What garden blogs and websites do you enjoy?

mrtulinJanuary 12, 2013

It will be a while before we New England gardeners welcome mudseason aka spring. I found this writer/designer, Deborah Silver, a year ago and enjoy her work very much. Her aesthetic is very different from what I think of as "New England" (what am I talking about?! What the devil is a "New England garden aesthetic?")but that is what makes it so interesting to me.
She inspired me to do more with lighting the garden to drive away the double winter demons of dark and cold. I also stole one of her holiday outdoor planter designs, but I'm sure she would not want her name associated with the outcome.
Tell us what you think of her work and writing.
And what on-line gardening reading do you do, in addition to catalogues?


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Thanks for a fun topic, Marie. I look for several things in the gardening blogs I read - great photos, a chance to learn about plants or design, and if there is writing, I want it to be clear, quality writing.

I also read Deborah Silver's Dirt Simple blog, linked below. http://www.deborahsilver.com/blog/
It's a weekly treat to pull up Dirt Simple and read through what Deborah has written since I last visited. She has a clear writing style and well-composed photos, and her gardens (both her personal one and the ones she designs for clients) remind me of some of my favorite gardens growing up in the midwest. Like Marie, her containers have inspired and definitely improved mine, though they don't begin to approach the artistry of hers. I have learned a lot about design from reading her blog, and it makes me look at my gardens with a different eye, particularly the layout for function, aesthetics, and sight lines; choices of hardscape and nonplant ornament; and the use of woody plants, often in multiples of many of one kind to provide structure. In October or November every year, I visit the Christmas and lighting sections of the blog from past years and use that to help me figure out my buckets and outdoor lighting/decoration for the season. She usually writes several entries a week, though there may be only one or two during times that pro gardeners are really busy.

There are a bunch of garden blogs I visit periodically, but none that begin to approach the quality of Dirt Simple.
I occasionally visit Hayefield by Nancy Ondra , since she talks about annual and perennial plants, but I am limited in my enjoyment of her work by her like of self-seeding plants and annuals (both too much work for me at this stage of my life) and emphasis on herbaceous plants, leaving what is to me a boring scene between the first fall frost and the onset of spring, almost half my year. She writes well and has top quality photos. Twice monthly.

The Gardener's Eye is written by Michael B. Gordon who designs the gardens for the town of Peterborough, NH. Good photos, well written. Looks at both his personal garden and the town's, talks about woodies, design, gardens he has visited, etc. Very New England. Writes less often than most.

Paradis Express by Delphine is pure eye candy, written bilingually by a French gardener. It's not strictly gardening, but often has great garden and landscape photos. It's more than half gardens and landscapes in combination with design, decorative arts, and architecture. The stuff that isn't gardening I tend to skip as it rarely suits my taste, though some of the architecture is lovely also. She pulls photos from other blogs and websites with permission, or occasionally from scanned books or periodicals, and posts them with a link to the original blog or webpage. I've spent some interesting time wandering around blogs she has linked to, often ones from very different gardening climates and cultures (like Morocco or CA.) It is too cold here for green walls, but it sure is nice to look at them, especially in the dead of winter. She also posts sometimes on her own small city garden or gardens she has visited. Almost daily entries, great photos with minimal text.

Rhone Street Gardens by Scott Weber is based in the Pacific NW, a combination of his own city/suburban garden's progress and visits to other gardens and nurseries. Another gardener who emphasizes herbaceous plants. Great photos, clear writing.

Art of Gardening by Jim Charlier is written by one of the organizers of Garden Walk Buffalo (the largest garden tour in the US) and the National Buffalo Garden Festival. Writes about his and others' gardens and Garden Walk Buffalo. A cut above most garden blogs, but sometimes leaves me wanting a bit more information, photos, or editing. Many ideas for smaller gardens. Who knew Buffalo has so much to offer gardeners! I think that one of these years I will have to take a field trip to Buffalo for the Garden Walk.

I look forward to others' suggestions.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dirt Simple, Deborah Silver

    Bookmark   January 12, 2013 at 9:34AM
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molie(z6 CT)

I enjoy looking at the work of James Alexander-Sinclair (UK) because many of the gardens he's created for clients remind me of CT's Hollister House, but more spread out, and because his links show all of the steps in creating these gardens. But I wouldn't recommend his blogs which are more about his social life than gardens. I once saw a magazine spread on a garden he created in England and wrote to him, requesting info on the plants and techniques. He was very helpful.
The site is below:


I sometimes check out 66 Square Feet (New York:One Woman, One Terrace, Twelve Seasons). Some of it is about her "garden" and the rest about travels; the photography is great and she definitely has an eye for the beauty in nature.


