I find this magazine a constant source of inspiration. It has a good mix of articles. The ones covering the details of how to grow a particular vegetable or fruit are the the most useful to the kitchen gardener, but the ones featuring the gardens of big houses and stately homes are the most fascinating. I also enjoy the simple but effective recipes that give you ideas of how to cook or preserve whatever is in season.
The recently-added section called "You and Your Plot", in which readers' own plots / gardens /allotments are featured, is what got me hooked on blogging -- in a roundabout way. TKG ran a photo competition accompanied by a questionnaire to stimulate interest in the You and Your Plot concept, and I entered. I was the first reader whose plot was featured in this way in the Magazine. This was both a surprise and a delight to me.
Somewhat conveniently, at this very moment my wife Jane expressed a wish for a new (more compact) digital camera as a birthday present, so I bought one for her -- and inherited the cast-off one myself! I then started feverishly photographing every aspect of my garden. I set up a Facebook photo album called Mark's Garden in order to be able to show my pictures to family and friends. The feedback I got from this was most enthusiastic, but I felt that Facebook was a bit restrictive, and had some annoying features, so I branched out into blogging -- an area in which a fair bit of expertise already exists within our family. Jane runs a business related to entering (and winning) competitions called The Competition Grapevine http://www.compersgrapevine.co.uk/ and she maintains a blog to support it http://www.competitiongrapevine.blogspot.com/ whilst older daughter Emma, as well as being a professional computer programmer, is none other than the widely-acclaimed Mummy Blogger known as "Mellow Mummy", and she has a website of the same name http://www.mellowmummy.co.uk/ . So with a bit of help from these two, (Thanks both of you!) I set up my own blog, which you are now reading.
So TKG gets the credit for getting me started on blogging -- Jane may live to regret her part in all this -- but I would also like to mention another fine magazine, called Grow Your Own (aka GYO) http://www.growfruitandveg.co.uk/
The style of this magazine is a bit different to TKG's. It has I think more appeal for the beginner, and it focusses more on family connections, stressing the importance of handing down the expertise and enthusiasm to the next generation(s). I like this attitude; family traditions are important. Some of you will perhaps have seen pictures of our granddaughter Lara sampling my tomatoes a couple of weeks ago, so you know I'm doing my bit in this area...
|Lara enjoys the Pick Your Own tomatoes on our patio|
If it came to a choice between the two, I would opt for TKG, but that's a personal preference, and they are both without doubt extremely worthwhile and informative publications.
[I hasten to add that all my views about both TKG and GYO are personal views and impressions. Other people may see things differently!]