As we open our eyes to the dawn of a new year, everything in the world seems fresh and new. It’s time to nurture new ideas and new wishes. When we look out into the world of gardening bloggers, we discover many people just like us, who love nothing more than to sink their hands into the earth and watch a seedling sprout. They love it so much that they’ve made a career out of it! Just as they’ve grown beautiful gardens, they’ve used their creative talents to grow beautiful blogs, too. Here’s a seed bank of gardening wisdom to get your ideas sprouting and blooming in the new year!
Blogs are a personal way to get in touch with these gardeners, share their journey, and read their insights.
Hailing from Ontario, Canada, Melissa J. Will is the queen of frugal gardening. After starting as a complete beginner gardener less than ten years ago, she turned her piece of dirt into an abundant flower and vegetable garden. Now, she shows other beginner gardeners how to grow a lot with very little knowledge and resources. And she does so with characteristic panache and humor!
Another colorful blog for beginners, Gayla Trail’s website features articles on gardening, DIY crafts, garden recipes, and personal musings. An accomplished author and photographer, she has a knack for explaining the basics of gardening in inspiring ways, and she’s always expanding her articles in new directions. You will find a treasure trove of advice for growing vegetables, flowers, herbs, plants, and how to cook, preserve, and enjoy them!
This is a blog for all of the bird-loving gardeners out there. Taking you way beyond the bird feeder, it focuses on all the ways that your garden can create a habitat for birds. It describes plants and flowers you can plant for your avian friends. It details the flowers that attract insects that will then attract birds. It also tells about birdbaths, bird feeders, birdhouses, natural ponds, and even goes into depth on habitats of particular birds, like owls, orioles, juncos, and cardinals—to name a few—and what you can grow for them!
The gardener behind this project has an inspiring story that’s especially relevant in the current times. Fourteen years ago, she was struck down by a mysterious illness. Almost completely debilitated for a year, it was her time in the garden, at first only five minutes per day, that began her recovery. Over the course of nine years, her gardening helped her recover her full strength. Her blog shares all of the gardening knowledge she learned along the way, and the new tips she continues to learn. You’ll find articles about flower gardening, houseplants, growing food, and homegrown recipes—all in a creative, DIY style!
Root simple is a practical, common-sense blog peppered with some intriguing curiosities. The focus is on low-tech, DIY home projects that include gardening but also go way beyond—into foraging, saving seeds, embroidery, mounting a TV on your wall, and more! Browsing the archives, you’ll find lots of practical advice, as well as a few humorous rants, some amateur news reports, and even a poem or two, all from a pair of avid urban homesteaders in California!
A Way to Garden creator Margaret Roach is a heavy-hitter in the garden blogging world. Her accomplishments include several books, such as and i shall have some peace there (2011), which she wrote after leaving her life as a writer in New York City to start a small farm upstate. Her articles are conveniently organized into groupings based on topic—ranging from groundcovers to perennials to vines and vegetables—which makes it easy to browse her archive. She also shares information in podcasts that you can enjoy while you’re working away in the garden!
Amy Stross, the creator of Tenth Acre Farm, brings permaculture to the suburbs. Permaculture is the ever-growing idea of creating a “permanent agriculture.” In other words, it’s the attempt to develop perennial agricultural systems, or food gardens, that don’t require any plowing or replanting. Instead, they return each year like a natural forest, except one that’s abundant with human food. Stross’s blog naturally shares her knowledge on the topic, focusing on permaculture tricks you can use at home. This blog from Ohio is a good starting place for thought-provoking and view-shifting takes on gardening from a permaculture angle!
This trio of garden bloggers offers a wealth of straightforward knowledge. They can refresh your know-how on the basics, like planting bulbs, or enlighten you with more advanced tips, like attracting beneficial insects. You’ll find many insights on edibles, ornamentals, container gardens, DIY projects, and even cold-season gardening. Their blog is one to keep an eye on for inspiration throughout the season!
Though she claims to be a misfit, this blogger fits right in with anyone who has a passion for growing organic food and improving their suburban homestead. She focuses on the basics of growing vegetables and teaches about raising backyard chickens and bees, preserving food, and home brewing. Giving useful gardening insights, as well as inspiration to live a homesteader lifestyle, she’s another gardener to follow in 2021!
As we’re toiling away in solitude, it’s easy to forget that there are so many people out there doing what we love. Blogs are a personal way to get in touch with these gardeners, share their journey, and read their insights. Many good bloggers live around the country, but there’s no shortage of kindred spirits right here in Chicagoland and northern Illinois. If you ever want to bond with local gardeners, visit our nurseries. And if you ever need more gardening inspiration for the cold months, don’t forget to check out our Winter Garden Guide!
Platt Hill Nursery is Chicago’s premier garden center and nursery.