborhood and secret-and shows in text and photographs how they were designed, how they reflect the personalities of their owners, and what plants were used. There can be obstacles to such gardens in cities and suburbs-neighbors' objections, local regulations, overhead and underground wires, bad drainage, and hard surfaces-and she describes how many people have overcome these problems. Unfortunately, Primeau doesn't include among the many splendid photographs in the book any that show how one of these colorful gardens would stand out in the context of a block where all the other houses are fronted with carpets of grass. But this is a small matter. The book is handsome, informative and amusingly written, and it should serve as an inspiration to those who are tired of old-fashioned lawns. 240 color photographs. Garden Book Club and Country Home & Garden Book Club selection.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

Alternatives to the traditional lawn effectively cut down on water usage and may also play host to beneficial insects and birds. Once the desire to do away with grass takes root, readers can turn to Primeau for help in rejuvenating a front yard so that flowers, foliage textures, and hardscaping come together in inviting swaths to both beautify and benefit the environment. Options presented range from cottage style to a minimalist approach stressing restrained designs. Even fusion plans are included, showing landscapes where small areas of grass combine with beds, borders, or expansive plantings. Primeau's Canadian point of view proposes plant lists spanning the mild realm of Vancouver, cold-winter regions of Winnipeg and Toronto, along with a smattering of gardens from Texas, Arizona, and Wisconsin. Useful as a source book, this volume presents photographs and text that suggest potential ideas to increase curb appeal through the transformation of front yards and parkways. Alice Joyce
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
88%
4 star
6%
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See all 32 customer reviews
Great book for reading, as well as beautiful pictures.
Ginger
I would highly recommend this book for anyone wanting to improve on their landscape whether its the front of back of your home.
Irish Princess
A book for every garden style, level, and interest, Front Yard Gardens should not be missed.
Jessica Ferguson

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

67 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Lisa Jadwin on April 10, 2004
Format: Paperback
So many gardening books focus on the high-end gardens of a few wealthy people. This book is practical, whimsical, and full of photographs and stories about real front-yard gardens. The owners have to contend with problems like streetlights, copycat neighbors, variances, etc., and many of them are redesigning and planting on a budget. This focus makes the book truly inspiring as well as useful. A great investment in getting rid of your boring lawn!
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60 of 61 people found the following review helpful By Jessica Ferguson VINE VOICE on May 20, 2003
Format: Paperback
Detailing more than two dozen gardens, Front Yard Gardens is instant motivation for anyone tired or mowing, weeding, watering and fertilizing lawns. With the author's short history of lawns and their demand on us and the environment it is clear to see why many may be happier if lawns went away. But Primeau certainly does not demonize the practice and fully admits that the problem is certainly not the plants - it is the way most of us choose to care for our lawns that impacts the land. Primeau's own garden was a decade long labor of love proving that eliminating a lawn can be arduous - but more arduous than lawn maintenance? Probably not. While the garden vignettes focus more on the individual space's history than providing how-to information, it is clear to see that diverse multi-species gardens can be immensely more entertaining than a single species mono-culture like turf grass. Several of the front yard gardens detailed in the book do maintain a small lawn space but most seem to have completely eliminated their lawns opting for lush garden plantings combined with hardscaping practicalities like paths, steps, fences and driveways, and, in one instance, even artificial turf, as well as fun garden features like ponds, bird houses, and sitting areas. Full color photos by Andrew Leyerle provide multiple views of the gardens, in some cases even highlighting their seasonal changes. A book for every garden style, level, and interest, Front Yard Gardens should not be missed.
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49 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Valerie Fletcher Adolph on December 30, 2003
Format: Paperback
Have you ever wondered why front yards in North America consist mainly of lawn? Is there a law that demands this? The writer starts by briefly reviewing the history of our love/hate affair with the front lawn and pointing out how costly they are in labour, water and poisonous chemicals.
The writer then explains how she changed her ordinary, lawn-filled front yard into a garden, working around the objections of her husband. From there she explains the groundwork that must be undertaken when a plain front yard is changed into a garden. Most of the remaining chapters discuss different types of gardens - cottage gardens, minimalist gardens, small city gardens and so on. The writer presents each topic and then introduces gardeners who have developed variations on this theme. The final chapter "Overcoming Obstacles" shows how gardeners have coped with dry soil, steep gardens, a garden that must incorporate a fire hydrant or a power pole and so on. There is a reasonable resource list at the end.
This is a really useful book for people who are tired of the front lawn but don't know quite what else to do with the space. The approach is relaxed and personal and has examples of gardens from Ontario to Texas. The advice is practical, the illustrations are relevant and show the gardens at different seasons. The writer knows her topic thoroughly and has given us a very readable and attractive garden book.
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 29, 2003
Format: Paperback
If you're thinking about putting in a front yard garden, buy this book! For years I considered getting rid of the grass in my front yard. This book inspired me to finally do it!
I wondered how my neighbors would respond given that almost everyone in my area has grass in the front yard. I needn't have worried -- all summer people stopped to admire the garden. I was amazed at how many said they too are considering replacing grass with a garden.
A side benefit is the time I've saved. I chose low maintenance plants and once the garden was planted, maintaining it took much less time than cutting the grass every week.
Even if you don't want a front yard garden, this book is a winner. It's filled with beautiful pictures and is a great read. I've given it to a number of friends and, without exception, they too have really enjoyed it.
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19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on May 15, 2007
Format: Paperback
I love this book. Two years ago I was inspired by this book to rid my yard of lawn. I had a designer design a cottage style garden for my front and back yard. It took my kids 2 months to dig up all the grass and then we started working on the design. We were novice gardners, so along with this book and about 12 others we have completed our yard.

My neighbors who are lawn lovers, have been very interested in our progress.

We wave and smile at everyone who pass as we work in the yard, and this seemed to ease some of the neighbors anxiety about our odd doings.

The kids are now 18, 15, 13, 12, and 6, so seeing the whole family working together has been a big plus.

So far we are still the only family in our subdivision with no lawn, but We get nice comments,and see more people gardening.

I am asthmatic so no lawn mower fumes are great, and this is a great "green " project for the whole family, and the kids are so proud of themselves, and the positive feedback they get.

This is a very expensive investment in time and plants but worth it.
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Front Yard Gardens: Growing More Than Grass
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