Substack Gardening: Must-Read Newsletters If You Love Nature

Substack Gardening: Must-Read Newsletters If You Love Nature

I recently shared with you how much I was loving Lia’s Living Almanac. It’s a Substack newsletter related to plants and gardening. However, it’s not the only one that I subscribe to. Substack has many different gardening and nature newsletters that you might want to check out. Therefore, I wanted to share some more of my favorites with you today.

What Is Substack?

If you’re not familiar with Substack, then I’ll give you a brief overview. Substack is a platform where you can easily create a newsletter. However, unlike other newsletter platforms, such as MailChimp, your newsletter also acts as a sort of blog. People who sign up for your newsletter will receive it in their email. Alternatively, they can read it on the Substack app or website. People who aren’t signed up for the newsletter can see your articles on the site or app. Then they can decide if they want to sign up or not.

Best Gardening and Nature Substacks

I shared previously about Lia’s Living Almanac which is great for people who are inspired by growing and cooking their food. Let me share some of my other favorites with you now:

Creatively Conscious

This is an intentional newsletter / digital magazine by creative / writer Claire Venus. She celebrates slow living and the well-being it brings, writes about nature in her life, and shares thoughts on motherhood and more. She recently shared her creative garden project called The Soil Web. Claire explains it’s “all about soil, making soil using worm hotels and observing the bio-diversity of soil!”

June’s Writing

June Girvin is a retired nursing professor and “Reader, writer, knitter, walker, gardener, critic.” She chats conversationally about all different types of things in her newsletter, with gardening showing up prominently. She shares photos and descriptions of what is going on in her own garden. I often find that I learn best just by hearing other people’s stories and what they’re doing to problem solve. This fits me better than “Here’s how to do things in three steps.” So that’s one of the reasons that her newsletter is appealing to me.

Also, she did a great important post on planting for pollinators. We discussed that recently here on our site. And it’s the kind of thing that will show up in good gardening/nature newsletters from time to time. As you’ll discover, most of the writers on Substack are sharing a variety of different things that overlap and it weaves gardening into that.

Garden Study

Garden Study is a subsection of a larger Substack called Culture Study. It’s authored by Anne Helen Petersen who shares many different smart thoughts about culture but wanted to create this section just to talk about the joys of gardening. As of the writing of this post, some of the recent articles in Garden Study related to container gardening, gardening mistakes,  square foot gardening, and practicing patience when gardening with kids.

Note that this is a subscription-based newsletter. Substack allows authors to offer both free and paid content. Most authors offer both. Garden Study is an opt-in optional newsletter for paying subscribers but you do get a little bit of preview content before you pay. (Also, it’s good to pay if you can; these newsletters don’t write themselves!)

Life in the Real World

This newsletter will be one of your favorites if you love nature photos. Author Karen Davis is a nature photographer as well as a writer. She shares “Drops of Beauty” regularly which are photo-rich looks at nature. They delight me every single time that I open one.

About the newsletter, Karen writes:

“This newsletter will be full of photos and reflections on what nature teaches me every day about beauty, wonder, and living in the world. I hope you will find it grounding, meditative, sometimes illuminating, and full of genuine curiosity about this strange thing we call Life.”

Neblina Wool Dye Studio Notes

I’ve previously shared with you how I’m interested in gardening plants for natural dyes to dye yarn or fabric. There’s so much great information in this newsletter that’s all about that. The newsletter is written by Sara Meinecke who calls herself a “Natural dyer, knitter, sewer, slow fashion enthusiast.” That’s right up my alley (although I crochet instead of knit.) She explains that her Substack newsletter is about “sharing natural color processes, exploring local color palettes, and connecting with sustainability.”

Recently, she shared a post about Artist Dates. These are part of Julia Cameron’s Artist’s Way practice, in which you take yourself on a weekly solo creative date. What I love about the post is that it’s a roundup of artist-date ideas specifically for natural dyers. For example, doing a dye color test of a plant local to your area or taking yourself on a nature walk. Very inspiring and creative!

The Gardening Mind by Jo Thompson

This is one of the most comprehensive resources on Substack related to gardening. Authored by a garden designer, it’s rich in helpful tips and information about all aspects of gardening. There are sections for small gardens, planting design, what not to do in the garden, resilient and sustainable gardening, and more. If you’re looking for just one newsletter that will help you get started with gardening information, then this is where you might want to begin.


This is a place that shares essays and thoughts from multiple contributors about alternative gardening. If you’re interested in social justice issues and climate concerns as they relate to gardening, then this is the spot for you.

Remembering Wild by Sez Kristiansen

This is a beautifully written newsletter about a variety of different topics related to rewinding, the spirituality of nature, natural remedies, creativity, mental health, and more. In terms of gardening, Sez says that the space is for you if, among other things, you, “love the wild outdoors, gardening or being in nature.” That would be us, right? It includes a podcast and meditation. While it’s not a typical gardening newsletter, it’s one you’ll like if gardening is part of a slow-living path for you.

