British Gardening Magazines – Which One Do You Buy and Why?


I have recently cancelled my subscription to Garden News because it has become (for me) too predictable and run -of-the-mill.  I originally started it because of our dear Terry Walton, who isn’t involved with it at present, and I am casting about for a replacement.  This question was prompted by the fact that I notice in Cuttings today, that Amateur Gardener is offering a One Day Only subscription at half price – and I thought – ask everyone for their critical evaluation of the gardening publications they take – and then make up your mind.  I want to know about new things, developments in seed breeding, scientific stuff that the ordinary gardener can use written in language I can understand, as well as all the seasonal stuff.  So I’d be very grateful for your recommendations, and any comments you might like to make about the magazines you take.  I picked the photograph above as being a modern representation of The Green Man – and thought you might find it as quirky as I do.

30 Responses

  1. Hayley says:

    I love this Green Man Sheila, what a novel idea to pretty his beard with flowers, and the quizzical look, wonderful! :yahoo:
    Being a member of the RHS I have the Garden mag every month which I like but it is RHS flavoured. Sometimes I’ll buy the Gardener’s World mag in the supermarket to thumb through with coffee and a cake as it’s an easier read and I was bought the subscription for that one year for my birthday. Ironically when it was delivered every month it sometimes had less appeal, still can’t quite work out why! :unsure:

  2. Beanstew says:

    I am a member of RHS and get The Garden, which has some interesting articles, but have to say I have also found them ‘behind the curve’ unless you live in the Home Counties. And I am niggled that although they collect subscriptions from all over Britain, their northernmost Show is Harrogate. The last straw was possibly the email I got from them last year about conserving water and drought tolerant plants. :wacko: :wacko: :wacko:

  3. gertie says:

    I cancelled a year or so back too Sheila…just found I wasn’t taking time to read them. Now have RHS mag, like Hayley, and sometimes dip into that …and yes , that drought comment was a gas!
    Not sure about the Green Man; intriguing but spooky :wacko: HAND :rose: :rose:

  4. Bill says:

    Have been a member of the RHS for 49 years this year (might get next year free), to me the Society magazine contains all that I want from a gardening journal. My membership at £46 covers me for 12 editions of The Garden, (newsagent price for twelve editions £51), I have admission to all of the RHS Gardens for Pat and myself for twelve months we also get the benefit of half price admission to most of the bigger gardens in the country at certain times of the year. I have use of the Extensive library both in London and at the various gardens of the RHS. Any garden queries I have are usually dealt with by phone, so for me the RHS does it all. I would point out that I am not on a commission basis !

    One other magazine that I do take and would recommend is a publication called ‘The Country Gardener’, this is a regionalised (is this a word?) magazine issued quarterly, it is free from most Garden Centres. Local growing articles together with local adverts all in all a good mag.

    Finally, your Green Man image certainly is good but not as good as the pub on the Somerset Levels that sells the most wicked Scrumpy you will ever drink. :good:

    • Beanstew says:

      I will go looking for “The Country Gardener” Bill – but a wee bit concerned that being “regionalised” might mean not printed for Scotland. I do appreciate that with a much smaller population we are not considered financially viable as a venue by the RHS, and that many of the commercial concerns participating at shows would decline to participate – but I do think that they should have a garden up here to study our particular conditions – which, if you are unlucky, are on their way south with the jet stream. Possibly then their advice may become more apposite for northern regions.

      • gonewest says:

        We get that round here too. It’s usually free to pick up by the tills. I tend to find it in farm shops more than the garden centres. Maybe that’s because it goes quicker from the garden centres whereas the stock hangs around a bit longer in the farm shops. I think you might be able to pay a fairly nominal amount to have it sent direct to your home if you like.

  5. dandlyon says:

    For five years I subscribed to Kitchen Garden after this time it became obvious they all sang from the same hymn sheet.Nothing new ,advice that in many cases was out of date.,things like double digging I would like to bet Gibbon is the only one on clickers still double digging.Nothing wrong with that but now there are so many alternatives,as there is with growing techniques ,this is what we want to know.
    If you have a local gardening club this is the place to get good knowledge and all the latest developments .Guest speakers really at the top of their chosen subject this year we have,Growing veg for show,Spring flowering bulbs,Preparing veg for show,Proper pruning practices,Compost growing medium,Wine from the hedgerows.Top fruit growing, A wildlife garden for all seasons,all for £3 a year and free grub :good:

    • VegVamp says:

      I agree Tony, interestingly there is a very good article in Grow Your Own mag this month on the “no-dig” method, written by Charles Dowding.

