Victory Gardens are coming back. Originally to help sustain families during the war years (and the dirty-thirties in between), and also to reduce the pressure on food production and distribution during that time.
Apparently (I've yet to see full scale where I live) we are in a recession. Cut-backs and layoffs are the norm in Eastern Canada, as well as in the entire US. Western Canada is doing OK, but we will feel the pinch soon in Texas-of-the-North. How long the recession lasts is currently the favorite prediction guessing game of high-profile financiers and bankers (each trying to give a direr prediction than the others). People are finding ways of reducing bills in order to keep their homes (with VERY large mortgages).
In between Hardy Explorer Roses (from Morden, Manitoba), oriental lilies and ornamental grasses, you can plant small vegetables that can be sown and harvested throughout the year. There is no need to remove all of your ornamental flowering plants. Space for lettuce, beans, and carrots does not have to be large.
Also, raised beds can be arranged with vegetables to be attractive and/or easy to care for. Help is available on the web when you run into problems. Take 10-20 minutes a day for upkeep (minor hoeing, watering, etc), and you can grow your own food for the table too.
Now, I've been doing this for all my life (raised on a farm), and gardening is my passion (botany ...hello!), but you don't have to have a green thumb to do this. So things die. As long as its outside & you give a tiny bit of care, things may work out. It doesn't have to be perfect (no one is... look at Martha Stewart... I'm still laughing about the jail time :p )
Google about vegetable gardening... trust me its worth it!
(A link that you may find useful : UBC's Beginner Guide to Vegetable Gardening
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