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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Garden Variety Wishes You a Happy Father’s Day!

A vase of cut lilies. Photo courtesy of Longfield Gardens, a leading U.S. supplier of flower bulbs.

A vase of cut lilies. Photo courtesy of Longfield Gardens, a leading U.S. supplier of flower bulbs.

On this day of observance and appreciation, Garden Variety would like to wish a very Happy Father’s Day to the men who represent the best of fatherhood, paternal bonding and positive influences in the lives of others.

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Photo | A Tropical Community Garden and Farm in Hawaii

A lush lakeside farm and garden set in a valley at Kukui'ula, a luxury residential community and private club in Kaua'i, Hawaii.

A lakeside farm and garden set in a valley at Kukui’ula, a luxury residential community and private club in Kaua’i, Hawaii, which is known as the “Garden Island.” Photo courtesy of Kukui’ula.

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Photo | A Romantic Canadian Hotel Garden

An intimate garden at Queen's Landing, a fine Georgian-style hotel set where the Niagara River meets Lake Ontario. Photo courtesy of Vintage Hotels.

An intimate garden at Queen’s Landing, a fine Georgian-style hotel set where the Niagara River meets Lake Ontario. Photo courtesy of Vintage Hotels.

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Happy Mother’s Day Everyone!

Photo courtesy of The Grower's Box.

Photo courtesy of The Grower’s Box, a specialty wholesaler of bulk flowers.

On this day celebrating the women responsible for making each and every one of our lives possible, Garden Variety would like to offer a word of thanks for the unconditional love, thoughtful care and tireless efforts of every mom out there, while paying tribute to the memory of those who are no longer with us.

Happy Mother’s Day!

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Terrariums | Decorative Interior Gardens Under Glass

This and all accompanying photos courtesy of Melinda Graham.

Planting terrariums is fun, rewarding and surprisingly easy. This and all accompanying photos courtesy of Melinda Graham.

Long relegated to school classrooms and science fair project tables, terrariums have found their way into homes. Here, our domestic diva, Melinda Graham, dishes on how to plant a stylish, low-maintenance mini indoor oasis this spring.

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In the Garden, Spring Finally Arrives

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A French plant market. Photo courtesy of Mike Alexander.

In France, as across much of North America, spring has finally sprung. And Mike Alexander is ready as the ‘Saint of Frost’ gives way to seasonal bloom.

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Photo | An Eco-Conscious Public Garden

Clark Gardens Botanical Park, an environmental education-focused 143-acre public garden in north-central Texas.

The reflecting pool at Clark Gardens Botanical Park, an environmental education-focused non-profit public garden in north-central Texas. Photo courtesy of Clark Gardens.

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