21 Home And Garden Blogs You Will Definitely Enjoy
There are exactly seven reason why men should garden, and John Porter lists them all in his Art of Manliness guest post.
He appeals to what’s good for you (healthy eating and exercise) and to what gardening will do for you (save you money, make you more self-sufficient) and even includes the slightly spiritual (digging in the dirt reconnects you to nature, serves as a form of meditation).
But the most important reason that men garden is buried about halfway through his article: serving your own home-grown, just-picked tomatoes impresses the heck out of the ladies.
Kim Palmer of the Star Tribune doesn’t quite go there. She says gardening is being taken up by younger men these days, not as much for flower arrangements (or for attracting mates), but for “hearty edibles and drinkables,” which does include the cool factor of growing hops for home brews.
In her article, Palmer quotes avid gardener Austin Lindstrom, 37, of GoFindExplore as saying: “I’m a vegetarian, big into food. Tomatoes are my main thing. I try to find rare and unique varieties.”
Whether back-to-nature, do-it-yourself homesteaders or landscaping urban and indoor garden planners, you’ll be inspired by our list of 21 totally awesome home and garden blogs.
Dave’s Garden, Facebook: Dave’s Garden
Much more than a blog, Dave’s Garden is a 15-year-old series of web sites for gardeners and horticultural professionals, with more than 710,000 registered members. The DG slogan is “For Gardeners…By Gardeners,” and members, who include novice gardeners to experienced market growers, “share information, tips, plants and seeds, along with gardening triumphs and trials.” With 250+ web-based discussion forums, you’ll either become a master gardener or never leave the house again.
Two Men And A Garden, Twitter: @2MenSalsa
A couple of guys in Missouri realized they needed a way to pay for their gardening addiction. Joining their back yards in 2006, they shared all the work, reaping mounds (and mounds) of tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers. Great salsa recipes and jars of pickles followed, turning into a growing business. Now, they sell their food online and in local stores, and say they still peel all their own tomatoes and hand chop the veggies.
Urban Gardens, Twitter: @urbangardens
Not everyone has acres of land at their disposal. Making the most of rooftop landscaping and even indoor gardening with verticals and hydroponics is all food for thought at Urban Gardens. Small spaces are viewed as challenges in which to create stylish and eco-friendly designs, which may or may not include bird and/or bee habitats, sustainable architecture and upcycling with as much (or as little) DIY hands-on as you want.
Real Men Sow, Twitter: @RealMenSow
Based in the U.K., Jono Stevens has been a real man sowing since 2007. He and his “gardening-mad mum” started in an allotment plot (or community garden), and he’s since graduated to his own back garden. Not only has he saved money (something like $700 in 2011), but he says he enjoys the “steady stream of incredibly tasty fruit and veg [that] has been winging its way to [his] kitchen,” adding that there’s “something joyful about … growing your own food and living within the seasons.”
Weeding Wild Suburbia, Twitter: @CA_WildSuburbia
Barbara Eisenstein, Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden research associate and horticulture chair for the San Gabriel Mts Chapter of the California Native Plant Society, writes this blog from her garden in South Pasadena. She says that “native plants make the best gardens.” She’s got a great list of how-to articles on the blog, including How to Start and Planting Tips, and just wrote an instructional article on growing natives in containers.
Her expertise focuses on growing plants, garden fruits, herbs and vegetables in a warm climate. One of the many benefits she’s found when replacing lawn with “water-saving native and Mediterranean plants” is that her water bill has gone down.
Noel’s Garden Blog, Twitter: @noelk57
Dr. Noel Kingsbury is a plantsman as well as an innovator, writer and teacher in the garden world. He lives and gardens in the U.K., and he has written about garden design, planting, green roofs and the politics of gardening. In a recent blog post, Noel bemoans the fact that men seem to be disappearing from the gardening world, both in terms of hobby gardeners and the horticulture profession itself.
A weekend-only fixer upper, this 10-acre farm is about 45 miles west of Houston. The two men who have owned the property since 2011 have been blogging about their “gradual journey from a 6000-square-foot lot of city concrete” and include posts about using galvanized water troughs as raised bed gardens, planning and clearing a garden area, and ideas on rain barrel projects.
Garden In A City, Twitter: @jasonbertkay
Gardening in Evanston, just outside of Chicago, Jason says he’s in charge of the plants, and his wife takes the photographs. This “gardener, garden blogger, native plant and habitat gardening enthusiast” doesn’t think Chicago’s motto of “City in a Garden” holds up anymore, but says people can still have their garden in the city.
Growing The Home Garden, Twitter: @THGarden
Dave Townsend, a real estate agent in Spring Hill and Middle TN, runs a small nursery business growing vegetables and herbs for local customers. He gardens organically, collects seeds and propagates plants, and has posts about garden layouts and designs and the benefits of gardening in raised beds as well as seed sowing and seed starting techniques for specific plants.
