- Author: Laura Spangler
A brief history....also called war gardens or food gardens for defense, were vegetable, fruit, and herb gardens planted at private residences and public parks all over the world. People were encouraged to plant gardens in World War l and ll. They were encouraged to not only supplement their rations but also to boost morale.
I am a ﬁrst generation Irish American. I have spent many long hours visiting family back home and the memories around the famine during WW l and ll. The victory gardens there was a form of survival, and according to family, a country obsession. My great uncle Dennis was a boy when neighbors scrambled to get seeds and turn their plots into gardens. My uncle's job was to keep the plants watered and pest free. Here is a photo of him in 2005 in his backyard in Dublin. He's been an avid gardener all of his life. It feels natural to him and the collective resources of other neighbors kept him alive during the war. His stories made a lasting impression on me.
I decided to put my veggie garden in my front yard. Two-fold, a working garden isn't always wonderful to look at, but mostly, so I could share my bounty with my neighbors. The kids in the neighborhood have taken a keen interest in my strawberries and cherry tomatoes, but do come and snip herbs for their family dinner from time to time. My husband and I often sit in the front to watch to tomatoes grow, view the insects sipping from our fountain, and socializing with our neighbors. It has become a place of gathering during COVID-19 with plenty of room to spread out.
I have had neighbors tell me that they too are planning front yard veggie garden with raised beds. I've even had a few landscapers and interested parties knock on my door to share their plans and thoughts. It's also provided me a platform to educate those novice gardeners asking for advice. It provides me with a lot of joy!
MAYBE THIS WILL CATCH ON AND BECOME A TREND? That would be great.