Gardening: Magazines to cozy up with during the wintertime

Nancy Szerlag
Special to The Detroit News

This story has been updated to correct the name of the American Horticultural Society and the group’s offerings.

Nothing warms the cockles of my heart on a cold snowy day more than a warm cup of tea and a gardening magazine. But, sadly, they are almost impossible to buy in winter. Last week, I checked the racks at my local grocery stores and there were none to be had. Many publishers no longer sell their magazines in retail outlets. That’s why subscriptions to gardening magazines make such great gifts for anyone who loves digging in the dirt. They are a gift that keeps on giving. 

Subscribing to garden magazines ensures easy access to them.

Here’s a list of those you will find on my coffee table.  

Garden Gate: Holiday gift special $10/6 issues. (800) 978-9631, A good choice for new gardeners and experienced green thumbers alike. Contains no advertising to distract the reader. Available only by subscription.  A new revamp gives better quality photos and print along with expanded editorial.  Covers the gamut from houseplants to edibles as well as containers, landscapes and, of course, great plants. A new fave for me.   

Country Gardens: $9.99/4 issues. Limited time offer. (800) 677-0484, A 10 when it comes to inspiration and visiting the lighter side of gardening, this award-winning mag is a great read on a cold winter day. How-to, what’s new, garden crafts and cool gardens – there’s something here for everyone.

Fine Gardening: $29.95/6 issues. (866) 325-2495 or go to Geared toward avid gardeners and inspired beginners, it’s a must-read for those who love gardening and want to stay on top of new plants and hot trends.  I especially like the pronunciation guide for featured plants. 

The American Gardener:  $35/6 issues. (703-768-5700), Subscription includes membership in the American Horticultural Society. Geared toward the environmentally caring gardener, it’s a must-read for serious gardenistas. Other bennies includes free admission or discounts on seeds and other gardening products.

The Michigan Gardener: $13/6 issues.  Distributed free to most garden centers in the metro Detroit area, MG features articles written by local experts. A map showing locations of great garden centers in southeastern Michigan is priceless for plant geeks who love the thrill of the hunt. A subscription to MG is a great gift for those who spend summers up north. 

Birds & Blooms: $9/ 6 issues. A great gift for those who love birds, butterflies, pollinators and beautiful gardens and landscapes. Also included are tips and techniques on vegetable and flower gardening.   

The publishers of most of these magazines also publish free online newsletters and blogs, so do check them out on their websites.  

Nancy Szerlag is a master gardener and Metro Detroit freelance writer. Her column appears Fridays in Homestyle. To ask her a question go to and click on Ask Nancy. You can also read her previous columns at detroitnewscom/homestyle.