      I’ve been getting Grow Your Own mag for a wee while and quite like it, though like most others it does tend to repeat eventually.

      • Beanstew says:

        Unfortunately there isn’t a gardening club locally Tony – it was one of the first questions I asked when I moved down here – and a question I would have been better to ask even earlier. It was why I joined the Dear Departed, to ease gardening loneliness – which it did. There is nothing better than a whole roomful of people with the same obsession, all nattering their heads off, is there?
        I think I must do some serious market research, and buy a different publication each time to see if I can find one I like – or do without

        • dandlyon says:

          Sheila Thursday night we are forming a local branch of the National Vegetable Society,something new to me so checked their web site they do list some shows in Scotland so it may be worth a look.It would not be hard to guess the chairman Mickyp where he finds the time and energy from I have no idea

          • Beanstew says:

            Had a look Tony, and nearest Show is Dundee about 70 miles away – but handy for visiting my son. Have sent email asking for knowledge of any meetings in my vicinity – fingers crossed.

  6. Vistamoraira says:

    For about the last 4 years I’ve subscribed to Kitchen Garden and as I never tend to throw them away, I’ve got an every growing mountain of them. To be honest though, this month’s March issue isn’t a lot different to last year’s or the year before that. Think it’s time to look elsewhere.

  7. Walt says:

    Why bother ? They all go down the same road to nowhere. All the creic can be had here for free. :yes:

  8. Tuthersue says:

    I pick up AmateaurGardening Magazine every week when I`m in the supermarket. Not only are there free seeds for about 10 months of the year but its a good read too. Always topical, tips,product testing,veg,fruit and flower gardening and every week an article about gardens opening for the Yellow book which may tempt you to visit or give yu great ideas for your own plot. :rose:

  9. karenp says:

    I don’t buy any gardening magazines, do pick up the freebies at my local farm shop when they,re available, find this site is what I like to ponder over now with my cup of tea and bicky if there’s any left (grown up sons !!!!) :-)

  10. Veggiepatch says:

    I’m going to pick up Grow your own this month as there are articles in there I’m interested in. I don’t subscribe to gardening mags as they are much-a-muchness but I do subscribe to Land love mag which for us ladies covers everything from arts n crafts, gardening, cookery, traditional craft workers, home stuff plus country and wildlife and country traditions.

  11. Veggiepatch says:

    I much prefer to chat to someone knowledgeable than read an article which with even my basic experience and knowledge I find either inaccurate or laughable! Like you say much more knowledge on here than any half cop mag however well meaning the information.

  12. Beanstew says:

    That was interesting VP, especially as I’ve never heard of the magazine Land, and will go looking for it. Can never have too many recipes either! I used to do quite a lot of craft work too – but think my children now have about as many potential heirlooms as they can cope with.

  13. roly says:

    Ive had many garden mags over the years and found they just repeat themselves over a period of time the only two we have now is the RHS mag that i do read if Ive got nothing better to do its a bit up market for a humble person like me

    and Which Gardening that ime getting a bit tired of my daughter usually ends up with both i can’t be bothered at my time of life to go organic so anyone trying to convert me with mags devoted to organic growing is wasting there time

    i used to take gardeners world when Geoff Hamilton was around but that finished many years ago i have to say Ive learnt more of what i need to know from asking proper gardeners on this site

    i have very little time for most of the modern day garden presenters and writers because they always choose the easy bits theres never much time devoted to crop growing

    i know a gentleman who wrote a book on gardening that had never picked a spade up in his life and his garden looks like a jungle

    so my garden mag is definitely reading the comments made on this site no frills down to earth gardeners giving sound advise together with other interesting topics that make very interesting reading and long may it continue :good:

  14. Walt says:

    Right on Roly. This site is about as good as it gets. There are not too many of us at present but that will change I am sure. There are some very expert gardeners here and experts on other things too. Unlike the ‘ Jackanory ‘ mags you can ask for advice and you will receive answers PDQ. :good:

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