Magazines for the Gardener

Phil Peters
Adams County Master Gardener

Look on any magazine rack and you’ll see there is no shortage of magazines on gardening. Every aspect of the hobby is covered: the newest ideas, the latest plant cultivars, modern garden designs and a bewildering number of garden projects. Today’s printing techniques allow them to feature outstanding displays of how the plants look, individually and in the garden setting. Artistic photography shows the plants and gardens to their fullest. They are enticing; you see them; you fall in love with them; you want to plant that NOW!

There are issues that pertain to the current season: Spring Gardens, Fantastic Summer Blooms, Color for Fall, and so on. These issues all have their place, and the information in them is timely and valuable. Look through them and you will come away with ideas that may well solve that vexing problem area.

But beyond the seasonal, there are the monthly and bi-monthly publications that are most economical if you subscribe to them. The following selection guides you to a few of these available garden publications. They will provide you with timely, reliable, research-based information. They are of high quality with colorful photography and will be a useful addition to your garden library while leaving money in your pocket to buy those gorgeous plants.


This venerable magazine has been around since 1904. And, yes, it was illustrated even then. Current issues focus on standard features that bring you authoritative information on insect ID, greenhouse and vegetable gardening, the scientific aspects of the garden to help you understand how your garden and plants work. Articles about birds in the garden are also included. One feature highlights an outstanding shrub and three companion plants that complement it.

Timely articles review the latest plant offerings, garden pests and their life cycles and controls, useful tools, etc. Articles illustrate garden design and plants for particular growing conditions. Excellent photos illustrate all the articles. This magazine is published every two months.

Fine Gardening

This beautiful publication brings you step-by-step guides to plant care, the best way to use specific plants in your garden, product evaluations and recommendations, as well as how to enjoy your harvest cooking up some delicious and healthful meals in your own kitchen. The broad range of the articles is certain to appeal to every gardener. This magazine covers the whole US, so there are sections for regional plants that thrive in the Northeast, the South, etc. This magazine is published monthly.

Garden Gate

An excellent magazine for the new gardener or the homeowner who just cannot think of how to plant a specific area, this magazine is replete with the latest reviews of garden tools and materials and tips on gardening techniques. It also has very thorough and colorful, well-illustrated analyses of the most recent plants to come on the market. Most importantly, it has very well drawn garden plans with lists and diagrams of the planting guide to help you fill in those problem spots as well as how to get the most out of gardens and borders around the yard. The drawings also show what the garden will look like when the plants mature and bloom. This magazine is published every two months

Pennsylvania Gardener

Despite the title, this magazine is not exclusively about Pennsylvania. Articles do cover other neighboring states, but these are in the same climate zones as Pennsylvania. Small state maps show the zonal range for particular plants. Pennsylvania horticulturists and garden writers author many of the articles. These authors live here and know what will flourish here. Articles cover a wide range of topics: tools, plants, trees, garden design, do-it-yourself garden projects, innovative garden concepts (i.e., a green wall garden), insect identification, etc. Photos feature Pennsylvania gardens that many of us will recognize. The garden design plans are actually photographs of the gardens in bloom. Taken from above, a plant key is super-imposed, so you can see the actual plants in the setting with their neighbors. I received an email newsletter with my subscription. This magazine is published every two months.

The American GARDENER

While you may not find this on the magazine rack, every gardener should be aware of it. This quality magazine is put out by the American Horticultural Society. You receive it as part of your membership (as well as reduced/free admission to numerous public gardens and other perks.) Up-to-date authoritative articles cover all aspects of gardens, plants, pests, composting and reviews of current gardening books and publications. The photos are outstanding. And there is a very useful pronunciation guide to scientific names of the plants covered in the articles. This magazine is published every two months.

Of course, there is a wide range of US and international gardening magazines available on your e-reader. This has the advantage of being more economical, eco-friendly and, for some, easier on the eyes. You can also magnify those extraordinary photos. Add some magazines to increase your gardening experience.

Read other articles by Phil Peters