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Gardening author Mat Coward encourages us to look to some more unusual places and crops in our search for useful edibles to fill our plates

“But what are you going to do with the front garden?” a friend asked me, when we first moved to our present house. I knew what she meant – I was an allotment gardener, a fruit-and-veg fanatic. Of what use to me were a tarmac drive and a lawn that nobody ever set foot on except to mow it?

I asked a few gardening pals whether they grew food in their front gardens.They all answered no, because “My landlord won’t allow it”, or “The neighbours would think it was weird”, or even “I tried growing toms there once, and they all got nicked.” It was then that I thought: supposing you only grew crops that didn’t look like crops? Nobody could complain about your edibles, or steal them, if they didn’t even know they were there! I call this approach ‘The Invisible Allotment.’

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250th issue! Sweet success - Grow bumper crops: Climbing beans... Sweetcorn... Blackcurrants Digging for the future - meet the kids that know their onions Discover - Veg in the garden of Eden (Cornwall!) Make more of your herbs Don't just smell the roses - eat them too! PLUS: Build a bamboo wall frame - Make your own delicious summer cordials