Favorite Gardening Magazine

andrea81September 26, 2006

Hi there. I am new to gardening and also fairly new here. I want to subscribe to a gardening magazine, but am not sure which one to subscribe to. I thought maybe this would be the most appropriate forum to post it on. I want something informative yet interesting if you know what I mean. Any opinions would be appreciated!

Thank you!


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I'm surprised no one's responded to your post yet. I learned a lot from gardening magazines for about the first ten years of my gardening life. They're not as useful to me these days, since I've been reading them so long that an article is more likley to give me a sense of deja vu than new information. The only magazine I regularly read is The American Gardener, which is the magazine of the American Horticultural Society. This one's great for its coverage of a wide range of topics and its consistent delivery of articles that are a bit more scientific than those in other magazines while offering very expert practical advice on plant culture and garden design. The photographs are gorgeous, too. I used to see American Gardener at a local Borders Bookstore but haven't seen it there for years. But annual membership to the AHS ($35.00)gets you a subsciption plus other benefits like discounts and an opportunity to select ten varieties of seeds from their annual seed exchange inventory (you don't have to submit your own seeds to get this benefit).

Otherwise, I've gotten kind of jaded with the others like Horticulture, Organic Gardening, Fine Gardening, and Garden Design. Horticulture and OG are still good sources of basic information on varieties and have good how-to articles, but it seems to me they've both dumbed-down quite a bit over the years in an effort to get a bigger market share of readers. For a while it seemed that Horticulture was starting to roll up its genteel shirtsleeves, while OG was pulling on kidskin gardening gloves, in apparent efforts to appeal to wider audiences. This didn't work for me, as I missed the distinctive style that each magazine had had before. But it was the dumbing-down that really bugged me. I have to say though that the last time I looked at an OG issue, it seemed they had stopped trying to make organic gardening look like a tea party at the Rosarians Club and were back on track with no-nonsense articles. Horticulture has never fully regained its authority with me, however, and I find that a lot of the hooks on their front covers turn out to be teasers (like a paragraph embedded somewhere instead of the full article that the cover suggests you'll find). For me, Fine Gardening has taken up the slack. It's more like the solid horticultural stuff Horticulture used to publish, but with some added design pizzazz. Not too much pizzazz, though - I get enough of that through my occasional impulse purchases of Garden Design, which occur when I have to stare too long at one of their outrageous cover illustrations while I'm stuck in the check-out line at the grocery store. Garden Design's always a fun - if sometimes way out there - read.

Being new to gardening, I would think that any of these would be useful and interesting. But I do think that American Gardener is the one that would best keep pace with your growing expertise and changing interests.

So, what are you reading? Did you subscribe to anything yet?



    Bookmark   October 23, 2006 at 2:26PM
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Hi Andrea, I pretty much agree with Cranebill's assessment of the various gardening magazines. However, since he/she referred to 10 years' gardening,and I've been at it longer still ...I'm thinking it's possible you may find them of more benefit as a new gardener.

You might pick up one issue each at newsstand to check them out for your needs. Also, all of them have sites (see link) where you can read an article or two. I think Horticulture will send one free copy, maybe others will.

Good luck, and don't forget your library. I checked out armloads of books then bought my favorites. But now with Gardenweb, I find I don't need as many new books or magazines. It's all right here ~smile. josh

Here is a link that might be useful: Gardening Magazines Online

    Bookmark   October 24, 2006 at 12:07PM
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I bet you've signed up for a few by now.
I see we are in a a similar zone.
I tire of magazines that are telling me gardening tips that only work in the south.
Or lovely pics of a garden in the south that shows just 1-2 plants that can actually survive and thrive in my zone.

I guess my top 3 would be and in no particular order: Garden gate, Fine Gardening, and Garden Design.

I have to admit. I'm drawn to photo based info. A plain article with no pics is usually not that special or memorable to me and can quickly be located right here on the web.

I'd say my favorite garden magazines are the 20 catalogs with pics that come here free! Especially the honest ones that don't call a purple bloom 'blue', or show a guy standing under an alocasia that usually gets only 3-4 ft tall!

I agree with the above about the library. Thru interlibrary loan I was able to read 20 + garden books last winter that were 2005-2006 releases. I had accesss to every library in this half of the state and they were delivered to my library for free.


    Bookmark   November 18, 2006 at 2:41AM
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I love the magazines that Better HOmes and Gardens put out. Wonderful photography.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2007 at 3:33PM
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Hi Andrea,
I'd have to say hands down favorite is Garden Gate. Second Fine Gardening. I love the special publications. I ususally buy Perennials and Container Gardening. I found one of Color Combinations that had WONDERFUL photographs!

    Bookmark   March 17, 2007 at 9:28AM
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