How to Recommend Great Gardening Websites: To recommend yours, or a great gardening website you know- please use the comments box below, and simply provide us with a brief description of why the website should be included, with a link (within the next two weeks). The definitive list will be published finally in mid August and released to the press wires globally. We know we’ve already uncovered some real treasures, and have probably also missed many more – so please get recommending!
Probably the most popular allotment (or veg growing/homesteading if you’re across the pond) website in the UK. Old school style of loads of community action and content. They know their stuff these guys, and a bit like an allotment itself - not always done for beauty, but a load of delicious content going on there. Worth a visit for your fruit and veggie questions
Away to garden
This entire site is written and maintained by Margaret Roach. Margaret is one of the few gardeners/horticulturalists who also loves technology. It shows. In her own words "I love technology, and particularly the platform called WordPress, and I consult with a few select clients a year to help them enjoy the digital medium as much as I do". Margaret has been writing about gardening for over 25 years. So she knows her stuff. Greatsite.
Well it's the BBC isn't it. It's well done, thorough. The plant finder's brilliant - as is the blog. Informative, and written by some stella people. To find criticism - it's a little conventional. Nothing wrong with that I hear you say? Perhaps not. We like it. Though please update/clear out some of your older pages. Some legacy stuff is clearly hanging around that shouldn't be
True gardeners are likely to care deeply about the bees. And Phil Chandler's site, Biobees, is the web destination for anyone interested in natural beekeeping. Natural beekeeping is where you keep bees really for their sake, and honey is a nice by-product (as opposed to keeping bees as a honey factory). This site has enormous traffic. Definitely one to watch. Check out MyGardenSchool's natural beekeeping online course.
Blotanical is one of the only gardening websites (apart from www.my-garden-school.com) that can honestly live up to its claim of serving a global audience. It's a true gem of the online gardening community - a gardening portal for bloggers, where you can meet gardening bloggers from Japan to Jersey. It also always has daily activity, more sites joining, and more avid gardening bloggers commenting and welcoming them to the virtual world of gardening enthusiasts. One minor thought - you've been promising version 2 - coming soon - for about a year now! Cmon Blotanical - we love you so can't wait much longer for V2
Cold Climate Gardening
This site is part blog part website, and is a lynchpin of the gardening sites on the web. It's run by veteran American blogger, Kathy Purdy, Cold Climate Gardening is a must-read for anyone finding the UK’s miserable weather a serious hindrance. It seems to make itself relevant in fact for anyone in a cold climate, with a sustainable in-depth knowledge of plant species, and a tasty mix of commercial and academic articles.
I was one of Crocus's earliest customers. I have to say they have never failed me. And it's many years I've been ordering plants from Crocus now. They have a really good selection, know their stuff about plants, and always deliver on what they promise. Yes they are slightly more premium pricing than if you went to the garden centre - but frankly have a better selection than many, and also - if you're 'time poor' and live rurally like I do - I'm happy to pay for the convenience (and excitement!) of having my plants delivered. What more could you want. Best pure play internet plant retailer on the web in my opinion. When are you going global Crocus?!
Dave's Garden is one of the greatest and most visited gardening community sites in the world. It's site statistics (monthly) probably say it all. 2.8 Million Visits. 1.9 Million Unique Visitors. 12.8 Million Pageviews. 447,450+ Registered Members. 6,000 New Registrations Added. 149k+ Posts. DavesGarden.com attracts over 2 million passionate enthusiasts, the opinion and thought leaders in the gardening category, each month who generate over 12 million pageviews.
David Austin Roses
David Austin Roses is in here because they are simply the best rose growers in the world. And whilst the website nav has a bit to be desired if we're honest, this site is rich with information if you can find your way through. It's also trying really hard to be global. People love roses all over the world, and this undoubtedly has the potential to be the number one destination for rose lovers on the web. Keep it up David Austin. We're honoured to have Michael Marriott on our MyGardenSchool team, running the MyGardenSchool Online Roses Course.
