Most of us nutsy devoted gardeners want to raise flowers, herbs and vegetables anywhere on our property we like.  However, there are neighborhoods with homeowners associations that stick their noses into our lives and dictate what we can and cannot do with our own property.  They seem especially eager to pass judgement on vegetable gardens in the front and side yards.

There are some strategies a gardener can use which create the illusion of complete compliance with these ridiculous restrictions.  Instead of planting bushes such as juniper, plant rosemary, lavender, and sage.  These make lovely large bushes. Herbs such as oregano, dill, fennel, and tarragon make marvelous border plants, sprinkle a few green onions and garlic in the borders for visual interest.

Arguably you can weave the stalks of grapes and berries into a chain link fence or a trellis.  Trellises that face the street can be set to mask tomatoes, cucumbers and pole beans.  After all, you are just making a privacy shield…right?

Truly lovely garden additions are broccoli and artichokes.  After harvesting the first heads of broccoli leave some of the small ones behind – they produce exquisitely beautiful flowers!  Decorative cabbage, kale, and swiss chard enhance any yard.

I admit it is difficult to disguise a tomato, but if it is in a big pot on the porch it is not really part of the landscape at all. Zucchini looks fabulous in whiskey barrels.  Potatoes can be planted in big mounds and since the produce is underground no one will know it’s a vegetable anyway.

One of the big secrets to not getting caught is not to make it LOOK like a garden.  Don’t place garden plants in long straight lines the way farmers do in a field.  Place bird baths and statues in the center of a circular area full of pretty vining things like pumpkins.  Add pretty raised beds containing peppers with solar lights on the corners.  For perenials, raspberry bushes are really pretty anywhere.  Get creative!