Post Summary: Our Favorite Gardening Resources
If you’ve been watching us on Instagram stories lately, chances are you’ve seen our journey to creating flower beds in our front yard, building a backyard fire pit, and most recently – planting lots of seeds!
We’ve received a lot of positive responses from this (especially during these weird times at home), and in turn, have received a lot of questions!
Berty and I aren’t professionals in the garden, even by a long shot. However, through lots of time spent on Google and staying up late researching our favorite blooms, we’ve found an array of gardening resources that we return to time after time.
In this post, we’re sharing our favorite gardening resources that you can access online, to help you get inspired in your own garden adventures! Have fun!
Our Favorite Gardening Resources
Friends and Family!
I cannot tell you how many times we’ve browsed my grandparents’ garden (pre-corona) or sent a plant identification request to Facebook groups. People in your community are often the ones who know the most about what plants do well in your area!
Here are some places to start learning about the types of things that grow well in your region:
- Family and Friends garden tours (you can even do this over FaceTime!)
- Asking neighbors about their plants and trees
- Facebook groups (search “Gardening” and “(your city)” to find groups near you!)
Where We Get Plants
We get plants a lot of different ways. Most commonly, it’s through big box stores like Home Depot or Lowes. However, if we are looking for something a little more specific, we’ll go to a local nursery or grower.
As gardening beginners, we found it helpful to browse the clearance sections to find discounted plants. These ones are usually at the end of their season and look in pretty rough shape. However, with a little patience, they have the potential to come back more beautiful than ever.
This happened with a few hostas we bought, and they look amazing in their second year!
The Joe Gardener Show
Joe Lamp’l is the host of The Joe Gardener Show, and he also has his own TV shows and Youtube channel!
I like to listen to Joe because he breaks down potentially complex ideas into ways that the beginning gardener (like us!) can understand. Things like soil science, the advantages of native plants, and composting actually sound easy even after one episode!
If you’re looking to build a knowledgable gardening foundation, Joe’s podcast is the place for you. He also brings in incredible guests from the gardening community to talk about their specialties – I’m learning so much from container gardening experts, arborists, and even hydroponic lovers!
Gardening Youtube Channels
Garden Answer is a Youtube Channel and web resource created by Laura and Aaron, who share tons of resources about DIY gardening for all skill levels.
We used their videos and tutorials heavily when learning how to plant our boxwood, deciding what plants to arrange in containers, and how to set up the perfect soil mix for our new garden beds. The great thing about Garden Answer is the HUGE searchable library of videos they have – if you’ve got a question, they’ll likely have the answer!
Kevin Espiritu is the host of Epic Gardening and we love him because he is an urban gardener, making it happen abundantly in his tiny front yard! He is incredibly approachable in his gardening tips, and his videos are extremely action-oriented.
We go to Kevin’s videos when we’re curious about if we can regrow a certain kitchen scrap, how to grow in small spaces, and using what you have! This is a great channel for urban farmers, curious beginners, and action-oriented videos.
Gardening Books + Magazines
Illustrated Encyclopedia of Healing Remedies – C. Norman Shealy MD, PhD
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Healing Remedies is a resource for gardeners who want to use the plants in everyday life. I find this book intriguing because of the many ways I can use plants for healing benefits in my own life.
From diet to ayurvedic medicine, to Chinese practices and folk remedies, this book has over 1000 uses for common plants, foods, and flowers!
Self Sufficiency for the 21st Century, Revised & Updated – Dick and James Strawbridge
Self Sufficiency for the 21st Century is a fun book to browse if you’re interested in becoming more self-sufficient in your home. They cover all topics from composting to raising chickens, and everything in between!
This book is full of helpful illustrations, diagrams, and tables. It’s incredibly fun to read, and has easy and actionable steps in making any size home more sustainable!
Garden Gate (Magazine)
As per one of my very good friend’s recommendation, we recently subscribed to Garden Gate Magazine, and our first issue is coming in June! She was showing us a copy, and how it’s choc-full of flower bios, garden layouts, and thoughtful articles about topics like soil, seedlings, and so much more!
Personally, I am looking forward to flipping through pages on my back deck and earmarking pages to refer to later. There’s something special about a physical copy rather than reading something online – I’m looking forward to reporting more!
Gardening Resource Websites
Better Homes and Gardens
Better Homes and Gardens is an awesome website in general, but we especially love their garden layout plans. Their beautifully illustrated images of curated beds help me decide which plants look good together and descriptions of each plant.
One of my favorites? This no-fuss sunny garden layout!
Similar to Better Homes and Gardens, Garden Gate is a great online resource. They have layouts similar to those found in BHG, but I find a lot more ideas for tackling specific challenges with various garden layouts.
Spokane Locals: Slow The Flow Initiative
If you are local to Spokane, Washington (hi, neighbor!) the city has created an awesome initiative to reduce water consumption and educate on using native, drought-tolerant plants.
If you’re interested in conserving water (and potentially getting a credit on your utility bill!) this is an incredible resource to use! Personally, we’ve printed out a list of Spokane native plants, and they have heavily influenced our plant buying decisions for our front yard.
Have a (Virtual) Garden Planning Party
Before the stay at home orders, my friends and I got together to chat about our own gardens and front yards, and to swap advice and stories with one another!
This made the entire process incredibly fun, and we keep up with each other’s progress on the app Marco Polo. Some even brought seeds to share! Doing it with friends makes the process really fun.