Thursday, November 18, 2010

Fifty Pages A Month Of Solid Gardening Advice: Garden Gate Is Worthwhile!

The Good: Professional gardening advice, Great photography, Convenient binder holes, No ads!
The Bad: Awesome website almost negates the point of publishing this!
The Basics: A surprisingly good magazine, Garden Gate offers affordable, practical solutions to making a garden beautiful and full!

There are few magazines I actually find myself enthusiastically praising these days that it might seem understated that I gush about Garden Gate magazine, but only rate it as “average.” For those unfamiliar with my magazine reviews, I have real stringent standards and as a result, there are very few I actually recommend. In fact, Garden Gate ended up being a close call for me because their own website includes all of the magazine’s content, which makes it hard for me to justify the killing of trees to print it. That, in combination with my generally finding most magazines contain information readily available on-line leads me to hands-down pan most periodicals.

So, that I recommend Garden Gate is pretty big. In truth, as a gardener who no longer has a huge yard, Garden Gate made me nostalgic for the space I used to have. Filled with bright photographs, Garden Gate is a fifty page monthly magazine which focuses on gardens and gardening tips. Rather interestingly, this glossy magazine comes with holes in the spine so it may be placed in a three-ring binder. Best of all, Garden Gate features an advertisement free magazine, so one gets fifty pages of substance, without being bogged down with wasted pages of product advertisements.

Instead, each issue has regular columns on practical gardening, garden transformations (Before & After), best flowers for the month (Top Picks), garden designs, test garden observations, and recommendations from the editor. The test garden observations are actually fascinating as the magazine investigates common problems (overwatering, underwatering) or occurrences (animal visits) and reports on how making changes in their test garden affected the phenomenon.

Then, each month, there are about six feature articles all about plants and how to grow them. I checked out the February 2010 issue for my review and they were focused on roses, spring flowers and how to save money while still gardening. Each and every article is written with simple, direct diction which is both precise and descriptive. Readers are walked through step by step on each and every process that is described, so this is a great magazine for novices to use to build their garden.

As well, because the magazine is oriented toward gardening well on a budget, the advice the magazine offers is often practical and smart in very simple ways. So, for example, in gardening on a budget, the magazine recommends buying cheaper watering products because even the best spring leaks and that the best way to cut down on tool expenses is by not losing them, so a good basket/tote is recommended.

And the results from the magazine are extraordinary, as the beautiful photography attests. In fact, the only real negative about this magazine is that the whole thing is on-line so conservationist gardeners might be dissuaded from picking it up in print. Still worthwhile!

For other magazines reviewed by me, please check out:
Renovation Style
Rolling Stone
Playboy: Women Of Starbucks


For other book and magazine reviews, please visit my index page for a concise list of all I have reviewed by clicking here!

© 2010 W.L. Swarts. May not be reprinted without permission.
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