Garden History Matters
Although probably not one of the most heavily trafficked of our sites, Garden History Matters is an important site. The mantra of Toby Musgrave who runs it, is "Listen up. Garden History Matters. It does and these are. The aim and hope of this blog is to 'up' the profile of this fascinating and diverse subject. And along the way to share some of the remarkable, quirky, bizarre and human stories that makes garden history so enjoyable"
Garden-NZ was set up in November 1999, and is now the largest garden website in New Zealand. Each week they talk to over 73,000+ gardeners who want information about gardening. Don't think just because you're not located there - you can't learn from this one. It's also well commercialised, with advertising (but not too intrusive), and good regular content updates
Although it's not the prettiest gardening site we like, Garden organic is one of the richest gardening sites in terms of truly useful content - especially when it comes to growing food. It has almost anything you might need to know - including a useful events diary. It's also a very active, and interactive site. You can feel a buzzing community, full of integrity. Rather than it just being a static site. It also has an attractive international feel about it.
Garden Rant is a blog really rather than a website (well what's the difference - surely a blog is a website - well yes er we'll tackle semantics later). Anyway - its full of spike and energy, with a healthy suspicion of the horticultural industry. The team of writers have opinions on everything and clearly have a raging passion for plants. It's fun, with earthy undertones of a deep understanding of true gardening and an earnest concern for our planet. There are four writers and its been heavily covered by the US media over the last few years. Nice n ranty on all manner of gardening topics.
We like the focus on education the NGA has. The US is a world leader in this respect - and we particularly respect their approach to community gardening and organics. For more than 35 years, the National Gardening Association (NGA) has been working to renew and sustain the essential connection between people, plants, and the environment. As a nonprofit leader in plant-based education, their vision is to make available free educational plant-based materials, grants, and resources that speak to young minds, educators, youth and community organizations, and the general gardening public in five core areas; education, health and wellness, environmental stewardship, community. development, and home gardening. Worthy. We like.
A stella garden design site which really represents the magazine - but online. Covers a vast array of topics, ranging from garden design books, tours, holidays and planting advice
Gardeners click is one of the UK's web community gardening sites. (as in it's a community site; not for community gardens). It's well laid out, has a friendly lot on there and doesn't seem overly concerned with commercial stuff or industry politics which is nice.
Well presented site, with almost everything you could want - Although very UK focused. Things we particularly like are job of the week, and the feedback on the forums. Also the galleries. Things we're not so keen on - the funny fold down adverts - they're a bit intrusive. Overall though, very professional and a good visit for beginners through to pros.
Garden Guides' mission is to be the best online resource for gardening enthusiasts. This of course is a well coveted space - but Its been around for many years, due to a good provision of gardening information, including gardening how-to's by top garden writers, plant fact sheets and guide sheets, seasonal tips and garden techniques, garden recipes, and more. In their words: "Garden Guides' crack team features gardening enthusiasts just like you, with differing shades of green thumbs from pale to dark green. Some of us barely maintain cacti, while others frolic in verdant gardens that are the envy of the neighborhood". A good all-rounder. Also check out the seed catalogue if you're US based.
Gardenvisit.com was launched in the Dotcom Era (1998) by Tom Turner (MA, Dip LA, MLI), a landscape architect and garden historian based in London, UK. The Gardenvisit.com website was re-launched in 2007 with over 10,000 pages of text and 10,000 images . The site links information about places to information about garden and landscape design: history, philosophy, styles, construction, materials, design methods, planting and designers. The Garden Finder provides details of places to visit throughout the world, some in public ownership and others in private ownership. It's an academic site with a friendly style. And it's edited by Henry Turner (Tom's son) - who is a good guy.
It is GardenWeb boasts forums, garden exchanges, articles, contests, a plant database and some of the Web's largest garden-related glossary and online catalogs. It is also home to the Calendar of Garden Events, The Rosarian, Wild-Flowers and sister sites in Europe and Australia. Their aim is to provide the most comprehensive gardening site on the Web, "combining the creative use of interactivity with imaginative content and a user-friendly interface". A favorite section is gardening from seed and seed saving. GardenWeb serves more than 20 million page impressions a month to over one million visitors.