Get Busy Gardening, Twitter: @getbusygardenin
Amy Andrychowicz says gardening doesn’t have to be expensive, and has lots of DIY and repurposing ideas for beginner green thumbs on a budget. From Minneapolis, she does lots of indoor gardening with houseplants during the winter, but enjoys working with outdoor plants and vegetables in season. Examples of her instructional posts include DIY Seed Starting Mix and Winter Sowing – A Step by Step Guide.
It’s Not Work, It’s Gardening!, Twitter: @inwig
From his suburban garden in St. Louis, Alan Lorence (who is crazy about bamboo) posts about his plants and projects. He talks about seed swaps, has stand-alone pages of tips and mistakes, and has very detailed how-to posts, like the one on how to make hypertufa pots.
In their 1920s farmhouse on five acres in the foothills of the southern Appalachians, this empty nest couple’s vision is to be as self-sustaining as possible. They steward the land, their animals and resources, renovating their home all the while. From bathroom and plumbing renovations to planning a forest garden hedgerow and putting in a rainwater catchment system, there’s a lot of good information here.
MrBrownThumb, Twitter: @MrBrownThumb
Calling himself “the original urban garden blogging male,” Mr. Brown Thumb started his blog 10 years ago. He says he’s got “a small garden on Chicago’s West Side and a number of houseplants” and has been “interested in gardening for a long time.” In addition to information contained in the blog, he’s got a series of videos on how to collect seeds. One of his must-read posts is quite recent, and it’s about how he finally found a garden gnome that he feels perfectly represents him: the green army man garden gnome.
Mulch Maid, Twitter: @MulchMaid
Jane Finch-Howell is a graphic designer in Portland, Oregon, and says she lives on the edge, practicing “zonal denial without a greenhouse.” She likes warm colors, big leaves, simple forms, bright colors and tropical foliage. If you want to make her happy, anything in the Manzanita family will do. The photography on the blog is colorful and plentiful, and you’ll find posts on things that just catch her eye, like the one about people who designed and then put up a steel retaining wall in their front yard.
Higgledy Garden, Twitter: @higgledygarden
Benjamin Ranyard, owner of The Higgledy Garden Seed Shop in Cornwall, England, grows traditional annuals without the use of chemicals in his Cornish paddock, and gives out “loads of free growing tips and information,” as well. In addition to flower farming and offering seeds for cut flowers, Benjamin practices sustainable growing for two very good reasons — “to save the world and impress girls.”
Grounded Design, Twitter: @ThomasRainerDC
Thomas Rainer is a landscape architect in Washington, D.C., who says he’s happiest when puttering in his small garden, but he has worked on large projects including the U.S. Capitol grounds, the Martin Luther King, Jr. Memorial, and The New York Botanical Garden. He’s interested in the role of plants in the future of our cities and calls himself a “horticultural futurist fascinated by the intersection of wild plants and human culture.” He encourages gardeners to use more native plants in their gardens and to plant more daringly, loosening up the landscape at every opportunity.
Flatbush Gardener, Twitter @xrisfg
From tutorials on how to divide ornamental grasses to a discourse on where he’s been getting his plants for the past three decades (and why the plants he seeks and where he obtains them has changed over time), this long-time gardener, who lives and gardens in Flatbush, Brooklyn, is a proponent of native-plant gardening. Each city garden he’s owned has posed its own challenges and lessons, and it all makes for a very interesting blog.
Paul Hervey-Brookes of the UK says he’s always been interested in plants and gardens, an interest that grew into a deep fascination with and later the study of horticulture and landscape design. He’s worked in Italy, restoring a Renaissance garden, and France (for Baron de Rothschild), creates show gardens, and gives lectures on plants and garden management. His blog includes garden design ideas that can be taken, applied and adapted for any garden.
Greensparrow Gardens, Twitter: @gsgardens
Joseph Tychonievich, author of Plant Breeding for the Home Gardener, is currently working on his second book, on rock gardening, at his home in Michigan. Named one of the “six young horticulturalists who are helping to shape how America gardens” by Organic Gardening Magazine, Joseph says his interest in plants and gardening started early, when as a young child he’d ask for plants and seeds for his birthday.
Tom Stuart-Smith, Twitter: @tomatlandscape
Landscape designer Tom Stuart-Smith of London has an international reputation and has won multiple awards for his garden designs. He’s worked on large public gardens as well as private ones, including his own, about which he says: “Making a garden for yourself is very different from doing it for someone else. So much of the pleasure is to do with the coaxing and tending, the daily observance of small details and the accumulation of change over the years.”
Garden Rant, Twitter: @allenwbush
Horticulturist Allen Bush, Director of Special Projects at Jelitto Perennial Seeds, is also one of the voices at Garden Rant. The man from Louisville, Kentucky, who introduced Stokesia Klaus Jelitto and the sweetshrub Calycanthus Michael Lindsey to the U.S. market writes posts about everything from marketing plants and gardening to Millennials as the Baby Boomers move on to how some Kentucky gardens are under siege by armadillos.