2016 Awards

  1. Top 6 Gardening Magazines To Subscribe To

    Top Gardening Magazine Emblem

    Receiving gardening magazines in the mail is a thrill for the gardener, whether you are an old pro or a newbie. There is something inspiring about seeing what gardeners - professional and amateur both - are doing across the country. Here is a list of our 6 favorites for 2016:  

     Fine Gardening

    Fine Gardening - This magazine has been the gold standard of gardening mags for years. Gorgeous photographs, drool worthy gardens and enough attitude to make you feel like you're better than other gardeners just because you have it on your coffee table.  

    Country_Gardens_001

    Country Gardens Magazine - This is a publication from the great minds at Better Homes and Gardens, so you know it's always done with excellence. It specializes in country-ish gardens (natch), but really aims for the universal gardening experience - "whether you have 40 acres or live 40 stories high".  

    Horticulture
    Horticulture Magazine - This venerable magazine has been around for over 100 years, so you know the editors are doing something right. Horticulture Magazine excels at product reviews for the gardener.  

    Birds_and_Blooms

    Birds and Blooms - Helping readers see the "beauty in your own backyard" this magazine combines two gardens staples that go hand-in-hand - flowers and birding. Beautiful photography and plenty of reader's stories make this one a sure thing.  

    Sunset

    Sunset Magazine - Even though this magazine is for the regional west coast, there are enough jaw-dropping gardens, enviable homes and gorgeous views to provide inspiration for those of us in the rest of the country. If you're a garden trend watcher, Sunset is usually on the cusp of the latest and greatest.

      Garden_and_Gun

    Garden and Gun - Another regional magazine, this award-winner focuses on the south with all of its grace, deliciousness and quirkiness. The gardens are spectacular and universally inspirational and the great southern writing is impeccably good stuff.

     

    Did we forget any of your favorites?  Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!

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  2. The Top 10 Gardening Facebook Accounts in 2016

    Top 10 Gardeners facebook accounts to like in 2016 Emblem

    For gardening experts, enthusiasts, and beginners alike, Facebook is one of the best places to find great advice, tips, ideas, and even ask questions. We have selected our favorite Facebook accounts for gardening in 2016. Each account provides a different perspective and covers different topics.  The accounts have quite a solid following already, so you know they are doing something right!  We decided not to rank them in any certain order since each account is so specialized; it is hard to compare them.    Gardenista

    Gardenista - This site is created by former New York Times columnist Michelle Slatalla. This site provides a tremendous amount of information and several articles about unorthodox gardening ideas and tricks. She also provides different concepts to consider when designing a garden, such as, landscaping or interior design with plants. Follow this account if you truly want some great gardening ideas!      

     NWF

    National Wildlife Federation - This site is all about wildlife. True gardeners not only think about how their plants will adapt to the physical location, but they also consider how their garden will impact the local wildlife around them. From butterflies and bees, to deer resistant plants and everything in between, this site is a great resource to refer to.  Plus, there are many great images of wildlife, which is always a bonus!        

    Backyard_Gardener

    BackyardGardener.com- What a great site for people just getting started in gardening! This site contains terrific photos, mostly of annual and perennial flowers; also gardening advice for landscaping, container gardening, and more. Backyard Gardener writes many plant and gardening product reviews. This way consumers can get some good advice before they purchase as well (hopefully from NatureHills.com of course!). They continue to do a great job of mixing in relevant gardening news from across the web. This is one of the biggest gardening groups on Facebook, with over 1.4 million followers for their page!    

    Chanticleer_Gardens

    Chanticleer Garden - This is a non-profit garden located in Wayne, Pennsylvania. It is open from April through October. However, feel free to follow them on Facebook for year round gardening goodness. Most of their posts are about plants growing inside Chanticleer Garden, making the growing advice accurate and images absolutely stunning.

    They give out scholarships to help with professional development called the Chanticleer Scholars. This is an opportunity for you to apply to the scholarship if you are interested!      

    A Way To Garden

    A Way to Garden - Founded by popular blogger Margaret Roach, this site is fun and inspiring. The ways she describes herself is "horticultural how-to and woo-woo" & "always say no to chemicals and yes to great plants." Her blog, awaytogarden.com, is the main inspiration shared by this Facebook account. Margaret is an expert in seed starting, so if you are looking to garden at a low cost, she is a great person to follow and learn valuable new information. She is also an author, so be sure to check out her book titled, "The Backyard Parables." 

