RESOURCES for GARDENERS
+ Personalized Garden & Botany Advice
Ask the Experts at NYBG -- Plant experts at the New York Botanical Garden answer plant ID and horticulture questions via email, tweet, and facebook messages. Send them a message and they'll personally help you out, for free. This site also leads you to many other resources on home gardening, from planting schedules and cultural practices to design tips, pest & disease FAQs, and beyond.
Mr. Smarty Plants -- Hosted by the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, this site invites you to ask native plant experts all sorts of plant ID, gardening and botanical questions. Be sure to check out the rest of the website, as you may find your questions already answered elsewhere - this site is loaded with information and resources.
Cornell Cooperative Extension -- CCE has online resources as well as plant experts based in every county of NY. Find your local agency and be in touch with questions and concerns.
+ NYC Public Gardens
New York Botanical Garden -- NYBG has over 250 acres of beautifully maintained, accessioned, and interpreted gardens, a substantial adult education program, a robust event schedule, and even a Midtown satellite space for workshops. .
Brooklyn Botanic Garden -- A refuge in the center of everyone's favorite borough, BBG is basically a succinct version of its big sister in the Bronx. It is renowned for its beautiful design, effective community programming and diversity of educational opportunities.
Wave Hill -- This 28-acre former estate offers a series of finely curated gardens on a parcel of land overlooking the Hudson River and Palisades. In addition to garden interpretation, Wave Hill offers quality horticulture, art and education programming.
Brooklyn Bridge Park -- A relatively new space, BBP is an excellent example of how a city can blend ecological horticulture, aesthetic design and public access in an accessible and seamless manner.
The Highline -- The Highline is the Michael Jordan of public parks. Designed by Piet Oudolf and serving as inspiration for gardeners and designers around the world, it has transformed the world of horticulture in NYC and beyond.
Conservatory Garden at Central Park -- On the upper east side of Central Park, at 104th St., check out this 6-acre formal garden.
Governor’s Island -- Take a look at NYC from above and you’ll see an ice cream cone-shaped island just south of Manhattan. That’s Governor’s Island. Go visit. It’s been (and is still being) remodeled as a public park and cultural space for New Yorkers, with ferry service from Battery Park throughout the day.
The Battery Conservancy -- Way down at the tip of Manhattan is the Battery Conservancy, a gorgeous little(ish) park with excellent views of the harbor, Brooklyn, Jersey, Lady Liberty, and Governor’s Island.
NYC Community Gardens -- New York is home to over 600 community gardens, supported by GreenThumb. If you'd like to start, join, or go to an event at a community garden in one of the five boroughs, check out this site for more information. On a related note, check out Just Food to learn more about CSA opportunities and urban farming in the city.
A Way to Garden -- Margaret Roach is on it. Her weekly podcast is informative, friendly, short and sweet. Episodes are about 20 minutes, with interesting speakers talking on a variety of current horticulture issues. On top of that, her website is absolutely packed with information for gardeners.
Ken Druse REAL DIRT -- Ken Druse brings to his podcast many years of experience with gardening, with a constant cycle of interesting and thoughtful guests from a variety of fields within horticulture.
We Dig Plants -- Carmen Devito and Alice Marcus Krieg offer a weekly series that promises to "bring the culture to horticulture."
+ Online Education
Crash Course -- Brothers Hank and John Green have created a Youtube Channel in which they give lessons on pretty much everything. The biology classes are of especial relevance to us gardeners. Well-produced, accurate and fun, these educational videos make science accessible to non-scientists.
Bozeman Science -- Paul Andersen is basically the high school science teacher we all wish we had had. And now, we do! Thanks to his educational videos, we get to learn the ins and outs of scientific concepts spanning biology, chemistry, physics and more.
+ Garden & Design Magazines
Garden Design -- Garden Design is a clean, well-produced, and incredibly informative magazine - with no ads. Not only that, but its website is well-organized for the gardener hoping to conduct research on garden design.
Fine Gardening -- Fine Gardening offers a blend of inspirational design & photography along with excellent horticultural information and advice.
Horticulture -- Leaning more heavily on the horticulture side of things (no surprise there), Horticulture offers yet another option for the reader who is looking for ideas, inspiration and information in the garden.
+ Plant Directories
Missouri Botanical Garden -- The authorities on plant guides and research. Check out their plant directory and peruse the rest of the website for plenty of other great resources.
Go Botany -- This website from the New England Wildflower Society has one of the best online identification keys for local plants that I've seen. Definitely an excellent resource for the gardener and naturalist trying to figure out what's growing around them.
Longwood Gardens -- A well-established and heavily endowed public garden, Longwood has a plant guide that parallels that of Missouri, but with a slightly different format and design.
Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center -- A plant guide with similar features to Missouri and Longwood, though focusing especially on natives.
Illinois Wildflowers -- If you already know what it is you're looking for (e.g. Cornus kousa, Amsonia taburnaemontana, etc.), this website offers excellent photos and descriptions on a plant-by-plant basis.
