Someone to be Thankful For – House&Garden’s Blogger Tom Christopher


So who IS this guy?  Clearly a REAL GARDENER who can also WRITE, often with humor and sometimes with passion.  And always with the goal of imparting "a practical sort of knowledge that makes
gardening easier and more pleasant. It also makes it far more
enjoyable. Mastering the steps is what turns the clumsy stumble into a
dance."  And he’s obviously a dancer.

Tom’s official bio reveals a degree in Professional Horticulture from the NY Botanical Garden, 10 years as a professional gardener working on large projects, followed by a transition to gardening journalism, books, lectures, and so on.  And like our own Michele, he juggles two New England gardens, one in the city and one in the country.

But I knew he was a soulmate when I read his July 19 post.  In it he describes the NY Botanical Garden’s program of eliminating all non-natives from its forest as an "ideologically driven purge that’s only impoverished it."  And this: "I await the day when the botanical garden puts away its herbicides and saws and lets Nature, as expressed in the five boroughs, again take its course."  Whoa – someone in authority who speaks up for land use decisions based on reality, not ideology?  I bet he feels the same way about ideologically driven foreign policy, but we won’t go there, will we?   

So House and Garden – kudos for your outstanding choice of garden writers.  And Tom – can I call you Tom? – welcome to the growing ranks of gardenbloggers; we need more writers and thinkers like yourself. 

Now here’s a suggestion or two (could you see them coming?)  First, it’s great that your blog has enabled comments but I couldn’t find a one, and it’s not because your posts don’t warrant them.  It’s because we don’t know you exist, so give us a shout!  Read garden blogs (at least this one), comment, and leave your URL.  That way readers will discover you and start leaving comments and the fun will begin.  And on a minor point, how about using categories?  Your substantive, browse-worthy articles would be a lot easier to find if they were categorized, so pass that suggestion on to the webmasters at H&G.   


  1. Looking forward to visiting, although when I first saw the photo I thought he was hugging a head of cauliflower.

    My apologies to chickens everywhere.

  2. So glad to hear Tom has a blog, so we can read more of his work. He was a classics major, then studied in the NYBG horticulture program. He’s a gardener, so he’s writing from first hand experience. And he’s very, very funny — a trait expunged from garden magazines, for unknown reasons. He’s written a slew of books (he wrote the first book on heirloom rose-growing in the US, I think), plus loads of magazine pieces. Great writer, great at conveying lots of solid information while being neither didactic nor boring. Also a terrific speaker, if he happens to give a lecture in your neighborhood. As you can tell, I’m a longtime fan.

  3. Susan, thanks for the heads up on that one. Tom used to write for Horticulture and wrote several funny gardening books that each have “20 Minute” in the titles. I didn’t know he had a blog and I’m glad to find it.

  4. In it he describes the NY Botanical Garden’s program of eliminating all non-natives from its forest as an “ideologically driven purge that’s only impoverished it.”

    Yeah, I’d hate to see the NY Botanical garden be anything but a duo-culture of garlic mustard and Rhamnus Cathartica. What a bore diversity is!

    This guy sounds like an absolute moron. April

  5. Tom was a close friend of mine in college, and while I think he is strongly opinionated, he is absolutely brilliant.

  6. I have a radio show on a community station in the Catskills where I interview people about environmental issues. I would love to interview Tom about his weeds article. Please get in touch if you are interested.

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