    Vegetable_Gardening

    Vegetable Gardening- This account is pretty self explanatory.  If you are into growing your own food, either in containers, gardens, or indoors, this is the account to follow. Its mission is "Promoting the ultimate "locavore" experience -- fresh vegetables from your very own garden."   Gardeningchannel.com is the website behind this account, which has over 800,000 followers.  So asking questions on their posts might be a great way to get quick answers from other gardeners since there are so many people in this group!  

    Mother_Earth_Living

    Mother Earth Living - This Facebook account is actually from a great magazine! It provides reliable, in-depth information on creating a healthy home and lifestyle. They also have a digital version of their magazine if you prefer to consume your gardening content online.

    Most of their content is based around using plants for a healthy lifestyle. Either from growing food or making home remedies. This is the place to live healthier in 2016!          

    GWA

    The Association for Garden Communicators - This site is formerly known as the Garden Writers Association. If you are looking to find expert gardeners, this is a great place to start. This non-profit website has writers, speakers, and photographers who are on the cutting edge of their profession.

    They promote different events, such as, trade shows, meetings, networking, keynotes, and more. You can meet and learn from these experts. This account is truly for the experienced professional who is looking to step up their game.        

    NGB

    National Garden Bureau - This website's mission is "to educate, inspire and motivate consumers to increase their use of flowers and plants in homes, gardens and workplaces by being the marketing arm of the gardening industry." Founded in 1920 in Illinois, this non-profit Bureau tries to spread gardening nationwide, and that is something we at Nature Hills Nursery actively supports.

    This account covers everything there is to know about gardening: from vegetables, to critters around the garden, to ornamental plants, and everything in between. This is a great account to follow for gardening in all areas!      

    Balcony_Garden_Web

    Balcony Garden Web - This Facebook account does an excellent job on specific gardening. It includes small spaces, including containers, balconies, patios, rooftops and more. Their emphasis is mainly growing food and flowers in tight spaces. It is a wonderful source for people who live in apartments or just anyone who wants to be efficient with their space.

    Gardening in small spaces is a growing trend (no pun intended), and we could all learn more about this great topic. Being limited on space or time is no longer an excuse not to garden!  

    NHN

    Of course we are also on Facebook, and would love to have you follow us as well.  We try to combine our own articles, new plants, and other great resources we find on the web. You can find our page here.

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  3. Top 10 Gardeners to Follow On Pinterest in 2016

    Top 10 Gardeners to follow on pinterest 2016

    Top 10 People to Follow on Pinterest in 2016

    We know you love seeing gorgeous gardens and thrifty DIY during your Pinterest escapades, so we gathered a list of Pinners who are sure to deliver. If you are a craftsmith, a green thumb gardener, decorating a new space, or looking to charge your fantasy-landscape wanderlust, check these guys out: 



    happysolez_1408836314_140

    Katherine A

    @happysolez "Helping awesome people find awesome fashion inspiration, recipes, decor, quotes, and more! Named Top Pinner by Huffington Post + InStyle!"

    Located in Carbondale, IL

    Our Favorite Board: How Does Your Garden Grow - Lots of great pins of succulents, indoor plants and life hacks for the home gardener. This board has over 900K followers!



    mysoulfulhome_1337089273_140

    My Soulful Home

    @mysoulfulhome "Putting Heart, Mind & Soul into your everyday. Projects, gardens, recipes, thoughts & ideas…"

    Located in Southern California

    Our Favorite Board: Container Gardens - Tips and advice for container gardening for any size. From small pots, to large container gardens, Kelly is the go-to gardening expert in this space.



    barbrosen_1404911306_140

    Our Fairfield Home & Garden @barbrosen "Barb Rosen ~ retired teacher, certified Master Gardener, repurposing maven, Lab lover and home improvement junkie!"

    Located in Wilmington, DE

    Our Favorite Board: Secret Garden Tours - This board is full of images of real life gardens that Barb has found. This is a great place to get inspired for your own garden!



    garden_therapy_1414720139_140

    Stephanie @ Garden Therapy @garden_therapy "I'm a master gardener, author, & mama to a toddler. Here you will find DIY garden projects, recipes, & crafty goodness. Gardening is cheaper than therapy!"

    Our Favorite Board: Garden Therapy - If you are like us, and having trouble getting through the dog days of winter, this is the board for you. Stephanie has created quite the collection of projects, crafts, and recipes.



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    Melissa @EmpressOfDirt.net ?

    @empressofdirt "Hello! I share creative and frugal home and garden tips and ideas to make your dream space on a low budget. See what organic + frugal + repurposed can do!"

