The best gardening magazines for inspiration
We’re always hesitant to recommend straying from our own GardenLife blog and going in search of inspiration elsewhere. But we must admit that even our monthly offerings can’t cover the whole of garden design and gardening.
So just in case you want a change of scene or a second opinion, there are a wealth of other garden publications, print or online. You may have seen some of them on newsagent or supermarket shelves, but you’re probably missing out on others.
So here’s our list of the best gardening magazines, with a couple of blogs too, which are worth a browse and perhaps even a subscription.
The best high-end glossy gardening mag
Gardens Illustrated is not really about getting down to basics – you won’t find many nitty gritty soil guides here. Rather, it’s all about beautiful projects that will make you inspired and/or green with envy! It’s definitely material for a coffee table or very upmarket reception area.
There’s a practical element in each monthly issue, but the real substance is the gorgeous pieces on grand landscapes all over the world. Think Vogue, only for gardening instead of fashion. It’s probably the biggest gardening magazine in the world, and you can find details about online or print subscriptions here. Definitely top of our list for the best gardening magazines for inspiration.
The best gardening magazine for upmarket homes and gardens?
Another one which hits the shelves and digital newsstands monthly and will come in handy if you win the lottery is Conde Nast’s glossy House and Garden.
Each issue features both grand gardens and grand houses that will make your jaw drop. Expect double-page spreads of gorgeous interior and exterior designs and well-written pieces on entertaining.
If you’re after planting guides, budget gardening tips or other practical information, you may be better off elsewhere but this is definitely worth a browse for daydreaming purposes. Its website is also very good, and free!
Best gardening magazine for tips from TV gardeners
BBC Gardeners’ World magazine is made by the people behind the BBC TV show of the same name. It has an all-star cast of past and present hosts of the show (Alan Titchmarsh and Monty Don seem to be regulars – in fact, the latter is such a fixture that he just goes by his first name. If you have a spare £1750 plus, you could ‘Meet Monty in Provence’; but a Mississippi Cruise with Alan Titchmarsh will set you back a hefty £4995!)
Apart from being starstruck by Monty, Gardeners’ World has a more practical grounding than the likes of Gardens Illustrated. It’ll tell you anything from how to choose tools to how to build a pergola, and there are useful monthly checklists of tasks in your garden and greenhouse.
A subscription gets you access to the “secret garden”. Disappointingly, it’s not an actual place, just an online one, but it does grant access to exclusive articles and videos and so on. There’s an offer on right now which gets you the first 5 issues for £5. Definitely one of the best gardening magazines for down to earth advice.
Two great gardening magazines for practical advice
Garden Answers has a much more practical focus than the coffee-table glossies. There are pages upon pages of planting guides, allotment advice, pest control and mini-projects.
The approach is inclusive and goes out of its way to avoid being intimidating. The ‘Easy Gardening’ section has ‘Weed It or Feed It?’ guides for those who struggle to tell a pest from a perennial. And the reader-submitted garden stories are also a nice touch.
It’s decent value too, at £34 for a year’s sub. One to consider when reviewing the best gardening magazines out there.
Another good practical guide, whether you’re a complete novice or just want some new ideas, is Amateur Gardening. It’s weekly, so the advice will come thick and fast. It’s not exactly cutting-edge magazine design or glossy magazine production, but the articles are easy to follow.
And if you can’t face going outside in the garden till spring, there is advice on indoor gardening and windowsill gardening.
A gardening magazine for those who want to grow fruit or veg
Grow Your Own is another great publication for those like to get a bit of soil under their fingernails.
It really does do what it says on the tin – every month it offers extensive guides to fruit, veg and herb growing for plots of all shapes and sizes. There’s at least 15 of these in every issue, along with the usual DIY mini-project guides. Look out for this in supermarkets and newsagents, or there’s a digital version on the website.
A little extra: two great gardening blogs
Sometimes other people’s glossy photos and project ideas get a bit intimidating, and you just want to identify with the trials and errors of a ‘gardener like you’. There are some really great blogs out there, ranging from inspirational to tragi-comic. Here are a couple we’ve come across recently.
A blog about urban gardening
Many of our readers, like London resident Caro Shrives, don’t have much plot space to work with when it comes gardening. Her blog is about getting everything from avocados to exuberant flowers and shrubs out of her limited space, and her ideas are well within even the complete beginner’s grasp. She includes few good recipes for her produce too.
Good blog about container gardening
Another good blog for those with limited space is Vertical Veg, which focuses on container gardening. Stand-out posts include a short video on how to keep supermarket herbs alive longer – probably the most sought-after piece of gardening knowledge of our age.