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The Edible Front Yard: The Mow-Less, Grow-More Plan for a Beautiful, Bountiful Garden Paperback – February 23, 2011


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Frequently Bought Together

The Edible Front Yard: The Mow-Less, Grow-More Plan for a Beautiful, Bountiful Garden + Edible Landscaping + Landscaping With Fruit: Strawberry ground covers, blueberry hedges, grape arbors, and 39 other luscious fruits to make your yard an edible paradise. (A Homeowners Guide)
Price for all three: $57.62

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Timber Press; 1 edition (February 23, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1604691999
  • ISBN-13: 978-1604691993
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 0.6 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #37,652 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

A picture is worth a thousand words, and Soler�s guide to combining vegetables, flowers, herbs, and fruit trees for front yard curb appeal proves it. This �germinatrix� demonstrates with numerous full-color, page-filling photos the literal and figurative beauty in transforming a �wasteful time-consuming, toxic monoculture . . . an anti-social space� into a �more evolved and exciting version of front yard beauty that prizes health, diversity, and pleasure over short-term convenience.� Soler�s suggestions for well-designed lawn alternatives emphasize color, form, and varietal texture found in such commonplace and utilitarian flora as apple trees, fragrant basil with its African Blue blooms, and the �burnished stems, elongated leaves, and purple lacquered fruit of eggplants.� An alphabetical listing of ornamental edibles from apples to wormwood (a genus of insect-repelling plants with silvery foliage as intoxicating�visually, that is�as its putatively hallucinogenic distillate, absinthe) combined with landscaping tips for various building styles and a resources list round out a useful and inspiring volume. --Whitney Scott

Review

“A lively new book…Soler takes you through a wide selection of suggested varieties of vegetables, fruits and herbs that are as beautiful as any rose bush.”
(Dirt du Jour)

“Lots of good advice and problem solving written in a clear and energetic voice.”
(North Coast Gardening)

“Walks you through delish design ideas, plant profiles and even introduces everyday plants that we didn’t know were edible.”
(Dave's Garden)

“Tackles the question of how to incorporate edibles and veggies into your landscape without having the whole thing look messy.”
(Booklist)

“This delightful book is a great example of learning to color outside the lines and dispels the notion that an urban front yard should be a ceremonial expanse of useless grass.”
(PersonalGardeningCoach.com)

“A useful and inspiring volume.”
(GreenSparrowGarden.com)

“An entertaining and might I say, down right persuasive book for me to have the guts to stand up and plant my veggies, right here in my own front yard!”

(BlueHeronLandscapes.com)

“Ivette's prose, like her gardens, is unabashed, exuberant, and a rollicking good time. And in terms of visual beauty, even my high expectations were blown away.”
(VegPatchDiary.com)

“Provides us the tools to grow our own food in a beautiful garden and reconnect with the land between house and curb. It has earned a spot on every gardener’s bookshelf."
(Sunset's "Fresh Dirt" blog)

“This is exactly the book that I'm looking for.”
(Publishers Weekly)

“If you are toying with the idea of growing edibles very visibly -- front yard or back -- check it out.”
(Sunset Magazine)

“An enticing introduction to growing food beautifully…a timely, handsome guide.”
(Sunset Magazine)

"Proves that kitchen gardens can be both pretty and productive. Shows how to grow veggies in front so beautifully that neighbors won't object."
(Willamette Woman Magazine)

“Proves that kitchen gardens can be both pretty and productive. Shows how to grow veggies in front so beautifully that neighbors won't object."
(The Daily Globe)

The pictures induce severe garden envy.
(Epinions.com)

This inspiring guide offers a fresh alternative to the boring front lawn.
(AARP The Magazine)

If you're frustrated with waste and you're feeling brave, if you like the idea of sustainability and permaculture, consider this [book] when developing your design.
(Apartment Therapy)

Don’t just plant flowers this gardening season; feed your family, too!
(BookPage)

Lush and lovely.
(DailyCandy.com)

Soler cultivates a compelling case for a garden that’s both decorative and delicious.
(The San Francisco Chronicle)

Project[s] to help your family go green.
(Portland Book Review)

Full of retro pizzazz.
(UnderMyAppleTree.com)

Empowers readers with the knowledge to successfully transform their yards.
(SmallKitchenGarden.net)

If you are looking for ideas to add some edible and pretty plants to your landscaping I recommend this book.
(AOL's Shelter Pop)

Get this book! In fact, buy several and give them to your neighbors.
(The Oregonian)

[Walks] us through the in's and out's of planting every plant in the 2011 garden.
(Energy Bulletin)

It’s a winner.
(State-by-State Gardening)

Wonderful pictures, great lists of attractive edibles, and useful design advice.
(The Larrapin Garden Blog)

Soler's book is going to help more front yards get bountiful. And I like that a lot.
(Gardening By The Book)

New gardeners will find good advice and more advanced gardeners will find some very clever tips and ideas.
(Horticulture Magazine)

Heavily-laden with quality photography that is as inspiring as the text.
(Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

[Soler] addresses the concerns that gardeners of all kinds have, when considering making the change from grass to groceries.
(Winston-Salem Journal)

“It’s inspiring to see photos of how much more interesting our front yards could be.”
(Richmond Times-Dispatch)

“This is a great book to get you fired up about the upcoming growing season.”
(Washington Gardener)

“…if you are looking for visual inspiration, this book hands it over in spades.”



"It's a good source of ideas for gardeners trying to imagine the edible front yard that might one day be theirs."