    Located in Ontario, Canada

    Our Favorite Board: Garden Art, Junk, & Decor - This board is for people who hate throwing anything away, and love to find great bargains for re-purposing. Perfect for the DIY gardener!



    Homestead Bloggers Network

    Homestead Bloggers Network

    @homesteadblog

    Find whole food cooking, gardening, prepping, plus livestock care and self-sustainability here!

    Our Favorite Board: Flower Gardening - If you have never heard of this site before, be sure to check it out. This is a curated collection of articles and advice on how to care for perennials, from a network of different gardening experts.



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    Amy Renea

    @amyk "I am Amy Renea, author of Crafting With Nature and owner of A Nest for All Seasons and Looksi. Our family lives in PA at Stonecrest & in Puerto Rico."

    Located in Puerto Rico

    Our Favorite Board: Stonecrest Grounds - This board is a great collection of what is happening in the amazing & interesting life of Amy. She has two homes and a blog that gives her great content for this board.



    clcabarbara_1385165903_140

    California Landscape Contractors Association

    @clcinsider "California Landscape Contractors Association - 'Think of all the beauty still left around you and be happy." - Anne Frank"

    Located in California

    Our Favorite Board: Beautiful Backyards - This board has over 65K followers, and it is exactly what you would expect.  Great images of immaculate backyards and landscaping.



    kwpub_1429649690_140

    Kathy @ TBD•TGG•DYSS

    @kwpub DIY Blogger 

    Our Favorite Board: DIY Gardening Ideas - If you want your yard to stand out from your neighbors, then be sure to check this board out for great ideas and inspiration on projects you can do yourself. That is what Pinterest is all about!



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    JoJo Gems

    @tamtj

    "Antique and Vintage jewelry seller and Lover as well as an avid Animal LOVER! Love anything old"

    Located in Chino Valley, Arizona

    Our Favorite Board: Group Gardening Board - This last board comes from an unexpected place. JoJo Gems is actually a jewelry seller, but has created one of the top gardening boards on Pinterest with over 23K followers.



    Of course we are also on Pinterest. We would love to you have follow us!

    naturehills_1455225573_140

    @naturehills

    Our Favorite Board: Animals in the Garden - Pins are all about cute animals enjoying the outdoors in nature or surrounded by some beautiful plants.

      Follow my blog with Bloglovin

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  4. The 7 Best Botanical Gardens to Visit in the Western United States in 2016

    Top 7 Botanical Gardens to Visit in the Western United States

     huntington

    #7 The Huntington Library (San Marino, CA)

    The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens is a massive research institution in San Marino, CA. Its mission is education and research, and on its grounds you can find dozens of collections serving that mission. The botanical gardens contain over 15,000 different plant varieties in twelve distinct garden exhibits. Included in these is their Conservatory and Children's Garden, a Desert Garden, and multiple Eastern-hemisphere cultural exhibits. Also, their Rose Garden contains hundreds of cultivars of roses, a vast variety.  

      lotusland

    #6 Ganna Walska Lotusland (Santa Barbara, CA)

    Also known simply as Lotusland, this 36-acre garden was once the estate of Polish opera singer Ganna Walska. The fourteen distinct gardens are open to tours by reservation only. From February through November, there are two tours per day. Ganna developed the gardens over the span of four decades, with help from her devoted staff. Because of the hot climate of southern California, the garden is able to host such exotic species as cycads, bromeliads, and cacti. Observing the product of Ganna's passion may just inspire a new feature in your own garden.  

    denver

    #5 Denver Botanic Gardens (Denver, CO)

    In the heart of Colorado, Denver's Botanic Gardens span 23 acres and contain multiple parks and a conservatory. Many of their gardens feature native plants that are unique to the Rocky Mountains region, but they also have exhibits of succulents, lowland tropical plants, and aquatic plants. They can brag about their collection of cold-climate dwelling plants from around the world, as it's the largest in North America. You'll also want to see their mountainside collection of alpine wildflowers located along hiking trails on Mt. Goliath. If you're looking for an outdoorsy tourist spot that maintains the natural beauty of the Rockies, look no further.

      desertbg

    #4 Desert Botanical Gardens (Phoenix, AZ)

    This 140-acre botanical garden was established by the Arizona Cactus and Native Flora Society (ACNFS) in 1939! This is the garden to visit if you've ever been curious about desert-dwelling plants. Walking the trails of this garden, you'll get to see and learn about the native plants (and people) of the Sonoran, including cacti, wildflowers, desert grasslands, and more. Their Center for Desert Living trail features and herb garden, display gardens, and a living trial garden for testing the viability of newly developed plants in the desert environment. The Desert Botanical Garden is the place to learn all about what grows under the desert sun.  

