Sunday Parkways – and Front Yard Gardens

My walking buddies and I enjoyed the Sunday Parkways car-free day in North Portland last Sunday. This event was held by the city of Portland to promote walking and biking. I am no stranger to North Portland. One set of my grandparents lived in St. Johns and we visited them each weekend. The University of Portland is my alma mater. And I’ve grunted my way through these streets 7 times for the Portland Marathon, let alone dozens of training walks.

It was nice to see the area when it isn’t mile 20 of the marathon and I just want to sit down and die. The walk started from Kaiser Interstate Clinic, near Overlook Park. Immediately I was struck by how many front yard gardens and even parking strip gardens we passed by. I guess this is a big trend for Portland. Last year I heard Mark and Dave on the radio complaining about them, Dave just thought that they made the neighborhood look less classy. I found an interesting selection on, Food Not Lawns: How to Turn Your Yard into a Garden And Your Neighborhood into a Community. Sounds like it’s a movement!

Personally, I don’t want my veggies growing where everybody’s dog can pee on them. I’ll keep my veggies out back where I have better control over access to them. We live in a new subdivision and have only a tiny patch of lawn out front anyway. I loved seeing this 10-foot high artichoke, along with other vegetables in one front yard. I can see why the neighbors might look askance!

Artichoke in front yard garden