Martha Stewart.com has undergone a "complete renovation," according to its press release. And because her PR firm has the good sense to alert bloggers to the news, here we are with a brief review of the site, now conveniently organized by "lifestyle interest," including Gardening.
First, it’s attractive and easy to navigate. Contentwise, it’s a compilation of articles that presumably were first published in Martha’s magazine. I read the ones that I feel qualified to critique and can report that they’re well worth a look. Good information, good presentation. I only have one question for Martha’s gardening editor: Do all trees and shrubs and perennials really need to be fertilized every spring? The ones in my own garden look pretty damn good with just a fresh layer of leafmold mulch in the spring. I save money and the Chesapeake Bay gets a break.
And one more question. Why is it that the article called Rose Basics, which talks a lot about watering, doesn’t mention the number one issue in rose maintenance — spraying?
So let’s pull back that curtain and look behind the scenes of Martha Stewart Garden. Turns out the writer is Andrew Beckman – landscape architect, Longwood Gardens-trained professional gardener, and Martha’s own personal gardener. So if you like the way Martha’s garden looks – and how could you not? – these articles just might help you bring a little Marthaness into your own humble garden. Or take a look at this pdf about Beckman’s own garden for more inspiration. Beckman and his partner also run a cool little nursery in Hudson, New York called Loomis Creek. Their website reveals:
Our goal is to grow, sell, and showcase distinctive, cutting-edge garden plants to adventurous gardeners. Our nursery is in a peaceful garden setting and demonstration
borders and containers promote an artful and ecologically sound
approach to gardening and home improvement. We are avid plantsmen, hands-on gardeners, and educators and strive to provide expert knowledge and advice to our customers.
…all of which gives me a sudden urge to visit Hudson, New York as soon as possible. But it also makes me wonder why Martha’s garden pages don’t include a little "About the Editor" link so readers can find more than his name and mug shot. I had to leave the site and Google him to find this. Sure, he’s a nice-looking guy, but discerning readers want to know a writer’s qualifications (or in the case of About.com, the lack thereof.)