Scrapping the front lawn comes naturally to Calvin Abe. “My garden is about exploring ideas,” says the L.A. landscape architect, who has used the spot to experiment with everything from native plants to Mediterranean ones over the years. His latest endeavor: a front-yard strawberry patch, which was inspired by his childhood growing up on his grandfather’s farm outside Sacramento. “I remember the smell of the berries, the scent of the earth they grew in,” he says. “And how—for a treat—my grandfather would serve me fresh berries over homemade ice cream.”
The front yard may seem an unlikely spot for a strawberry patch, but it made perfect sense to Abe. The space was sunny and big enough for strawberries, and the plants—pretty, green, and neat—would look great in front of his Westchester neighborhood house. So he cleared and leveled the slightly sloped yard, mail-ordered bare-root plants, and started planting.