Plotting the New Native Garden

Plotting the New Native Garden

Posted by Janice Stillman on 20th Mar 2020

Forget the perfect plot. A “messy” garden is a centuries-old idea that will bring more joy (and less work) to your backyard. Join The Old Farmer’s Almanac Gardening Club for all the dirt.

Dear Garden Grower,

We often think of gardens as symmetrical, well-tended, planned, and maybe even tame. Flowers are colorful borders. Plants are trimmed and organized. Ornaments are carefully plotted and considered. But what if a garden were irregular, unfenced, arbitrary, and unkempt? This seemingly chaotic approach to gardening isn’t as outlandish as it sounds.

Long before Europeans came to North America, indigenous people cultivated a broad array of crops, including corn, tomatoes, and potatoes. And, unlike the neat rows of European gardens, native plots appeared to be randomly arranged. That’s up for argument, however. These “chaotic” gardens made sense. Plant diversity, unlike monoculture cropping, discourages and diverts insects. Bean, corn, and squash plants work in conjunction: beans add nitrogen to the soil, corn stands as a trellis, and squash leaves retain moisture and limit weed growth.

Native growers seldom harvested an entire plant, leaving enough roots or tubers on nutritious edible perennials and annuals to regrow or self-seed. Fruit, seeds, and greens were plentiful in their seasons, and root crops held their place underground in Earth’s natural storage cupboard, ready to be dug up when needed.

Native American farmers used fire to clear land for planting, increase sunlight, and improve the soil. The ashes of shrubs and leaf litter benefited useful plants, such as blueberries and huckleberries. In effect, Native farmers were permaculturists, who shaped highly productive forest ecosystems.

Today, your garden can take on a similar role, benefiting you and the planet at the same time. Find out how easy it is (and how much less work it can be!) to grow a Native garden, including what to look for, what to plant, and how to increase bird and insect life in the 2020 Old Farmer’s Almanac Garden Guide, which comes with your membership in The Old Farmer’s Almanac Gardening Club.

Make Mine a Mini

You don’t have to go outdoors to garden, however. A terrarium is its own little greenhouse. They’re easy to make—and even easier to enjoy. Aside from a container, dirt, plants, and decorative objects, your imagination is the most important component.

Not sure where to begin? Large pickle jars, candleholders, lantern cloches, and old aquariums make perfect environments. Your soil is important here, depending on what type of plants you use and how much airflow your container has. Gravel and sand are a must, though, as you’ll need good drainage.

For the plants, stick with woodsy, tropical, shade-loving, and slow-growing plants. African violets and dwarf impatiens are charming and colorful, but some succulents, baby spider plants, and air plants are good candidates, too.

Give Away Your Treasures

Muscari neglectum? That sounds like a plant that can survive even the worst of gardening mishaps. In fact, it’s been cultivated since 1568, so there’s a good chance that it’s survived through plenty of neglect. This is one thing that connects “pass-along plants.” They are as hardy as can be, they get passed from friend to friend, and they don’t really need us humans for much.

These heirlooms come in a variety of “weird” forms and names, like the bearded and roof irises, angel’s trumpet, and snowdrops. But these plants that we share aren’t just a way to spread the wealth. They come with histories and stories.

Niki Jabbour’s favorite plant is the metki, also known as cucumber melon: “The strain that I grow originally came from a relative in my husband’s childhood village in the mountains of Lebanon.”

Get all of the details on creating your own mini-greenhouse, then read more about pass-along plants, including the stories of plants passed down through generations, in the 2020 Old Farmer’s Almanac Garden Guide. It’s yours, along with other useful information, wit, and wisdom, plus a bundle of BONUSES, with an Old Farmer’s Almanac Gardening Club Charter Membership!

With an Old Farmer’s Almanac Gardening Club Charter Membership, you’ll get the hangable softcover 2020 edition of the Almanac, monthly updates by email, plus a bundle of FREE bonuses in which you’ll learn more about what it takes to grow a bountiful, beautiful garden. With an Old Farmer’s Almanac Gardening Club Charter Membership, you’ll learn more about:

  • The proliferation of purple plants, and why you’re going to want them in your garden
  • Astronomical gardens that put you in touch with the universe
  • The easiest DIY hydroponic garden ever—no soil required
  • Planting and harvesting your garden by nature’s calendar
  • Plants that “glow” at night, creating an enchanting garden you can’t resist

You’ll also get updates to our weather predictions in our monthly digital magazine, EXTRA!, sent to you each month to keep you current on changing weather and conditions.

