Favorite Gardening Magazines
With the plethora of gardening magazines out there, you could be buried in glossy pages in no time. And the cost of all of those magazines piles up fast. Here are my top five gardening magazines. You may have other favorites. There are many good ones out there, but these are the ones I can't live without.
For Gardening in Michigan: The Michigan Gardener
I love this magazine because it is completely relevant to our zones. There is nothing they publish in The Michigan Gardener that we can't do, so you don't suffer that frustration that comes from seeing a drop-dead gorgeous plant and then finding out that it only grows in Florida. There is a section telling you what gardening tasks need to be done at that time, and profiles of plants that do well in Michigan. And, here's the kicker---it's free! You can pick it up at most garden centers and some hardware stores. You can subscribe, too, for a small yearly fee. Even if I'm not planning on buying anything, I make a special trip to my local English Gardens just to pick it up.
Published monthly April through October
For Basic, General Gardening Advice: Birds & Blooms
Birds & Blooms is a straightforward, hands-on magazine full of general gardening advice and techniques. The editors say that it is like talking to another gardener over the garden gate, and that's exactly it. Birds & Blooms also focuses quite a bit on backyard birding, which I love. Their articles offer simple, easy to follow advice and techniques for garden challenges. Birds & Blooms also devotes space to reader tips and memories, photos, and birdhouse designs. It's as close as you can get to being out in the garden without actually being there.
For Organic Gardening: Organic Gardening
This is the best resource for anyone from beginning to advanced organic gardeners, and anyone else who is interested in cutting the use of pesticides and chemical fertilizers in their yard. Very good, clear advice on growing all kinds of plants in an environmentally friendly way. I hope you'll give this one a try.
For Pure Inspiration: Martha Stewart Living's Special Gardening Issue
Every time I pore through a copy of MSL's gardening issue, I am inspired by what a garden can eventually look like. Mine has a long, long way to go before it could ever come close to one of these gardens, but I get very good ideas from looking at them. More than anything else, I find plant combinations that I love, and am able to incorporate into my landscape.
Published every March
Best All-Around: Fine Gardening
This is a gorgeous, information-packed publication that can be found anywhere. While the photos of the gardens offer pure inspiration, the articles give you the exact techniques for how to achieve success. In addition to the feature articles about techniques or landscape design, there are regional reports, profiles of plants, and essays. Whenever I pick up a copy of Fine Gardening, I get the itch to get out into my own garden and make it better. That, alone, is worth the cover price.
Keep these on hand, and you can garden vicariously even in the dead of a Michigan winter. ITGO