Planting: A New Perspective -- Piet Oudolf is in vogue right now, and for good reason. Known for his wildly successful plantings on NYC's Highline, Oudolf is leading the native/perennial/meadow movement that has won everyone's attention. This, his latest book, offers generous planting design tips that intersect questions of design and horticulture.
Bringing Nature Home -- In this essential resource, Doug Tallamy offers the science behind the need for planting native. His writing is both thorough and accessible, detailing how we can restore our local ecosystems through smart garden design.
Noah’s Garden -- Published in the mid-90’s, this is Sara Stein’s account of learning how to “ungarden.” From her introduction pitting horticulture vs. ecology, she writes with grace and intelligence about the process of “restoring the ecology of our backyards.” One of the classics in ecological horticulture, this book is absolutely worth its reputation.
Dirt -- It’s hard to describe a book like this. It is an education in the science, history, beauty and spirituality of soils, somehow woven together in a writing style that is both meditative and captivating. Bill is a brilliant man and an engaging author, and I look forward to reading his other two books: Air and Oak.
The Know Maintenance Perennial Garden -- Horticulturist Roy Diblik is best known for his partnership with Piet Oudolf in putting together the Lurie Garden in Chicago. An experienced and life-long plantsman, Roy helps us to navigate the ever-elusive question of how to create ecologically beneficial, beautiful and relatively self-sustaining gardens.
Seeing Flowers -- This is one of the most amazing collections of nature photography I’ve ever seen. Created by photographer Robert Llewellyn and with written interpretation from Nancy Hugo Ross, this book will do more to inspire you about plants than most anything else in print. And bonus- there are two companion books as well: Seeing Trees and Seeing Seeds.
Planting in a Post Wild World -- Thomas Rainer and Claudia West take Doug Tallamy’s native plant research to the next level. They are leaders in the burgeoning movement that sees gardening as the ideal blend of ecology and aesthetic. As they write, “Ultimately, the burden rests on the [garden] designer to translate ecological function into an aesthetic form.”
Botany in a Day -- An incredible introduction to plant family relationships and identification, Botany in a Day helps the reader to draw connections between plants and understand patterns among plant families. Simply put: If you're going to buy one botany book, this oughtta be it.
Botany for Gardeners -- Brian Capon has written a succinct and very accessible book on botany for the everyday gardener. It is a demanding read in that it is very much scientifically-oriented, but the knowledge one gains can help to better appreciate the "why's" behind the "how's" of gardening.
The Seed Garden: The Art and Practice of Seed Saving -- This book is essential for any gardener that wants to save their own seeds. Bonus: Seed Savers Exchange has an excellent and resource-rich website.
<a data-preserve-html-node="true" href="http://www.amazon.com/Indoor-Plants-Essential-Choosing-Houseplants/dp/0785829202" _blank"="">Indoor Plants -- This is a simple, straightforward and accessible guide on how to grow the most common indoor plants.
<a data-preserve-html-node="true" href="http://www.amazon.com/Illustrated-Guide-Pruning-Edward-Gilman/dp/111130730X" _blank"="">An Illustrated Guide to Pruning -- Edward Gilman has given us a compact manual with straight-forward text and tons of clear images (both photographic and schematic) of how to go about pruning all sorts of trees and shrubs.
Dirr's Encyclopedia of Trees and Shrubs -- THE book on trees and shrubs.
Essential Perennials -- A well-produced, thorough and accurate encyclopedia of perennials for the curious gardener.
+ Garden & Farm Clubs/Groups
Metro Hort -- A great community of horticulture professionals in NYC and the tri-state area, Metro Hort sponsors "meetings, lectures, workshops and field trips geared to common interests, with a focus on education, networking and socializing." Check out, especially, their monthly meetings and their extensive online jobs listings.
The Association for Garden Communicators (GWA) -- Formerly known as the Garden Writers Association, the GWA is "an organization of professional communicators in the green industry including book authors, bloggers, staff editors, syndicated columnists, freelance writers, photographers, speakers, landscape designers, television and radio personalities, consultants, publishers, extension service agents and more." It's a group of incredible people and excellent resources.
The American Horticultural Society -- The American Horticultural Society (AHS) is a national organization aimed at providing gardeners with resources, information and programs. In addition to their educational resources, they provide forums for networking, publish a quarterly journal, and manage a small public garden in Alexandria, VA - just outside of Washington, DC.
American Public Gardens Association -- The APGA is a membership organization for horticulture professionals. For non-members, the best part of the site is the jobs board.
Ecological Landscape Alliance -- The Ecological Landscape Alliance (ELA) is an exciting organization that promotes resources sharing and networking among gardeners and landscapers. As their name suggests, their focus is on ecologically-conscious horticulture, with a mission of transforming American horticulture into a form of environmental stewardship.
Garden Club of America -- The GCA acts as the umbrella organization for 200 local garden clubs throughout the country. Check out their site to find a garden club near you.
Northeast Organic Farming Association -- The resource for small farmers and their allies in the Northeast. Great information, programming, and of course annual conferences and get-togethers.