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Customer Reviews

Great coffee table book, great pictures.
Falconress
I like the idea of planting fruit trees in the front yard.
Serene Night
Amazing resource for building your dream garden!
Kassiah Faul

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

50 of 51 people found the following review helpful By Gone2lunch VINE VOICE on May 28, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Gardening books of this kind are often (a) less than entertaining to read; (b) impractical; or (c) in favor of making your yard look like a junkyard. I took this one along on an extremely boring business trip and the attendant flight delays and enjoyed it thoroughly. It covers both ornamental edibles and complimentary pure ornamentals; talks about practical issues like where to find hardscape materials at a bargain and why choosing regionally suitable plants is important; and the illustrations (even when built by one of the 3 garden owners featured) don't generally look like a pile of rubbish with plants growing over them, as these DIY-focused books so often do. I was a little disappointed that the author spent a lot of photo space on 3 favored gardens since all 3 gardeners live in the southwest/California area; I would have preferred something more relatable to my area. The principles were good though and I am definitely hanging onto this for reference. The chapter that covered ornamental edibles was great, and included plants suitable to all parts of the country. For future issues or an author's blog (if she has one), it would be great to cross-reference plants by the various categories she provides, such as season, type of edible, soil- and sun requirements and so on, but that's a want, not a need. This is a helpful, informative, easy-to-follow and entertaining book.
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60 of 65 people found the following review helpful By S. Hibdon on September 6, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I was disappointed in the content of this book, as was hoping for more practical design ideas/suggestions. Book was more about discussion of why removal of non edible landscape is desireable. I know that or wouldn't be interested in ripping it all out & replacing all with edible landscaping! LOL! Was just hoping for more concrete ideas on the design of an edible garden. In all fairness however, I was a professional landscaper so this book may be of use to the novice who is not familiar with plants & trees, etc...
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33 of 35 people found the following review helpful By L. Morey on September 3, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Because the book's subtitle refers to a "Plan" for a garden, I expected something a wee bit more practical. But that's just me . . . . I'm an engineer, not an artist. But what gardener wouldn't love to gaze at the gorgeous photographs in this book and imagine "what if"?

I enjoyed using the book's photographs to dream about what my edible front yard might look like if I had buckets of money, plus more tillable land than my modest urban property provides. In my neighborhood, an edible front yard might consist of Swiss chard and an eggplant growing in place of the grass normally found in a 2-foot wide boulevard between the sidewalk and the street.

The landscaping photos are beautiful, showing me what I could have if only I lived on a larger lot (suburbs, maybe?) and had the wealth to hire a landscape architect and a good contractor. But heck, there's no harm in dreaming, is there? This book makes the dreaming even more beautiful.
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32 of 34 people found the following review helpful By MollyP on January 15, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a visually pleasing book with lots of VERY close up pictures of ornamental veggies in beds. However, there is little practical advice. It will make a nice coffee table book. Descriptions of plants were very vague. There was little to no effort to discuss plantings in areas other than Southern California. Too much of the book was occupied by plant descriptions that are non-edible. There was also little discussion of best varieties of each vegetable for aesthetic and culinary use.
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51 of 60 people found the following review helpful By christie colla on March 10, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Finally a delicious, scrumptious book about what's living with the People!
We don't want want to water grass, we're not able to water grass, we're not allowed to water grass! BUT, we are allowed, and able (Where there is a will, there is a way) to water what we eat. We grow food we like to eat, we like to eat the food we grow.
Ivette has dug deep, gone the extra mile, to entice us all to grow (more) food. And she takes us by the hand, not in a Higher Power way, but as a friend, showing us just how much there is out there you can eat!

I love the pictures, I love the suggestions of what to plant, and I love the combinations in the photos.

The book is my favorite in the gardening section, hands down. Ok, I might be a bit biased; I just planted my 30th apple tree, in the front yard, but even if I had knee high grass, I would be tempted to give this food thing a try. ( It's not going away, it's not a fad, you know...)

There is something in the book for everyone: the novice, the advanced, the lunatics (me) and I learned things about plants I grew! Did you know, for example, that you can eat the flowers of garlic after it blooms, that you can eat the leaves of nasturtiums, and that you can grow enough food for your family on a dime in the curb, if needed?

If you ever thought of trying to grow something you would like to eat, start here. You'll skip the first 3 years of the learning curve.
Whether you want to read it cover to cover, or start by looking at the pictures, or find your favorite plant first, you will have fun and many AHA- moments. Just DO IT!

Thanks Ivette, you are Earth Mama!
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By absthegal on May 27, 2012
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I agree with the reviewers who say that this is a "coffee table" book; but its only positive characteristic is its beauty. If you are interested is looking at many gorgeous, sexy, and lovingly shot -- but only slightly different -- photos of the same few edible gardens then you will enjoy this book. If you are looking for practical information, however, you will be frustrated.

The same succulents and herbs in the author's garden -- admittedly beautiful and inspiring -- are shown on pages 34, 94, 101, 110, 119, and 155. Each slightly different view of the same agave, escheveria, basil and sage illustrate different points: one emphasizes the use of red basil; one suggests using basil and sage in odd multiple numbers (3, 5, 7); one points out that color and contrast are important considerations in design; etc.

One picture on one page could have been used to illustrate all these points. Or photos of different plant combinations could have been used. Instead, we see essentially the same agave, escheveria, basil and sage repeatedly. (Oh, and for the record, agave and escheveria are not "edible" -- turns out that your edible front garden needs ornamental structure to be truly decorative!) The book features great gardens, graciously offered to public view. However, it suffers from paucity of number and variation in the gardens featured.

The text is likewise long on sex appeal; "There is something alluring about the burnished stems, elongated leaves, and purple, lacquered fruit of this slightly spooky member of the nightshade family." (Eggplant.)

Possibly this book would inspire the casual reader to consider agave and artichoke as reasonable alternatives to lawn. For people who are already gardening and/or considering edible planting, even the most novice among them, there is not enough practical information to justify purchasing the book.
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