Gardening is a knowledge-based hobby and industry. We learn, and we pass on what we learn to other gardeners. We celebrate the success of each other. At B.B. Barns Garden Center, we are passionate about people, plants, and gardening, and in that spirit, this morning’s blog highlights some of my favorite blog sites and folks. As a garden blogger, I have the good fortune of hanging out with these folks on-line and, when I can, in person. They are fun in both places! And, since we’re all hanging out indoors (I won’t use the “C” word), catch up on some of my favorite bloggers. And, be sure to follow them on Instagram for inspirational photos.

Maragret Roach at her upstate garden in the Hudson River Valley.


Maragret Roach at her upstate garden in the Hudson River Valley.

These are sites to return to time and again to listen to podcasts, read about the latest research on hydrangeas, or peruse beautiful pictures. Here’s my top five. If you have some to share, please post in the comments below.

 1. A Way to Garden

In her own words: I’m Margaret Roach, a leading garden writer for 25 years—at ‘Martha Stewart Living,’ ‘Newsday,’ and three books. I host a public-radio podcast; I also lecture, hold tours at my 2.3-acre Hudson Valley (NY) Zone 5B garden, and always say no to chemicals and yes to great plants. 

Margaret Roach has her thumb on the horticultural world, as is noted in her weekly podcasts. At Robinhood Radio, she talks with guests from all over the continent to glean information on subjects ranging from tomato blight to identifying weeds to spiders, birds, newly trialed plants, design tips, and so much more. You can read the podcasts on her blog or listen. Her’s is the encyclopedia for garden information.



Noelle Johnson, author of AZ Plant Lady

2. AZ Plant Lady

I’ll Help Take The Mystery Out Of Desert Gardening But Not The Magic

I worked as a landscape designer for a landscape design and install company, working with new home buyers. Then the recession hit, and I found little work available as a designer, so I looked for other opportunities to teach people about the limitless possibilities available to them for creating a lovely outdoor space.

In September of 2009, I made my debut as AZ Plant Lady with my first blog post. Blogging was relatively new at the time, and I was excited to have this avenue to communicate my message of how to create fuss-free, beautiful desert gardens.

As a horticulturist, I am passionate about coming alongside you and taking the ‘mystery’ out of gardening with simple tools and guidelines so that you can move forward to creating the landscape of your dreams.

I had the fun adventure of touring gardens with Noelle in Austin, Texas, in 2018 and learned a lot about gardening in the Southwest. Of course, now I want to move there and grow all those plants. What gardener doesn’t want to do that?



Pam Penick, author of Digging

3. Digging

In her own words:

Digging is for anyone who loves gardens, photos of beautiful plants, a sense of connectedness with nature, real-life plant info, design insights, how-to gardening tips, and virtual garden tours. Dirt-under-the-nails types and armchair gardeners alike will find plenty to enjoy here.

I launched Digging in 2006 in order to share my love of gardening and appreciation for the marvelous beauty of plants, gardens, and nature, and to chat it up in cyberspace with other gardeners. Long frustrated by the absence in national publications of gardens that I could relate to—that could handle the challenging climate of central Texas and the U.S. Southern Plains, where summers are long and hot, soil is alkaline, periods of drought are broken by flooding rains, and mild winters are punctuated by killing freezes—I also saw blogging as a way to share information about tough native and adapted plants, waterwise gardening, and general gardening information for this region.

Beyond such practicalities, I also enjoy writing about garden design, garden tours, alternatives to lawn, garden books, and pretty much anything else that has to do with plant.

I was fortunate to tour Pam’s Austin garden in 2018, which was electic and fun and had no grass! Hence the title of one of her boods. She has two books Lawn Gone, and The Water Saving Garden.

Fran Sorin, one of the collaborators of Garden Gone Wild.


Fran Sorin, one of the collaborators of Garden Gone Wild.

4. Gardening Gone Wild

In their own words: Our core group consists of myself (Fran Sorin), Saxon Holt, and Debra Lee Baldwin. The three of us are committed to sharing ideas, information, musings…and anything else that we’re wildly passionate about and think that you’ll benefit from in your journey as a gardener.

Throughout the years, we’ve had contributors like Noel Kingsbury, Tovah Martin, Adam Woodruff, Steve Silk, Harry Pierik, and a list of other well known horticulture figures that have helped make Gardening Gone Wild a compelling read.

Gardening Gone Wild is a full of articles, pictures and ideas, but it is worth it alone to read the blog post 5 Tips on Using Quantum Physics to Create Your Dream Garden. Seriously. That title alone is worth a click.

Dee Nash, author of Red Dirt Ramblings.


Dee Nash, author of Red Dirt Ramblings.

5. Red Dirt Ramblings

In her own words: I wrote my first book, The 20-30 Something Garden Guide: A No-Fuss, Down and Dirty, Gardening 101 for Anyone Who Wants to Grow Stuff (St. Lynn’s Press 2014) last year, and my life has been a tornado of activity ever since. It’s good, though.

I’m also thrilled that Red Dirt Ramblings won the Garden Writers Association’s Gold Award for Best Electronic Writing in 2014. Better Homes and Gardens named RDR one of its Top Ten Gardening Blogs in 2014, and Southern Living magazine named me one of its 30 Bloggers to Follow in 2015. All I can say is I’m humbled and thank you.

This blog is consistently well written and full of great gardening information for the beginning gardener. And she is loads of fun on Instagram. Follow her there. A great book for all of you youngsters, The 20-30 Something Garden Guide: A No-Fuss, Down and Dirty, Gardening 101 for Anyone Who Wants to Grow Stuff

Please share books or blogs that you read/follow that help you in your garden journey. This list is not exclusive, obviously, but it’s a good start.

Written by Cinthia Milner, garden coach, and blogger.

BB Barns Garden Center serves all of Western North Carolina, upstate South Carolina, and Tennessee.