my latest assignment: a series in ‘the new york times’

AN OUT-OF-THE-BLUE email in April 2020 shook me out of my “new normal” routine. It was an invitation from a “New York Times” editor to create a series of how-to garden articles for their readers who are finding themselves at home, in spring, and maybe could use the kind of information you come to my newsletter and my website and podcast for.

The first installment appeared April 20, 2020. On March 31, 2021, the paper ran a Q&A with me to kick off Year 2 of the series.

The topics I’ve covered so far:

I WAS FLATTERED to be asked, of course, but most of all, I’m pleased that a media outlet as widely read as “The New York Times” understood that the garden is a place of refuge—but can also be a little daunting!—and committed to offer their readers support in these dystopian times since the pandemic began.

The more happy garden moments that happen around the nation, and world, the better, I figure.

I’m also pleased that I get to write again for the place of my start as a journalist all those years ago. A mini-homecoming.

Go say hello; if you are a “New York Times” subscriber or haven’t used your quota of free articles this month, you should be able to click through. Comments are open to subscribers, who are even invited to ask questions. Uh-oh, I guess I know what I’ll be doing even more of than ever …

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  1. Do you have kindly invited us to do this but Patricia Bleecker says:

    Please tell me how to ask an important gardening question
    Do you have kindly invited us to do this but I don’t know how thank you kindly

    1. Barbara Kraft says:

      Please offer advise on gardening on a balconey. In terra-cotta pots and plastic balconey rail pots and those cloth bags
      So many folks have balconies in metropolitan areas..mine faces east south east…last year I grew 2 tomato.varieties, basil & petunias..my 1st effort

  2. Michele Faison says:

    Hi Margaret,

    How do I open one of your NYT columns listed? I’d like to read the one on compost.


    Michele Faison

  3. Debbie Zink says:

    I am a little old fashion and would love to have a book of your NY times articles. Any chance you are thinking of putting them in book form? I totally have enjoyed the journey with you through this interesting year. Thanks for you information and comfort.

    1. margaret says:

      Hi, Debbie. The rights to do that would be in the hands of the paper…and I don’t that that’s their kind of thing. : )

      1. edie abrams says:

        I once bought a book by Thomas Friedman and was disappointed to discover that it was a collation of articles he had written and I had already read. So, it’s worth finding out. Perhaps it depends on the contract you have with the newspaper.

  4. Paul says:

    This is so useful, thanks Margaret. We’ve just started a new garden project and your post about the easier way to make a garden bed was very inspiring. We use old recycled railway sleepers which work really well for raised beds.

  5. sally mills says:

    re seed catalogs: dont forget to promote Baker Creek in missouri, family-run and

    No Postage . wonderful heirloom varieties in many plants

  6. John Tuton Jackson says:

    I love your American notes having had an obsession with all things natural and American all my life. Reading the works of Ernest Thompson Seton and the photos of Elliot Porter, Peterson, H.K Job and W. J. Longs wonderful illustrated books changed my life.

  7. R Stuckey says:

    I recently discovered your podcast, “A Way to Garden”, and have been enjoying those. Now I have some of your articles to read! We do have at least one thing in common and that is the battle with Houttuynia cordata. It was here when I bought my house 20 years ago and has been a continuing battle. I wondered if you had tried solarization and if it worked. It is a cruel thing that as late as last year, I found it for sale at a local garden center with a weak warning that it “may become invasive”.

  8. Vikki Callaghan says:

    I’m disappointed to say I cannot access your NYT articles via your website. I have not used my quota of NYT articles. Is there a special way to read them that I am not aware of ?

  9. Sheila Warner says:

    Please give me advice on how to deal with a garden that has contracted a fungus disease. I have 200 sf of sedum recently installed. Half has crown rot. I have beauty berry, bush daisy, sage, Chinese fringe, agapanthus and African iris that have stem rot and/or died off completely. My professional landscaper is stumped. Help.

  10. Luanne says:

    I would love to read your articles but I don’t want to subscribe to the newspaper. Is there another way? Thanks Margaret for everything! I’ve loved all your topics.

    1. margaret says:

      Hi, Luanne. The Times, like virtually every paper and magazine, has a “paywall,” and you get 5 free views per month before they put that up, preventing seeing more. I can’t reprint the articles here or anything, and have no other way to grant access beyond subscribing (which I do since it was my “home” paper since forever). They often have a $1 a week offer going that can be canceled at anytime, or so other people have mentioned to me.

  11. Sabina Missana says:

    Any chance you can share any of these articles without having to go through The NY Times? I really don’t want a subscription and that’s the only way it will let me open the article. I’m interested in the article about growing figs in colder climates. I’ve been nurturing two Chicago Hardy trees for four years now and they’ve yet to produce fruit.

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