    SFBG

    #3 San Francisco Botanical Garden (San Francisco, CA)

    Located in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park, the San Francisco Botanical Garden contains over 50,000 plants on its 55-acre grounds, collected from around the world. The garden's focus includes exhibiting plants from the incredible cloud forest ecosystems of South and Central America. Cloud forests get their name from the frequent (in some cases, constant) fog that clouds them. The cloud forest exhibit in the San Francisco Botanical Garden was started in 1984, and is thriving today. The Garden also features a Redwood Grove, showcasing California natives, and a magnolia collection.    

      bellevue

    #2 Bellevue Botanical Garden (Bellevue, WA)

    This gorgeous park, located in Bellevue, WA, is open daily and admission is free! Within its 36 acres, Bellevue Botanical Garden features 15 distinct exhibits, including a fern collection, rhododendron glen, and rock garden. Discover the Pacific Northwest's native wildlife (and more!) on their hiking trails. One of their trails takes visitors on a loop through a steep natural ravine and across a suspension bridge. There, you can view the unspoiled natural landscape, replete with plants and animals in their natural habitat. The suspension bridge allows visitors to take in all this natural beauty without disturbing the precious forest floor ecosystem. More of a garden enthusiast than a hiker? Check out their exhibits on the American garden, including a ground cover exhibit and a perennial borders exhibit. Their Waterwise Garden teaches gardeners and families creative ways to conserve water, avoid chemical run-off, and other tips for limiting your garden's impact on the local flora.

      NatTropBG

    #1 National Tropical Botanical Garden (Hawaii)

    Way, way out west in Hawaii is the main location of the National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG). The NTBG cultivates and preserves tropical species for the purpose of conservation and education. Hawaii's climate is entirely unique to the United States, making it the perfect location for the NTBG. Alongside scenic beaches, the gardens feature some of the most exotic species from deep in the rainforests, including rare fruits and orchids. The NTBG is also a research institution for restoration and conservation ecology as well as ethnobotany and sustainability. Add this to the long list of reasons to visit Hawaii!

      Top Botanical Gardens to Visti 2016 Emblem

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  5. The 6 Best Botanical Gardens to Visit in the Southern United States in 2016

    6 Botanical Gardens to Visit in the Southern United States in 2016

    stowe

    #6 Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden (Charlotte, NC)

    Open year-round, Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden is the premier botanic garden of the Carolinas. Its mission is to connect its visitors with nature for purposes of enjoyment, education, and the promotion of conservation. This 380-acre garden hosts a wide variety of plant species. Walking paths provide a direct immersion into nature, and some of them feature fountains and lakeside views. Also, don't miss out on the conservatory's tropical plants and collection of orchids!   

     dallas

     #5 Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Garden (Dallas, TX)

    A landmark in Dallas, TX, the Dallas Arboretum and Botanic Garden spreads over 66-acres of grounds and contains 19 named gardens. One exciting feature is the Rory Meyers Children's Adventure Garden: and 8-acre exhibit where children and their families or teachers can experience biology and Earth science firsthand.

       

      fort_worth

    #4 Fort Worth Botanic Garden (Ft Worth TX)

    Another gorgeous spot in Texas makes the list: the Fort Worth Botanic Garden. This classy attraction features two distinctive historic-style rose gardens, an enchanting Japanese garden, a conservatory, and much more. For the traveling botanist, the Texas Native Forest Boardwalk is a must-see. Stroll through the true native nature of Texas in this preserved slice of wild country.  

     

    fairchild

    #3 Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden (Coral Gables, FL)

    Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is a conservation haven located just outside Miami. In addition to acres on acres of garden exhibits, this destination also features tropical fish and thousands of exotic butterflies. Tourable labs allow you to see conservation science in action. Florida's unique climate allows this Garden to be home to collections of outdoor plants that can't be grown in other parts of the United States, such as species from the Caribbean and the spiny forests of Madagascar.    

