A Gardener’s Gift

A Gardener’s Gift

Nancy Denison

Gardeners know that feeling, when you open your mailbox to find the new seed/bulb/plant catalogue has arrived. Having a subscription to a garden magazine can be a treat all year long. Here’s a brief overview of five interesting periodicals.

FINE GARDENING – I began receiving this magazine about eleven years ago after my neighbor, Grace, loaned a few issues to me. I love the Readers Tips, the Pronunciation Guide, and the step by step guides for pruning, planting and design in each issue. The photographs are always beautiful. Some titles from the December 2013 issue include “Rip it Out”, “Battle of the Grasses”, and “A Different Approach to Crop Rotation”. I have saved every issue for reference as I work and rework my own yard.

GARDEN GATE – This is the most economical of the five magazines being reviewed. Great design tips with before and after photos as well as layouts for plantings that one could easily follow to replicate at home. There is always a “weed watch” or “pest watch” side bar which is very helpful. I enjoy the “What’s New” and the “Ask Garden Gate” sections. “Plant Now or Wait”, “Panicle Hydrangea”, and “Garden Greener” are three of the featured articles in the December 2013 issue. The back cover leaves the reader with a meaningful quote and a stunning photograph.

HORTICULTURE – The September/October bi-monthly issue of this periodical includes articles on harvesting edible native plants as well as fall vegetable crops, hydrangeas, wall shrubs and ornamental grasses. It seems to lean a bit more towards written rather than graphic information, but is equally as interesting and enlightening as the other magazines.

ORGANIC GARDENING – I like this magazine for its more “well rounded” articles but I almost feel it should be called “Organic Living” as its topics range from canning to gourds to cooking with healthy spices and defending weeds. I liked the article on how to grow and use gourds for creative vases, candle holders and center pieces. Many interesting areas to ponder! It is also bi-monthly.

MOTHER EARTH NEWS – This bi-monthly first appeared forty-three years ago, back when some of us were in the midst of hippy-dom…and thus, they say as their slogan, “more than a magazine…a way of life”. For those living the earthy life (no offense intended), there are many topics addressed; solar power, building with earth and straw, self-reliant living, efficient windows, and working dogs. Other articles cover growing summer grains, winter crops and great places to live. I enjoyed the “Country Lore: Reader’s Tips” for some useful tidbits.

All magazines can be found at Horizon Books, downtown Traverse City or…
Fine Gardening, published by Taunton Press Inc. 29.95/yr. or

Garden Gate, August Home Publishing Co. 24.00/yr. or

Horticulture, F & W Media, 29.95/yr.

Organic Gardening, Rodale Inc. 24.00/yr.

Mother Earth News, Ogden Publications, 19.95/yr.