Tap into the deep well of resources at The Old Farmer’s Almanac for a bountiful harvest of gardening tips and tools—with a Charter Membership in The Old Farmer’s Almanac Gardening Club!

Announcing The Old Farmer’s Almanac Gardening Club! This new and exciting club is designed especially for you—with just the inspiration and information you need for all your gardening projects!

We’ve put together essential Old Farmer’s Almanac resources to celebrate your love of gardening and give you tons of tips for making your next gardening project as lush and lovely as it can be. And it all starts, of course, with The Old Farmer’s Almanac.

You’ll be prepared for any gardening project. Whether you garden for food, for flowers, or just for fun, a Charter Membership in The Old Farmer’s Almanac Gardening Club will keep you entertained, informed, and inspired all year long!

Since 1792, The Old Farmer’s Almanac has been a traditional resource for dedicated farmers, avid and casual gardeners, folks who like to get a long view on upcoming weather trends, and people who love to collect little snippets of country wit and wisdom that they can share with family and friends.

We’re not just the oldest published almanac, but the oldest continuously published periodical in North America— and we’ve been around longer than any newspaper or magazine, too.

The Old Farmer's Almanac Gardening Club

Get your Charter Membership in The Old Farmer’s Almanac Gardening Club today—with resources to inspire you in the garden. From time-honored country gardening tips to modern garden gadgets, come share in the bountiful harvest!

With your Old Farmer’s Almanac Gardening Club Charter Membership, you get everything you need to keep your garden at its greenest:

  • Our new Old Farmer’s Almanac Garden Guide—packed with no-nonsense tips, tricks, and shortcuts to make your garden a jewel in the neighborhood or out in the country. Grow food and herbs you love, surround yourself with spectacular flowers, and get tips on the latest gardening tech!
  • 2020 Gardening Wall Calendar: Our perennial best-seller for over 40 years! Rich illustrations accompany useful gardening tips on everything from planting to preserving.
  • The special softcover, hangable edition of The Old Farmer’s Almanac, loaded with the tips, trivia, and insights that make it a family favorite.
  • The Old Farmer’s Almanac EXTRA! Our monthly digital magazine includes articles on gardening, food and other content not found in the print edition. It’s a great way to keep up-to-date on Almanacky topics throughout the year.

An Old Farmer’s Almanac Gardening Club Charter Membership will deliver exciting rewards for you—and at a special introductory rate, right now, for all new Charter Members.

When you join today, you’ll ensure that you are planting the seeds of success for your garden when you tap into the time-honored wisdom of The Old Farmer’s Almanac. Enjoy all these benefits as an Old Farmer’s Almanac Gardening Club Charter Member:

  • Your best garden ever—Almanac gardening advice, planting dates, timesaving tips, and detailed guidance from experts will get you growing like never before.
  • You’ll know in advance about every important astronomical event in 2020—and how the phase of the Moon can influence the success of your garden.
  • You’ll save time and money when you follow all of the practical advice and tips that we deliver to you about everything from gardening to food preparation and cooking.
  • You’ll be the first to know about top tips, tricks, and shortcuts for taking your garden from good to great.
  • You’ll learn more about gardening gadgets and gear that can make your work in the garden even more enjoyable.
  • You’ll discover new approaches to planting—for color, for purpose, for stress relief.
  • Whether you’re a beginning gardener or a skilled green thumb, you’ll find do-it-yourself projects to fit your schedule—and your garden.

How can you not consider becoming an Old Farmer’s Almanac Gardening Club Charter Member?

What You’ll Get With an Old Farmer’s Almanac Gardening Club Charter Membership

There’s so much gardening knowledge to gain as a Charter Member of The Old Farmer’s Almanac Gardening Club:

In the convenient, hangable, softcover edition of the 2020 Almanac, you’ll find a bumper crop of gardening tips. Many gardeners consider the Almanac their most valuable tool, so this year, for all of you trying to grow food, we’ve got foolproof advice that promises a harvest the first year and every one thereafter. Perhaps you grow flowers—or want to: In the 2020 Almanac, you’ll learn which flowers are edible, when to pick them, and how to use them (e.g., pick apple blossoms in late spring and sprinkle them onto a Waldorf salad and use impatiens all summer long as a garnish).

