Don't tell me it's for the kids and dog, either. Who lets their kids play in the front yard anymore? That's what the back yard is for- that way there's a fence between them and the pervert kidnappers and crazy drivers.
This photo is from this spring, but even when it's fallow my neighbors don't seem to mind the view of my unconventional front yard. The city doesn't care as long as it's edible and neatly maintained (one of the benefits of living in an area with strong agricultural roots, they're pretty common sense about most things).
The beds are from Sam's, where I found the best price. We bought one or two a month until I had enough. The mulch and compost were delivered by dumptruck to the driveway, and distributed by shovel and wheelbarrow by myself and my DH to where they needed to be. Don't waste your time with the little bags from the garden center, they cost too much. I lined the bottom of the beds with cardboard before I shoveled the compost on top to plant in. The cardboard will compost itself, and there's no need to kill the grass underneath in the meantime.