Useful Yard

Useful Yard represents a place in Seattle and an idea. The place is a 9,000 sq ft property that has changed a lot since 2014. The idea is that when we’re outside, too much emphasis is placed on beauty. We should be talking about how useful things are, and approach our yards more honestly — the results won’t be any less pleasing.

This website is a virtual garden, with every plant on the property documented (eventually). It’s a resource of book and websites that influence this place. And there’s a blog, recording what happens here and in some other yards.

Photo by Nico Kaomora


I’m André Mora, a professional typographer and editorial designer. In 2014, my wife and I bought a house in North Seattle that had a lawn in the front, and a thicket in the back. At the time I knew very little about plants, gardening, and landscape design. But all that changed. I quickly found myself removing the lawn, clearing the thicket, and learning too much for it to be a hobby. So I took some horticulture courses and began writing about my experiences.


This website was made with Kirby. In fact, the concept for this site sat in limbo until I learned Kirby, which feels like the only tool that could make this work. There are four typefaces in use: Sculpin and Coordinates by Eric Olson, Triptych by Ellmer Stefan, and Quixo Pro by Frank Grießhammer. Text and photographs are copyright André Mora, unless credited.