     

    naples

    #2 Naples Botanical Garden (Naples FL)

    Naples Botanical Garden is another garden taking advantage of the unique climate that Florida provides, but on the opposite coast. One of the southernmost places in the contiguous United State, Naples is green all year. In addition to Brazilian, Caribbean, and Asian garden collections, Naples Botanical Garden offers a look at real Florida nature. Their Preserve showcases the wonder and brilliant of wild Florida. From flooded brackish marsh to dry upland scrub, the 90-acre Preserve has conserved all types of unspoiled habitat for Florida's natural wildlife. Sharing space with hundreds of native species (many of them rare and endangered), visiting the Preserve will make you feel like you've gone back in time.  

     atlanta

    #1 Atlanta Botanical Garden (Atlanta, GA)

    With 18 distinct plant exhibits, Atlanta Botanical Garden can be an all-day adventure or a quick tourist stop, depending on what you're hoping to see. Their indoor and outdoor collections contain just about everything. Their High Elevation House displays the beauty and diversity of the high Andes Mountains, complete with a man-made waterfall that's home to Andean orchids. Can't get enough orchids? Carry on to the Orchid House. If visiting exotic lands is your pursuit, check out the Desert House, the Japanese Garden, or the Tropical Rotunda. The website has visitors' guides of all types in their Day Planner section, to help provide you with the garden visit that suits your unique interests. This spring, the garden will be hosting an exhibit by internationally acclaimed artist Dale Chihuly, who incorporates his works into the Garden's natural beauty.

      Top Botanical Gardens to Visti 2016 Emblem

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  6. The 5 Best Botanical Gardens to Visit in the Eastern United States in 2016

    Botanical Gardens to Visit on the East Coast

    NY_botgard

    #5 New York Botanical Garden (Bronx, NY)

    This little oasis is a great place to bring the family for a day of adventure, relaxation, and discovery. With a whopping 27 distinct garden exhibits across their 250 acres, this garden is likely to have just what you're looking for. Roses to orchids, crapapples to conifers, and conservatory, adventure garden, or wetlands trail: why choose? New York Botanical Garden has is all.

     

    brooklyn

    #4 Brooklyn Botanical Garden (Brooklyn, NY)

    That's right: the Big Apple is big enough for more than one massive botanical garden! Just across the water you'll find the lovely Brooklyn Botanical Garden, replete with its own adventures. Check out the Bonzai Museum to see these works of living art (maybe even get inspired to start your own bonzai garden!) After that, explore the garden's many indoor pavillions to send your imagination on a journey to the desert, the tropics, and more- All in one afternoon!  

      maine

    #3 Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens (Boothbay, ME)

    Coastal Maine Botanical Gardens opened up for visitors in 2007. True to its name, the Gardens span 270 acres of tidal shoreland. The Gardens' mission is to preserve, protect, and display the natural beauty of coastal Maine. They do this by showcasing native flora and natural landscapes in a delicate balance with man-made paths and the region's unique architecture.   

         

    national_garden2013

    #2 United States Botanic Garden (Washington, DC)

    Established by the U.S. Congress in 1820, this living museum promotes the aesthetic, cultural, economic, therapeutic and ecological importance of plants to the well-being of humans. The United States Botanic Garden teaches the method and value of conservation while also providing a uniquely beautiful experience for visitors. Within the national garden and conservatory, you'll find all sorts of varieties of plants, from the rarest to the most common, from around the world. For more in-depth information about the garden and its sustainability efforts, or to plan your visit, check out their awesome website.  

    clivia_miniata_longwood_debutante longwoodpoppies            

    #1 Longwood Gardens (Kennett Square, PA)

    This massive property began budding as an arboretum for over 200 years. Under the loving eye of its former owner Pierre S. du Pont, it became a public garden with exhibits inspired by gardens from around the world. Within its astounding 1077 acres are 4.5 acres of heated greenhouse conservatories, 20 indoor gardens, and 20 outdoor gardens. This garden is so prolific, many of its flowers are signature species, bred within its grounds. Every year in March, blue poppies bloom in their heated conservatory. These rare flowers were once thought to be a myth, but at Longwood gardens you can see them (and so, so much more) with your own eyes.

    Top Botanical Gardens to Visti 2016 Emblem

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  7. The 7 Best Botanical Gardens to Visit in the Midwest in 2016

    7 Botanical Gardens to Visit in the Midwest Is your New Year's Resolution to travel more? Living in the midwest, sometimes it's easy to feel as though there's nothing worth visiting for miles around. But what is a better destination for a gardener than a lovely garden? The following seven botanical gardens, spread across the midwest, are host to vast collections of interesting plants and gardening techniques, and receive visitors from around the world! 

    Lauritzen Gardens- Conservatory

    Lauritzen Gardens- Conservatory 

    #7 Lauritzen Gardens (Omaha, NE) Located in Nebraska's largest city, Lauritzen Gardens is our own little backyard botanical garden. It is open all year, but especially resplendent in the spring, when the flowers bloom. The garden is growing all the time, frequently adding new exhibits. In 2014, a new $20 million greenhouse addition opened. The 4-acre arboretum features many regional species, including a maple forest and a marsh exhibit.    