But that’s not all. Here’s a taste of other tips you’ll find in the 2020 Almanac:

  • The Faces of Farming: ambitious folks from across the country tell about how they got started, hurdles they faced, and the rewards of working the land
  • Best days for planting, pruning, weeding, grafting, and controlling pests, plus the easiest-ever soil test (all you need is a pair of men’s clean, white, 100% cotton underwear and a small shovel)
  • Daily weather forecasts for all regions of the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii
  • Fresh new ways to savor the asparagus, beet, corn, and cucumber harvests, with “The ABCs of Pickling!”
  • Easy, delicious, Almanac prize-winning recipes using oranges

Each month, you’ll get new articles and original content with our digital magazine, The Old Farmer’s Almanac EXTRA! It’s a treasure trove of Almanac information that you won’t find in the printed edition, including audio and video content. EXTRA! leads you to some interactive fun when you’re ready for a change of pace

The Old Farmer's Almanac Gardening Club

As you count the days until you can get out and garden again, enjoy the rich illustrations in our Old Farmer’s Almanac Gardening Calendar. This compact calendar is the perfect size to fit on the wall in your kitchen, den, or potting shed. Each month features rich, full-color illustrations along with tips, history, or background information on the artwork.

Here are just a few of the tips you can find in our 2020 Gardening Calendar:

  • Start an indoor herb garden (no waiting for the last frost!).
  • Choose the perfect fast-growing ground cover.
  • Enhance your garden’s growth by inviting beneficial fauna.
  • Pick the perfect time to plant peas—based on fact and folklore.
  • Build your own bog—in a garden container!
  • Find out why ladybugs are such great garden friends.
  • Grow your own flower garden designed to create custom fabric dyes.
  • Praying mantises: helpers or hindrances in the garden?
  • As you do your garden planning, save some space for flying saucer squash.

You’ll love the advice, folklore, and gardening secrets in our 2020 Gardening Wall Calendar!

As you count the days until you can expect the last frost, peruse the pages of The Old Farmer’s Almanac Garden Guide for tips on how to grow better, naturally!

From the practical to the ornamental, plan your prolific garden with some of these tips:

  • Plant edibles indoors and out, no matter how small your space is.
  • Create a fun foodscape (or: How to get beyond the basic lawn).
  • Get your garden off to a good start with tips on successful seedlings.
  • The plants that keep on giving: Pick perennials to serve up year after year.
  • Serve up your harvest in style with recipes that will let you savor the flavor of homegrown food.

And all of this is available to you—right now—when you claim your Old Farmer’s Almanac Gardening Club Charter Membership.

The Old Farmer's Almanac Gardening Club

What are you waiting for? Become a Charter Member of The Old Farmer’s Almanac Gardening Club today!

No other Almanac has so many fun and fascinating facts, timely and accurate events and predictions, and topical and useful articles all in one place for your easy access and use—and covering more regions of North America than any other almanac or resource! Add The Old Farmer’s Almanac EXTRA!, The Old Farmer’s Almanac Gardening Calendar, and The Old Farmer’s Almanac Garden Guide, and your garden will be the prolific pride of the neighborhood!

Why Not Join Right Now?

Gardeners everywhere have been using The Old Farmer’s Almanac for years to guide their gardening plans, and now the Old Farmer’s Almanac Gardening Club Charter Membership offers you all things gardening in one place!

When we first created the Gardening Club, we wanted to make it easy to use, easy to order, and packed with valuable gardening content that you could put to use right away. Be the best gardener you can be with your Old Farmer’s Almanac Gardening Club Charter Membership.


Janice Stillman

Editor, The Old Farmer’s Almanac

P.S. Why not be among the first to join us today and benefit from the valuable Almanac gardening information that you can’t get anywhere else? Become an Old Farmer’s Almanac Gardening Club Charter Member today—while this special offer lasts!

The Old Farmer's Almanac Gardening Club

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