Fans of Garden Design Magazine



Here I am with everyone’s favorite landscape architect Thomas Rainer before he and Claudia West spoke about their book Planting in a Post-Wild World  yesterday in Oxford, Maryland. (Book review and giveaway coming this Friday).

But today’s post is about the new+improved Garden Design Magazine, about which Thomas used these wordsautumn2015:

  • “Totally transformed.”
  • “Not a page of fluff.”
  • “The very best writers.”
  • “Thad Orr’s doing a great job as editor.”

I chimed in and we bonded over our fandom of the mag under its new publisher, Jim Peterson. (I wrote about Jim and his vision for Garden Design in this post two years ago.)


Garden Design is now ad-free and packed with articles I actually want to read! Like the one above about Dan Hinkley’s garden.


And Piet Oudolf.


The firm of Oehme van Sweden, given a long spread featuring three of its current stars.


And this interesting garden in France. I could go on.

In other words, it’s a far, far cry from the ad-packed glorification of SoCal’s beautiful people that Garden Design used to be.


  1. I completely agree. The articles are top-notch, every one offering something of interest and often an in-depth exploration of the garden design or the designer him- or herself. The photos are simply wonderful. It takes a week or more to get through it all, which makes it well worth the subscription price, and there are no ads. I love Garden Design too!

  2. I NEVER spend money on glossy mags, yet I happily subscribe to Garden Design. It is simply the best and most compelling read out there. And to me, it’s infinitely worthwhile to pay more in support of its ad-free beauty. Jim and his team have created a wonderful publication!

  3. Susan and Thomas- wow! Very nice.

    Garden Design is truly a collaborative effort with the knowledge and insights of many very smart garden design lovers who are willing to share.

    Presenting useful information in a pleasing way is our goal. We will be constantly striving to improve on that goal.

    Susan, there have been so many insights gleaned from the flings (along with friendships)- I wouldn’t miss it.

    Tom, Pam, Jane, and Tony- Thanks!


  4. I was so sad when Garden Magazine went out of print before. I am subscribing again today and can’t wait to see upcoming issues! This is so great! It was my favorite magazine and I just know it will be my favorite again.

  5. I was so hopeful when I clicked through to their website that I could once again subscribe to a top-notch garden design magazine. The first link I clicked was “Trees” and the second tree listed as “Best Trees for Your Garden” and also pictured at the top of the tree page was Ornamental Pear! What? This invasive tree has claimed thousands of acres of understory in just Indiana is best for gardens? 3000 seedlings were removed by volunteers in a local wetlands located next to high-end shops and residences. The edges of our highways and other wild places are brilliant white in the spring with the blooms of this highly invasive, but still popular, tree. The supposedly sterile cultivars cross-pollinate and seeds are spread by birds. I sometimes feel like a voice in the wilderness–or what is left of the wilderness after landscapers finish planting invasives. No thanks. An article about native plants can never trump the recommendation to plant an invasive species.

    • Martha is on target with her reply. Although we can all celebrate the renewed vigor of Garden Design Magazine, it remains a dismal fact that many of our “credentialed friends” are not in touch with vast portions of the real world. Sadly, they too often remain mired within the confines of their arcane, academic training which has often not remained current — much like the old Landscape Design Magazine.

      Just last weekend, I heard a celebrated landscape architect presentation that recommend about a dozen plants which are either invasive in our native woodlands and/or are just plain poor performers in our area — plants that I recommend NOT using.

      Good landscape design is more than creating a pretty picture — or selling some outmoded concepts or fashionable trends.

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