     

     Franklin_Park_Conservatory_Sharp2007

    #6 Franklin Park Conservatory and Botanical Gardens (Columbus, OH)

    The outdoor garden collections at Franklin Park Conservatory include 6 distinct collections. Being outdoor, they change with the seasons, providing a unique experience with each visit. Interestingly, the conservatory is home to a Trial Garden, wherein newly developed varieties of plants are cultivated to test their growing success in the Ohio climate. Visiting the Trial Garden, you'll find experimental annuals and perennials you've never seen before.    

     hiddenlake_anandajoti2008

    #5 Hidden Lake Gardens (East Lansing, MI)

    Hidden Lake Gardens is an extension of Michigan State University. 200 acres of land, with the beautiful garden already cultivated on it, was donated to the University by Harry A. Fee in 1945. His vision was that the land be used for the education and benefit of the public. Today, the 70 year old Gardens span 755 acres. The Gardens change from season to season, striving to offer a scenic destination year-round. They offer classes for people of all ages, as well as enriching the education of the University's students.  

     memphis

    #4 Memphis Botanic Garden (Memphis, TN)

    Home to 28 specialty gardens, the Memphis Botanic Garden emphasizes education and connecting the community with nature. The gardens and plant specimens are organized logically, valuing their worth as educational tools. Since they provide educational programs for thousands of area children, the garden is extraordinarily child-friendly. One exhibit, the "My Big Backyard" family garden, is built for play. Its goal is to encourage children to engage in nature using outdoor fun. Additionally, there is the Little Garden Club Sensory Garden. This is an area specially designed to allow individuals with special needs to enjoy the garden experience.

    PeaceGarden_HaEri2009

    #3 International Peace Garden (North Dakota)

    The International Peace Garden, straddling the border between the United States and Canada, serves as a symbol of peace between the two nations. It was dedicated in 1932, using materials, labor, and funding sourced equally from the US and Canada. Its landmark stone, with each nation’s flag flying on either side, is inscribed with these words: "TO GOD IN HIS GLORY,we two nations dedicate this garden and pledge ourselves that as long as men shall live, we will not take up arms against one another." Today, the funding for the garden remains equally sourced from the two nations. Each year, the gardeners plant over 150,000 flowers.    

     

     Chicago_Botanic_Garden

    #2 Chicago Botanic Garden (Chicago, IL)

    Embedded in the urban landscape of Chicago, the city's Botanic Garden is prolific in size, situated on the shoreline of Lake Michigan. It spans 385 acres, on and around 9 small islands. Its collection is so large and comprehensive, it is accredited by the American Association of Museums. As well as attracting visitors from around the world, the Chicago Botanic Garden gives the surrounding urban community access to the beauty and wonders of the wilderness. They are open year-round, offering classes and tours, and providing educational outreach programs for the city's children. Within the gardens, you can also find the Lenhardt Library, home to one of the largest collections of rare botanical books.  

     Missouri_Botanical_Garden_Balet2005

    #1 Missouri Botanical Garden (St. Louis, MO)

    The Missouri Botanical Garden, located in St. Louis, MO, is a National Historic Landmark that opened its doors over 150 years ago. Its 79 acres are home to more than 4800 trees, including some which were planted by the founder, Henry Shaw, when first establishing the garden. Within the garden you'll find several distinct gardening exhibits. For example, their 14-acre Japanese strolling garden is one of the largest in North America. Exotic tropical and temperate plants from around the world thrive in their climate-controlled conservatories. For the home gardener, though, their most exciting exhibit is the William T. Kemper Center for Home Gardening. There, you'll find almost two dozen small, residential-scale gardens grown to demonstrate various techniques you can adopt at home!

    Top Botanical Gardens to Visti 2016 Emblem  

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  8. Top 8 Gardeners to Follow on Twitter in 2016

    Twitter Awards Twitter

    Have you resolved to be more connected to those who share your interests?  Or maybe you're new to gardening and want to learn from seasoned masters?   No matter what your reason, if you're looking for quick 140-character bursts of gardening advice, we have some new friends for you.  