By some kind of serendipity I met Richard Reynolds 'The Guerrilla Gardener' before he set up Guerrilla Gardening. Weirdly he was working in advertising when I was working at eBay. Even then - we somehow struck up a conversation about gardening. He is a one off - totally engaging and passionate about changing the world through Guerrilla Gardening. And what you see is what you get - this a great site, and a fantastic example of how the internet can be used to bring vast communities of like minded gardeners together to change the planet. Guerrilla Gardening is waging a war of stealth against the neglect of public space as a place to grow plants. Here, you can learn about the art of seedbombing, get involved with illicit gardening projects in your community and read about the admirable people defying the status quo (in a nice way) across the globe and planting up any patch of orphaned land they can find. Definitely up there with the best gardening websites in the world
The Hillier Garden Centre website has quietly been making great strides for garden centre websites. In general, garden centres can be a little behind the pack in terms of online retail. But this one championed by Chelsea Flower Show Gold Medal winner Andy McIndoe, is embracing innovation fast, and definitely one to watch. Also of course Andy does several first class MyGardenSchool courses (shrubs, trees, lawns), as does Hillier's Pip Bensley (gardenng with climbers and clematis).
Ink and Penstemon
This is a gardening blog rather than a pure website. We like it though. And we make the rules of this list - so it's in! Observations on plants and gardening from the Great Basin steppe in the American West. Regular posting, a loyal following and great plant knowledge.
John Brookes' website doesn't do justice to the volume of incredible design work he's achieved over several decades. This is just a taster for what one of the world's most acclaimed garden designers is capable of. We are also privileged to have John as a MyGardenSchool tutor for our Garden Design Course
If you haven't visited the new 18-metre-high Rhizotron and Xstrata Treetop Walkway, you can experience a virtual peep on the Kew website. Other features include web pages of Kew's 19 science teams (the Madagascar page is worth visiting for the baobab trees), details of the 70,000 plant specimens in spirit and Decimus Burton's 4,880-sq-metre Temperate House from 1860. It's not a bad site at all for gathering information and navigation too - a good events calendar and regularly updated. They've also go their social networking act together quite nicely and have a good gardening app, as gardening apps go.
Kitchen Gardeners International
Now this is a nice little site. Another truly international one. They are a nonprofit community of 24,000 people from 100 countries who are "growing our own food and helping others to do the same." An online community for people who love food that’s seeking to empower them to practice self-reliance through the advancement of kitchen gardens, and sustainable food systems. Kitchen Gardeners International features forums, recipes, blogs and the ability for people to gather on a local level--either online or in person--for the exchange of information, networking, goods, tools, and coordinate events. We Like
Landscape Architects Network
This is a good quality network site for landscape architects and garden designers. Aesthetically a beautiful site. It acts as a hub of information for the best Landscape Architects in the world. It shows how other design professions relate to Landscape Architecture, putting Landscape architecture at the centre of it all. Promoting events as media associates to various professional organisations. Promoting the significant, the bizarre and the wonderful all relating to Landscape Architecture.
This one's for all you landscapers and designers out there. It's primarily a British site, a thriving community sharing all their voices, and tips to survive in these challenging times. Talking of Voices - it's run by Philip Voice. He's a goodun. Enjoys a good rant against the establishment from time to time which we like.
This is a great idea by Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall (writes the River Cottage books/TV prog). Landshare brings together people who have a passion for home-grown food, connecting those who have land to share with those who need land for cultivating food. Since its launch through River Cottage in 2009 it has grown into a thriving community of more than 55,000 growers, sharers and helpers. It’s for people who: Want to grow their own fruit and veg but don’t have anywhere to do it. Have a spare bit of land they’re prepared to share. Can help in some way – from sharing knowledge and lending tools to helping out on the plot itself. Support the idea of freeing up more land for growing. Are already growing and want to join in the community.
