Welcome to Garden Variety | A New Gardening, Outdoor Spaces and Natural Lifestyle Blog

Thomas Kinkaid's painting, "Beyond the Garden Gate."

JOIN US ON OUR JOURNEY. Photo courtesy of Mural Superstore.

Welcome to Garden Variety (GV)!

From simple pots and square-foot plots to raised beds and multi-acre spreads, gardens, it seems, are everywhere.

According to a 2013 study by the National Gardening Association, 72 percent of all American households have a garden, in one form or another, and the numbers are growing with surging interest in urban gardening, edible landscapes and healthy, local ingredients—as people lead greener, more natural and less complicated lives.

Coinciding with the arrival of our new seed planting garden tool, the Garda Dibble™, we’re launching this blog to offer home gardeners much more. In fact, aside from the note in the header image and the shamelessly self-promotional product placement at the sidebar you won’t read another word about it, because Garden Variety is not about us…it’s about you. That means we pledge not to splash advertisements everywhere and we won’t send out marketing messages to any of our followers or subscribers. Period. Your time is far too valuable for that. What we will do is this: provide gardenites (yes, we made it up) with a daily fix.

The fall may seem like an odd time to launch a blog celebrating the pleasures and rewards of gardening, outdoor living and a nature-focused lifestyle. But even if most of you can’t enjoy green thumb and open-air pursuits, you can virtually indulge your interests while waiting for next spring to come.

GV is about gardening. But it is not limited to plants. Our pool of seasoned garden writers, veteran food and lifestyle journalists and plugged-in bloggers—with the help of in-the-know experts and insiders—will offer a practical and stylish take on the many things that intersect with the pursuit of our passion. From growing and harvesting to eating and cooking to entertaining, decorating and shopping, we’re on a mission to unearth the most interesting news, valuable information, useful products, satisfying experiences and beautiful places.

Led by Therese Ciesinski, the award-winning former editor of Organic Gardening magazine, our roster of talent includes GV contributing editor Julie Chai, former senior garden editor at Sunset magazine, who will cover West Coast,  small-space and edible gardening, along with other topics, through posts and how-to videos; Teresa O’Connor, “Grocery Gardening: Planting, Preparing and Preserving Fresh Foods” co-author, blogger and contributor to Fine Gardening, Horticulture and Gardening How-To; Joyce H. Newman, former editor of Consumer Reports GreenerChoices.org and Certified Horticulturist with New York Botanical Garden; Genevieve Schmidt, a landscape gardener who has written for Fine Gardening, Garden Design and the American Horticultural Society’s The American Gardener; Canadian pro gardener, food historian and author A.H. Jackson; horticulturist and French garden authority Mike Alexander; and interior designer and outdoor living expert Melinda Graham, whose work has appeared on HGTV and in pages of Woman’s Day, among others.

It’s exciting to see change happen and things take shape, whether in the garden, in the kitchen, in life or on the pages of a new blog. And we’re excited to bring you this dynamic work in progress.

So we hope you’ll follow us and let us know what you think as we grow and evolve.

Please stay tuned and enjoy!

—The Editors
gvblog@aol.com

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Happy Easter From Garden Variety

Photo courtesy of 1zoom.

Photo courtesy of 1zoom.

Happy Easter from GV to you! May each and every one of you enjoy the holiday with family and friends.

Thank you all for reading, liking, commenting and sharing!

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How to Shop for Spring Garden Plants

This and the accompany photo courtesy of Proven Winners.

This and all accompanying photos courtesy of Proven Winners.

Kerry Meyer, program manager with high-performing plant brand Proven Winners, on how to find healthy plants in garden centers.

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Bordeaux, France | A Living History

This and all accompanying photos courtesy of Mike Alexander.

GV’s European correspondent, Mike Alexander, gives a quick primer on the living—and growing—heritage of the French city known as La Belle au Bois Dormant (Sleeping Beauty)

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Easter Lily | The Season’s Brightest Bloom

Photo courtesy of Powell Gardens.

Photo courtesy of Powell Gardens.

Our editor, Therese Ciesinski, on a seasonal favorite: the richly-scented, pale-trumpeted floral symbols of Easter.

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Photos | The World’s Largest Flower Garden

Covering some 70 acres and filled with more than 7 million blooming tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, narcissi and crocuses, Keukenhof Gardens in the Netherlands is the world's largest flower garden. All photos courtesy of Sinbad.

Keukenhof Gardens in the Netherlands spans some 70 acres and is filled with more than 7 million blooming tulips, daffodils, hyacinths, narcissi and crocuses in spring. All photos courtesy of Sinbad.

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Walmart to Sow Its Organic Wild Oats

Images courtesy of Walmart and Wild Oats Marketplace.

Images courtesy of Walmart and Wild Oats Marketplace.

The nation’s largest retailer and grocer enters the organic food rush.

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Truth in Labels | FDA No Longer Sweet on Honey

Photo courtesy of Bundrick Honey Farms.

Photo courtesy of Bundrick Honey Farms.

The Food and Drug Administration says it’s time to rethink honey labeling standards.

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