        Urban_Gardens

    Urban Gardens @urbangardens

    Based out of Santa Monica, CA, Urban Gardens is exactly what it appears to be. "A creative fusion of urban style, design, and nature."  They post tips and tricks for getting greenery into your urban lifestyle. Perfect pal for a city dweller with a gardener's heart! #urban #planters

    Gardening_Know_How

    Gardening Know How @gardenknowhow

    This account encourages followers to ask "gardening questions" and get "gardening answers."  Most commonly, this account posts articles with tips for growing specific plants. #gardening  

    Shawna_Coronado

    ShawnaCoronado @ShawnaCoronado

    Shawna Coronado is based out of the Chicago area and passionate about gardening, green living, and healthy eating.  Self-described "wild woman," her feed is an interesting collection of articles, pictures, and videos regarding her passions and DIY how-to's. #GrowWhatYouLove  

    Seasonal_Wisdom

    Teresa O'Connor @SeasonalWisdom

    Based out of California and Idaho, Teresa O'Connor is a "writer, speaker and trained master gardener" whose online presence is all about gardening.  Follow her for #gardengossip.        

       

    Garden_Design_Magazine

    Garden Design Mag @GardenDesignMag

    This is the Twitter account of a print magazine, Garden Design, which focuses on horticulture and design.  They post original content as well as seeking out and re-tweeting gardening tips from others. #GardenMag  

    Garden_Wise

    J. Mark White, ASLA @GardenWiseInc

    J. Mark White is a professional landscape architect in Washington, D.C. His feed is chock-full of interesting articles relevant to gardening, farming, and most of all landscape architecture. #LandArch    

    Creative_Living_and_Growing_with_Bren

    GardenChat w/ Bren @BG_garden

    Based out of Ohio, Bren is the host of #gardenchat. This is her personal official Twitter account. Follow her to hear about what she's doing in her garden. She keeps her followers updated to her gardening activities and the day-to-day changes in her personal gardens and geodesic dome. #growingnorth  

    Garden_Chat

    @TheGardenChat

    We saved one of our favorites for last. The official account for #gardenchat, which takes places online on Monday evenings.  Since 2009, #gardenchat has been encouraging community and conversation among established and aspiring gardeners.  The goal is to enrich more lives by spreading the love of gardening. Follow to learn more!

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  9. Top 10 Gardening Blogs to Follow in 2016

    Gardening Blog Awards

    To start of the new year, we wanted to select 10 of our favorite gardening blogs to highlight. We think you will like them too. We tried to select a diverse group of blogs, who write (and film) about different subjects and from different areas in the country. These blogs are in no particular order, because ranking them was an impossible task. Without further adieu:  

        Gardening WIth Confidence

    Gardening With Confidence

    If you live in the Southeastern United States, in Zone 8, this is a great blog to follow! Every month, Helen posts a timely to-do list for maintaining your southeastern garden that month. Weekly, she shares with her followers what she’s doing in her personal garden, and calls for responses; what are you doing in your garden this week?  As well as serving to build the community, this gives readers a wide variety of garden practices to observe from afar. She writes about her travels, detailing the gardens she sees all over the world.  On top of all that, every month she posts to the blog a chapter from her first book, Gardening With Confidence—50 Ways to add style for personal creativity. Now is a great time to start following this blogger, as 2016 is a big year for her.  She's on the precipice of releasing a new book, Good Berry Bad Berry. Riding the bliss of this success, she’s dedicated herself to finish her Forever Garden, Helen's Haven, this year.  Tune in and share this adventure with her!  

    Fresh_Eggs_Daily

    Fresh Eggs Daily

    Fresh Eggs Daily is run by Lisa, a fifth-generation chicken keeper who knows all the dirt on poultry. Looking for a one-stop shop on raising poultry naturally? This is it. Lisa raises chickens and ducks in her own backyard in Maine, and passes along her wealth of knowledge on the subject to you. On the blog, you'll find guides to caring for chickens and ducks, as well as video guides on herbs to raise for them. Lisa believes in down-to-earth, natural methods for raising her animals, which goes hand-in-hand with gardening fresh herbs. Look to her 'Herbs + Gardening' section for video and written guides on the cultivation and uses of plants and herbs. In addition to all that, the blog is peppered with DIY projects you can use to increase the beauty and functionality of your space. In 2016, Lisa will be adjusting to her new home in Maine. She'll be keeping her followers in the loop as she learns about gardening in Zone 5, landscapes her new chicken run, and hatches new chicks and ducklings in the spring.  

    May Dreams Gardens

    May Dreams Gardens

    This award-winning blog, run by eccentric gardening geek Carol in Indiana, reads like a story. Carol posts all year long about the current events in her Indiana garden. She includes pretty pictures and vivid language in each post, weaving the fantastical into the ordinary. On the 15th of every month, she participates in Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day, where she shares what's blooming in her garden, as well as links to the blooms in gardens around the global blogging community. If you are in zone 6 and looking for a blog that might mirror your own garden, this is the one for you. It's a great story to follow if you're looking to learn what can grow in your own backyard. In 2016, expect more of the same great work from May Dreams Gardens.  