Lovethegarden is a brand driven site. It's nicely presented - and very product focussed. In their words: "As lawn and garden experts, we're dedicated to providing you with the best products and advice from the leading brands in garden care.
That’s us. The world's first virtual gardening school.
National Gardening Association of America
Very well written and organised site, simply written in a progressive and non patronising way. For more than 35 years, NGA has been a trusted source of free information for gardeners and educators. NGA's mission is to To promote home, school, and community gardening as a means to renew and sustain the essential connections between people, plants, and the environment.
Noel Kingsbury's site oozes character through its writing. He's undoubtedly one of the world's most acclaimed gardening writers (having written countless books on gardening and horticulture), but we've not chosen Noel's website just because of this. Or because he's a MyGardenSchool tutor either (Perennial Planting Course). But he's the only person we've come across who manages to pull off a quirky 'gardening soap blog' and also because his scientific approach to gardening, combined with an artistic eye, gives us a gratifying academic slant on a subject that is too often trivialised.
We couldn't not mention Piet Oudolf's website. Even though the site itself is pretty minimalist, the work of this plantsman is so sought after, that the site is visited by 1000s looking for a glimpse of some of Piet's work. A very visual site.
Perennial Meadows is in here for a number of reasons - (inspite of Michael King being one of our latest MyGardenSchool tutors - running an online course on planting with grasses). We like this site because Michael is one of the leading lights in horticulture who is pioneering sharing his work on ebooks. He also has a pretty good blog, which gives us a good insight into planting, especially from a Dutch perspective
Planting for the Planet
This site is one of the most progressive on planting I've seen. It really looks at the macro picture of gardens in relation to the rest of the planet. Thoughtful, insightful articles with masters such as Piet Oudolf and Mien Ruys. The site itself is also beautiful. Most gardening sites are somewhat more shambolic, or at most pretty, but not as well designed and well thought out as this one. Features great videos and masterly photography. If you haven't been - I can't recommend it enough for inspiration. A must visit for all wannabe garden designers.
Royal Horticultural Society (RHS)
If you're British - and into gardening, you can't ignore the RHS (if you're not - you've probably never heard of them - but definitely worth a poke around if you're in a cold climate). The Royal Horticultural Society. Despite a bit of a crusty reputation (many people are doing a good job at convincing me this is on the change), they do some great stuff. And actually I'm not sure the website always reflects some of the greatness going on. The Royal Horticultural Society is the UK's leading gardening charity whose purpose is to promote horticulture and gardening. While aimed at gardeners in the UK the site offers blogs and forums, articles, and an amazing database of plants that any gardener can take advantage of.
Sarah Raven has grown in popularity, especially with UK gardeners over the last few years. Sarah became well known after writing several gardening books and also for holding course at her farm in East Sussex and around the country. Most people I know admire her style in planting design, and choice of plants in particular. Although not always the best value, her e-commerce and catalogue sales also have a good reputation.
Shoot Gardening is a thriving community, essentially of planties and gardening enthusiasts who have access to a huge plant database. Here you can problem solve all your plant woes - customers can basically identify a plant, and receive information on when and how to prune and propagate it. They build up a personal list of plants and refer online to their own month-by-month programme of what they should be doing in their garden. A neat idea - and founder Nicola Gammon is conscientious about looking after customers and has an increasing presence in the gardening social network sphere
The Enduring Gardener
Stephanie Donaldson is quite a hero of the organic gardening world - and this is her well kept blog. Stephanie is gardening editor to Country Living magazine, as well as being a contributor to many other mags, a prolific writer of many world class books (including one with Prince Charles) and she's also a MyGardenSchool tutor for the Organic Gardening Course. This is a friendly blog, with and intellectual feel about it.
