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Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Amateur Gardening Magazine Review

I have two young children, aged 5 and 2, and so I am always on the look or for activities we can do as a family which is also fun and educational for this kids.

When I was younger I would spend a lot of time working with my grandad in his greenhouse and allotment, so I thought it would be an interesting idea to relive those childhood memories with my kids.  However, we don't have the biggest of gardens, and I can't really remember much of what my grandad taught me, so I need some help and advice.

Working for a magazine retailer, I invariably turned to a magazine for help.  I started to flick through the pages of Amateur Gardening Magazine and quickly realised that this is a successful magazine for a reason.

Amateur Gardening is one of the oldest consumer gardening magazines on the market, having been first published 125 years ago. Over the years it has seen many gardening greats develop their careers such as Monty Don of BBC Gardeners World, Alan Titchmarsh and Charlie Dimmock.

So, my first concern when thinking about gardening was knowing what plants to plant, and when to plant them. I remember always being impressed that my grandad knew exactly what jobs needed to be done on what date, with everything from planting the seeds, to pricking out, to potting up a tightly scheduled process.  The first few pages of the magazine set my mind at ease however.  The "your gardening week" section clearly lays out what tasks you should be completing this week. The first topic in the issue I looked at was planting sunflower seeds. The article covers everything from sewing the seeds, to potting up individual plants, and then planting out. That sounds like a fun thing to do with the kids, so armed with the step by step guide we will be tackling sunflowers this coming weekend.  There may even be an updated blog post charting our success.

A few more pages later and I am looking at an interesting article about citrus plants.  This isn't something I am interested in so at move on, but I am struck again by the level of detail in the articles.  This is something for the more intermediate gardener.

As I continue to flick through the magazine the are several articles of interest such as sewing a crop of basil,which gives me an idea for a window box of herbs and garnish plants. There's a great article on deciding whether the time is right for pruning (I have some trees and shrubs I intend to prune back soon). 

There are regular sections within the magazine such as the readers questions and answers, which gives me some ideas about growing strawberries in pots.  There's also regular news updates on what is happening week to week in the horticultural world.

Finally there's a number of hints, tips and articles on planting and growing flowers, which initially I had little interest in, but on reading the articles I have decided to sew some seeds with the youngsters and see if we can raise some nice flowers for the garden.

so there you have my review of amateur gardening magazine. I hope you find it useful. Hopefully my gardening adventures with the kids will be successful, and that may lead to a future blog post.

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