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5 Reasons I Enjoy Lia’s Living Almanac

5 Reasons I Enjoy Lia's Living Almanac

I have recently become a huge fan of Substack newsletters. People write mostly longform content about the thing they are most passionate about. It’s a great place to find smart writing about a range of different topics. This includes gardening. In terms of gardening and nature, the newsletter I’m loving most so far is Lia’s Living Almanac.

What Is Substack?

Substack is a platform where writers can create newsletters on any topic. They can offer them free or by subscription or in some combination of both. I write a newsletter there called Create Me Free, which is about the intersection of art and mental health.

Substack caters to longform content writers so you’ll find a lot of newsletters about writing as well as writing itself like people who publish serialized fiction in newsletter format. However, you can find newsletters about all different kinds of topics.

The Notes section of the site functions somewhat like Twitter or other social media but without many of those platform’s drawbacks. I don’t love social media but I do love Substack.

Lia’s Living Almanac

I am looking into finding new gardening and nature newsletters to read on Substack. For now, though, my favorite is Lia’s Living Almanac. It’s written by gardening expert and author Lia Leendertz.

Lia Leendertz and the Annual Almanac

Leendertz is writer who writes most frequently about gardening. She writes about growing your own food and cooking with it. Therefore, if you like fruit and vegetable gardening, you might like what she shares. She’s written for Gardens Illustrated, The Garden, Simple Things and more. She also has a monthly podcast called As The Season Turns.

Each year, she publishes a book called The Almanac. Built upon the old idea of rural almanacs, it is a natural guide to the seasons of the year. It includes moon phases, seasonal recipes, seasonal bee behavior, and much more. Gardens allow us to tune into nature and this is a great reminder of how to do it. 2022 marked the fifth year of her almanac.

Lia’s Substack newsletter offers weekly installations of the seasonal changes that she sees. It’s a real time almanac of sorts.

5 Reasons I Enjoy Lia’s Living Almanac

I only have so much bandwidth to read longform newsletters, of course. Here are five reasons that Lia’s Living Almanac makes the cut:

1. It Literally Reminds Me To Stop and Smell The Roses

Each week, Lia shares what she’s noticed in the garden. She notices the first new rosebud of the season and shares that with her readers. She also notices other things in nature – the wildlife coming into the garden, the phase of the moon up above.

Time can slip by us so easily and we wonder where the seasons went. Pausing  to notice what has changed in just one week offers a beautiful way to return to the present moment and ground ourselves in the season that we are currently inhabiting.

It reminds us to enjoy what is right here right now. What’s here is a season’s best thing. And it won’t last very long at all. Remembering this through nature reminds me to have gratitude for all of the other things happening right now as well.

2. It Offers a Gardening Education

I would say that this newsletter is more about nature than specifically about gardening. However, there are things throughout that help me learn more about gardening.

In Week 20, she shared about her dog’s moulting fur and how birds are using it in nests. That’s something dog-owning gardeners might look into further. In week 15, she shared that there’s only about one week when dandelions look really good as border flowers. From week 5, I learned a little about how to use backlighting to make garden photography look more interesting.

Mostly, I learn about what different plants look like. I don’t have a strong working knowledge of different flowers and trees and bushes. So, when she shares them, I learn from her.

3. I Love a Great List

I love lists of things. I don’t know what this is all about but it’s true. In each newsletter, she highlights three seasonal changes that she covers in more detail. However, before that, she provides a running list of everything from the week. I love these lists. For example, just a small selection from the list in her Week 21 newsletter:

“all the rowan trees in flower; first (absolutely delicious) strawberries of the season; almost head high cow parsley and buttercup avenues; starting off some rhubarb gin; making home-made mayo because it’s asparagus season; wisteria unfolding; a waning gibbous moon low in the morning sky”

4. I Find Myself Filled With So Much More Joy

From the “about” page of Lia’s Substack, she says about the importance of this weekly noticing:

“I find it life affirming and joyous. It makes me feel tiny, it makes me feel grand.”

This comes through in the weekly newsletters. They brighten my week when I read them or even when I skim the photos. They give me joy. And the reminder to notice the little things in my life brings a lot more joy to my days as well.

5. The Community Around It Is Warm and Inviting

The thing that I really love about Substack is that it creates community. We find our tribes and we truly connect there. It’s happening for me in a way that hasn’t happened on other social media platforms. It’s not algorithm-driven but interest-driven. Honestly, it reminds me a lot of having pen pals, of zine culture. It reminds of the early days of blogging when it was all about authenticity and sharing and connecting with others. It wasn’t so toxic.

Of course, some Substack newsletters seem to have a stronger community around them than others. Lia’s is great. On Substack, you can create a “chat” for your subscribers. Lia does a weekly “show and tell” where everyone shares the thing that they noticed during the week that was the most seasonal for them. This means that there are lots of gardening and nature images. It’s amazing!

I get the chance to see what is growing in people’s gardens all around the world. It’s different everywhere, of course. For example, cherry blossoms come out in February here in San Francisco. But they don’t start emerging on the East Coast until several months later. I get to notice these differences. Additionally, I get to enjoy different plants throughout the year in this way. Lia’s posts sometimes include updates from Australian readers where the season is completely opposite to most of the US.

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