Today's photos are from Karen Taylor in Irvine, California. She says, "I have enjoyed looking at the gardens you display in the GPOD and I am envious of their large yards. Here in Orange County, California, we don't have that luxury. We can literally "pass the Grey Poupon" from one house to another. I live in a simple tract house in Irvine, and I decided to ditch the lawn over two years ago. I was inspired by Ivette Soler and her book The Edible Front Yard. That is what got me started on my journey. My neighbors thought I was crazy when I let the grass die in order to dig it up. It has been a work in progress, but so much fun (and therapy). Behind my little white picket fence is five raised beds that are planted with vegetables, flowers, and herbs. And yes, those are pumpkins still hanging in there from Halloween. I took these photos on March 12th, but will plant all my spring/summer crops this month when I know the weather will cooperate. This will be the first year for the front part of my yard, and I can't wait to see it all in bloom.
    Your viewers may look at the photos and ask "why this?" or "why that?" or "I would have done this"...and I would have to say that I have no training in gardening. I am not a master gardener or landscape architect, I am a total garden rookie, just experimenting as I go about and having fun as I do it. But I have to say that as I look at my neighbors' front yards with their grass and simple landscape, I am so glad I did what I did. I have had people walk by and comment on how they like my yard and say, "What is going on here? What is that? I love that flower." To me, that makes it all worth while. It's as simple as that. The reason I planted all of this out front is that I don't get any full sun in my back yard and the front does get full sun. April is here and in Zone 10 like I am, it's time to get planting and that is exactly what I have planned for the days ahead. In the next weeks, the yard, especially the raised beds, will take on a new look with the new veggies and herbs I will plant. I love this time of year. Thank you for allowing me to share my little spot of happiness!" Thank YOU, Karen! Your neighbors might have thought you were crazy at first, but I'll bet they've changed their minds by now. What a great space!

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