    Tillys_Nest

    Tilly's Nest

    Melissa at Tilly's Nest is a career nurse practitioner with a passion for the locavore movement. In her Cape Cod home, she grows a vegetable garden, raises chickens, and keeps bees.  She is also the author of A Kid's Guide to Keeping Chickens, and her work appears in many magazines. On top of all that, she brings us her wonderful blog, Tilly's Nest. Aspiring homesteaders and animal keepers, Melissa's work is a great jumping-off point. With headings for chickens, gardening, beekeeping, crafts, and recipes, this blog shares all sorts of insights that have been gained through experience.    

    Garden_Betty

    Garden Betty

    Garden Betty is the passion project of grassroots garden-starter Linda Ly. To get you started, Garden Betty has a guide for new fans linked in the top left corner of the blog.  There, you can read all about who she is and how she became her unique self. She blogs all about growing and making food, as well raising chickens. She believes anyone can be a gardener, and encourages you to have faith in yourself and get something started! Most remarkably, she created an amazing off-grid dream home in Baja Mexico. Reading her logs on the experience, you feel like you are right there with her, along for the journey. Ready to amp up your wanderlust? Start here. We're waiting with bated breath to see what surprises Garden Betty has in store for 2016.  

    You_Grow_Girl

    You Grow Girl

    Created way back in 2000, You Grow Girl has transformed into one of the best gardening blogs on the internet.  Gayla is a writer, photographer, and former graphic designer from Canada, and it shows in her outstanding work.  She is also an author of some of the best-selling gardening books (which you can find in her about-us page).  Her main focus is gardening in a limited urban space on a budget.  If you see her backyard, you will instantly understand what that means!  You can tell that Gayla created this blog because she is passionate about gardening, and wants others to be as well!    

    Small_Town_Gardener

    Small Town Gardener

    This award winning blog has proven itself as a favorite of gardeners far and wide. Small Town Gardener is a light-hearted but deeply passionate blog focusing on gentle gardening advice. The blogger, Marianne, encourages her readers, "Garden where you are, not where you're not." Are you having trouble getting your garden going? Maybe your piece of land is not so good.  If so, this is the blog for you to follow in 2016. Difficult, imperfect spaces can be conquered, and this blog's main focus this year is teaching you how.  Don't give up! Help has arrived.  

    Dee_Nash

    Red Dirt Ramblings

    Rooted in Oklahoma, Red Dirt Ramblings is the blog of prolific home gardener, writer, and public speaker Dee Nash. Ever doubted the beauty that can be found in an Oklahoma garden? This blog and its stunning photographs of Dee's gardens are here to prove you wrong. If you live in Oklahoma, you'll be thrilled by Dee's Oklahoma pride and inspired by her work. If you like what you see on her blog, check out her first book, The 20/30-Something Garden Guide. The book is a "Gardening 101 for anyone who wants to grow stuff." In 2016, Dee will be traveling around the country speaking about her gardens and her writing at various events, as well as preparing her gardens as a stop on a regional garden tour.  

    Growing Wisdom

    Growing Wisdom Gardening advice is plentiful in Dave Epstein's extensive blog, Growing Wisdom. Dave is a horticulturist based in New England, and his blog covers a wide variety of gardening topics. From lawns to trees to vegetable gardens, Growing Wisdom has it covered. Growing indoors or in containers? He's got you covered there, too. There is even a section for troubleshooting common problems, which can save home gardeners a lot of frustration. If you're looking for growing advice, look to Growing Wisdom.  

     Gardening_Gone_Wild

    Gardening Gone Wild

    Gardening Gone Wild is the product of a trio of well-known expert garden writers. Debra Lee Baldwin is a photojournalist and succulent enthusiast.  She provides the blog with info on caring for succulents throughout the seasons. Garden photographer Saxon Holt posts stunning photos as well as his advice on capturing the perfect shot. (For more of his work, check out PhotoBotanic, where you can find his e-books.) If you have a picturesque garden, or simply love taking photos, check out Gardening Gone Wild's seasonal "Picture This" photo contest! Capping off the trio, Fran Sorin (gardener, author of Digging Deep: Unearthing Your Creative Roots Through Gardening, TV and radio personality, interfaith minister, and media and creativity expert) also writes for the blog, passing along her passions and wisdom. Fran's background as a garden designer led her to speaking on local and network TV shows as well as CBS talk radio, where she has been a news contributor for the past 14 years. Gardening Gone Wild is a can't miss connection with the shining stars of garden passion.

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