I couldn't possibly agree more with this article by Emily Knudsen. Please read it -- all about front yard gardens, property values, and community:
I can speak firsthand to the ability of front yard gardens to create a sense of community. While working in our front yard plots, we encounter neighbors wandering over from next door to comment on the progress of the veggies, people walking by checking things out, and even cars that are driving by stop in front of the garden to talk to us through a rolled-down window.
When one of our front yard gardens was decimated by a hailstorm, my husband and I walked over the next day to survey the damage. We stopped to chat with a neighbor who lived about a block away (someone I hadn't previously interacted with). She didn't realize that we were attached to the garden, and in the process of speaking about the hailstorm she expressed regret at the damage to all the veggies. "Those people have been working so hard on the garden," she said.
I interact with more neighbors in a week of working in my front yard garden than I did in the whole 2 years I lived in my house without the garden.
Gardens go through their phases, to be sure. In the late fall, winter, and early spring there is more dirt to see than plants (of course, dead lawn isn't exactly a treat to look at, either). But, during the months that the gardens are producing, there are endless shades of green, and pretty much every other color in the rainbow too.
Front yard gardens are beautiful, build community, and can help feed the neighborhood. Sounds pretty good to me.