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About.com Gardening Readers' Choice Awards for 2012

The 2012 Winners of the About.com Readers' Choice Gardening Awards

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The votes have been tallied and here they are... the winners of the Readers' Choice Awards for Gardening. Congratulations to all the winners, as well as all the finalists. It was great to read everyone's comments during the voting process and I hope we've piqued your interest in reading even more about gardening.

For more information about the About.com Readers' Choice Awards, please see our FAQ. And you can still check out all the Readers' Choice Finalists.

1. The 2012 Best Gardeing Blog is... Digging: It All Starts with a Patch of Dirt

Photo: © Pam Penick

Digging is written by Pam Penick. She calls her blog her "brainchild and daily obsession". On Digging, Pam shares what's happening in her garden and the many, many gardens she visits.

Pam gardens in Austin, TX and has a strong focus on drought-tolerant plants and gardening with nature. Her photographs are exquisite looks into the Texas landscape. Pam has already won multiple awards from Blotanical and Mouse & Trowel. I'm very pleased to announce that our reader's have selected Digging for their Readers' Choice Award for Best Gardening Blog.

"I'm honored by Digging's recognition and grateful to my readers for their support and votes! Thanks, y'all! --Pam"

Congratulations, Pam. We're looking forward to another wonderful year of succulents, wildflowers, palm trees and great conversation.

2. The 2012 Best Classic Gardening Book is... A to Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants

American Hort. Society's A-Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants
Photo: Courtesy of PriceGrabber. Used with Permission.

American Horticultural Society A to Z Encyclopedia of Garden Plants, by Christopher Brickell, Henry Marc Cathey (DK Publishing)

I can't say I'm too surprised to see this book taking the award. During my early years as a Master Gardener working the hotline, this was the "go to" book. It was well used and well loved.

The Encyclopedia first came out in 1997 and was updated in 2004, to include another 250 plants and updated material. This "...edition covers over 2000 genera with more than 15,000 individual entries of annuals, perennials, trees, shrubs, climbers, rock plants, biennials, bulbs, orchids, and much more. " The photos are excellent and plentiful, the information is detailed but accessible. It's not a book you'll curl up to read, but it is a stunning page tuner.

Congratulations to editors Christopher Brickell, Henry Marc Cathey, as well as Judith D. Zuk, who co-edited the first edition and all the researchers who helped pull together such a useful gardening tool.

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3. The 2012 Best New Gardening Book is... The Resilient Gardener

The Resilient Gardener, by Carol Deppe
Photo Courtesy of PriceGrabber

The Resilient Gardener: Food Production and Self-Reliance in Uncertain Times, by Carol Deppe (Chelsea Green Publishing)

I have been a fan of Carol Deppe since I was given a copy of her first book, "Breed Your Own Vegetable Varieties", two decades. Deppe has the observant, questioning eye of a scientist and the pragmatism of an experienced gardener and in this book she shares her conclusions and the path she takes to reconcile growing her own food in an era of limited time and finances, uncertain weather and unwelcome changes in diet. These are universal themes and I'm sure that's what made "The Resilient Gardener" resonate with so many of you. One huge fan of the book is my no nonsense gardening colleague, Colleen Vanderlinden, who gave the book a hardy review.

"I'm delighted that The Resilient Gardener won About.com's Best New Garden Book award, and thank all those who voted for it. It was cheering even to be in the running those last few days in March when instead of planting spring greens I was snowed in. In Willamette Valley, Oregon, mind you. Where is global warming when you need it?" --Carol Deppe

Congratulations Carol Deppe. I'm already looking forward to your next book.

Visit Carol's Page

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4. The 2012 Best Garden Catalog is... Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds

Seed Packets

Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds is a one of a kind catalog. They offer hundreds of heirloom and open-pollinated seeds, including many old favorites and a lot you've probably never had an opportunity to grow before. The catalog includes 1,300 varieties of vegetables, flowers and herbs and Baker Creek has branched out into retail, festivals and a beautiful, informative magazine called "The Heirloom Gardener". They also provide free seeds to school gardens and other educational projects in poor areas of the U.S. and throughout the world.

Apparently they have a very devoted following, because there was a crush of voting. Congratulations to all the folks at Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds who continually bring us such a tempting catalog and tasty gardens.

Full Disclosure: Although I have never met Jere Gettle, I have written for "The Heirloom Gardener" and Mr. Gettle provided a quote for the cover of my recent book. I recused myself from both the nominations and the voting.

5. The 2012 Best Garden Magazine is... Garden Gate® Magazine

Photo Courtesy of PriceGrabber

You might sense there's something different about Garden Gate Magazine without being able to pin it down. This is one of the very, very few magazines with absolutely no advertising. The lack of ads gives the publication a book-like quality, with articles flowering without distraction.

They're tag line is "The Illustrated Guide to Home Gardening and Design ®" and they are truly a home gardener / how-to magazine. Every issue contains a Before and After transformation, Top Pick plants, a gardener profile, design features and seasonal surprises. There's a nice mix of quality photographs and illustrations that guide you through step-by-steps and planting diagrams. Garden Gate is so confident in the appeal and quality of their magazine, you can view a free issue online. They even offer to mail you a paper copy, if that's your preference. A good chunk of our readers agreed that Garden Gate is worth a look.

Congratulations to all the folks who bring us Garden Gate Magazine.Can't wait to see what you have planned for us this year.

Visit Garden Gate Magazine Online

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