The Garden Museum
Three exhibitions each year explore the making of British gardens, and a programme of over 30 talks and interviews celebrates heroes and heroines from the forgotten plant-hunters and gardeners of the past to the designers and writers in fashion today.This website gives you a glimpse into the uniquely British love affair with gardens - but really it's a trailblazer for the museum which is worth a visit.
The Garden Network
A good community site if you want to meet other gardeners. The Garden Network has been described as "...a networking website that looks set to become the 'Facebook' of the Horticulture world." I'm not sure this is true - as from what I can see - Facebook is actually doing a pretty good job at collecting horticultural and gardening pages and communities on its own! However I have a soft spot for The Garden Network, and Tim Matcham who runs it - is always a friendly emailer and willing to help you through the network if you need it.
The Horticultural Channel
The Horticultural Channel.tv is a television micro-channel which is broadcast on Sky, Freesat and available to watch on this website. Broadcast on Sundays at 9:00am. They are currently attracting approximately 100,000 viewers per episode. Programmes can also be downloaded via iTunes. The Horticultural Channel focuses on amateur gardeners and allotment holders throughout the UK. Giving practical advice on how to grow vegetables, fruit, herbs and flowers plus how to attract wildlife into your garden.
The International Plant Names Index
OK so this is a true heavyweight. IPNI is the product of a collaboration between The Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, The Harvard University Herbaria, and the Australian National Herbarium. It's a The International Plant Names Index (IPNI)- a database of the names and associated basic bibliographical details of seed plants, ferns and lycophytes. Its goal is to eliminate the need for repeated reference to primary sources for basic bibliographic information about plant names. The data are freely available and are gradually being standardized and checked. IPNI will be a dynamic resource, depending on direct contributions by all members of the botanical community. Nice
The Oxford College of Garden Design
This site is the sister site to MyGardenSchool. The Oxford College of Garden Design is widely regarded as one of the top contemporary garden design schools in the world. Thepostgraduate level garden design diploma course is internationally renowned and one of the only garden design courses in the world to benefit from video based lectures, allowing students to revisit lessons on-line time and again.
ThinkinGardens is what it says. It's for people who like to think a little bit. About gardens and gardening. By its own admission - it's a collection of challenging, entertaining and exciting garden writing, all contributed for free by some of our very best garden writers. It used to be funded by the RHS I believe. But more fool them - I think this is no more. A valuable site that should be supported. It's edited by Anne Wareham, who I don't think would mind me saying, isn't adverse to challenging the norm. Lots of refreshing food (and plants!) for thought here.
Thompson and Morgan
Impressive fulfilment of seeds for US, UK, Canada and an impressive list of other international countries. Word on the street says, that Thompson and Morgan seeds have a higher germination rate than those bought locally.
Urban Organic Gardener
We thought it was important to include a city gardener in this list, and as well as Alex Mitchel Mitchell our London expert. lUrban Organic Gardener is the brainchild of Brooklyn native Mike Lieberman. Mike gives practical container gardening tips to grow your own food so you can avoid toxic pesticides, eat more healthily and not feel limited by your lack of experience and space. As an individual who had no previous gardening experience or training, he's been able to turn the little space in and around his apartments into vegetable gardens. On his 2×3 fire escape in New York City, he was able to grow cherry tomatoes, peppers, kale, swiss chard, lettuces, oregano, mint and more. Since then he moved to Los Angeles and now has a 13×4 balcony garden where he gets a steady supply of non-chemically treated greens. A great blogsite to forage around for inspiration, and Mike will answer questions personally if you comment. Mike also has over 28 thousand facebook followers.
You Grow Girl
We love this site. And it's good looking It breaks away from all the stereotypical gardening Q and A stuff that is traditionally churned out on many more traditional gardening websites. You Grow Girl™ was launched by Gayla Trail in February 2000 and has grown into a thriving online community that speaks to a new kind of gardener, seeking to redefine the modern world relationship to plants. This contemporary, laid-back approach to organic gardening places equal importance on environmentalism, style, affordability, art, and humour
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