I'm staying with my parents in Santa Rosa, CA this week. They live in a lovely neighborhood of bungalows and Victorians. Every time I visit I see more and more front yard gardens. Many of them have small back yards that are quite shaded over, making the front yard the obvious choice for everything from fruit trees to tomatoes to sun-loving perennials like lavender. On some streets every front yard is garden or in the process of being converted to garden. Please excuse the iPhone photo quality, but this will give you an idea of what people are up to.
New front yard garden going in:
An established garden. Most are a mix of ornamental grasses and perennials. This photo doesn't really do them justice, but they are all quite lovely.
I just love this soft feather grass in the hell strip.