I've bookmarked Joan Gussow's Garden Recovery --- how she lost her garden when the Hudson River flooded and then how it was rebuilt with help from others and from Mother Nature. It's great to look at whenever I'm feeling down about my gardens, or anything else in my life, because positivity (is there such a word?) only really comes from working at something.


I enjoy reading the general information in the UConnLadybug blog--- connladybug.wordpress.com

That's about it. I think most of all, I like getting information from this forum!

Smiling Mole, here

    Bookmark   January 14, 2013 at 3:42PM
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Great topic for January!

I like Garden Foreplay, from the folks at Avant Gardens in Dartmouth, MA, and Garden Rant, a cooperative effort from several more or less well-known designers (http://gardenrant.com/) and Garden Porn (http://deviantdeziner.blogspot.com/) from GW's own Deviant-Designer, aka Michelle Derviss, a designer from Marin County, CA.

If only I didn't have to go to work ... this list would be much longer!

Here is a link that might be useful: Garden Foreplay

    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 11:52AM
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I'm looking for a vegetable gardening blog but I enjoy occasionally looking at flower garden blogs. A friend with whom I stay in touch on facebook specializes in tropicals ... in Nashua NH. Her garden has been on the tour to benefit the Nashua symphony and was also featured on a Chronicals (tv) show on "extreme gardening". She has transformed an ordinary suburban lot with a difficult backyard (rocky slope) into a very beautiful garden. I asked who built her little retaining walls - she did from rocks they had to dig out. She has so many tropicals that this winter she is trading work for greenhouse storage space. Prior to this, she wintered over everything in her basement. And when she isn't taking photos of her garden, she's taking photos of birds which makes her facebook posts always fascinating.

Here is a link that might be useful: Deanne's Blog

    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 1:21PM
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Deanne is one good photographer, even if she's inclined to give her camera the credit. I'd like a few more long shots.
Her pots have the mark of an expert grown fearless. Stuffed, overflowing pots, good contrast and harmony of plant forms and colors. Even when I stuff them, I can't keep up with the feedings which annuals really need to go from summer through late fall.

I didn't ask the original question in order to make myself feel inadequate, but I am having a serious episode of pot envy.

Thanks, so far everyone. I've only looked at Deanne's (and deborah silvers) but I hope the others are as "meaty."
Best, marie

    Bookmark   January 15, 2013 at 7:51PM
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Here's another one. One of my garden buddies on facebook just shared something from their FB page, and I tracked it to their site and then to their blog. I haven't read the whole thing yet.

Here is a link that might be useful: Two Women and a Hoe

    Bookmark   January 18, 2013 at 1:06PM
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My favorite blogs are written by the two creative gals who are co-editors of LEAF MAGAZINE.

Rachelle Greayer- Studio 'g'

Susan Cohen- Miss Rumphius' Rules

    Bookmark   January 20, 2013 at 6:51PM
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asarum(z6 Boston)

Until I retire (soon!), I don't have much time for the blogs. I found this link to a 2011 Advent calendar that listed an unusual plant for each day and went through taking notes

Here is a link that might be useful: Plant advent calendar

    Bookmark   January 22, 2013 at 12:51PM
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Aha, Nandina, thanks for that link. I seem to recall Miss Rumphius from garden web.

Leaf looks great, by the way!

    Bookmark   January 23, 2013 at 9:12PM
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I wanted to thank you for all the great sites! I have enjoyed the articles and the photos from the wise and witty gardeners' blogs!! helps to pass the cold winter months while planning the spring!

    Bookmark   January 26, 2013 at 11:26AM
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Here's one that made me lol tonight. http://www.billygoodnick.com
I got there from his guest rant on gardenrant.com
You want to get to his crimes against horticulture pix. His comments are so imaginative and funny!

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 1:40AM
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franeli(z4 NH)

Wow, nice topic...the garden blogs presented here are great.
I read Margaret Roach's blog, A Way to Garden.

Here is a link that might be useful: A Way to Garden

    Bookmark   January 27, 2013 at 8:57AM
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The Galloping Gardner is an education on great gardens in the UK

Here is a link that might be useful: The Galloping Gardner

    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 8:08AM
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Great topic!! I have just discovered weblogs by two garden architects/designers, Thomas Rainer and Noel Kingsbury.......both a delight to read. But my questions is, how do you keep all these blogs and websites organized?? I have tried using Google Reader with limited success.....was just wondering if there is some better way to organize all the things on the web to do with gardening!



    Bookmark   February 3, 2013 at 5:57PM
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Grdngrrl -

I just use my browser's bookmarks; I have a folder for garden blogs. The ones I like best and that post most frequently are at the top, and I work my way down on a given evening as I read.

I'd love to hear if others have better methods.

    Bookmark   February 5, 2013 at 10:16AM
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