PG August 2023 Issue Cover_Volume 38, No. 3


Public Garden, the journal of the American Public Gardens Association, presents current, engaging content devoted to the world of public gardens.

Each year, Public Garden is published quarterly in May, August, November, and February, connecting with more than 10,000 industry professionals through print and digital issues.

Interested in Promoting your Garden or Business with Public Garden?

Interested in promoting your garden or business with Public Garden?

Interested in Submitting Content for a Future Issue?

Interested in submitting content for a future issue?

Interested in Joining the Editorial Advisory Group?

Interested in Joining the Editorial Advisory Group?

(For Members Only)


Backbones (500-700 words) are the main articles that make up a large portion of Public Garden editorial content. Some recur in each issue, others on a bi-annual or annual basis, depending on content received.
  • Annual Conference Highlights—(August): This section comprises photos from conference selected by Association staff and is the only Backbone not open to general submissions.
  • Digging Deep: Case Studies—(February and August): This feature spotlights recent research related to Public Horticulture, preferably published in the form of a case study. Submissions should contain an introduction, methodology, outcome, and implications/lessons learned/analysis.
  • Global View—(November): Takes a look at our industry from a global perspective. This section profiles an international garden or collaboration, taking an in-depth look at an industry topic in other parts of the world.
  • Horticultural How-Tos—(May and November): The focus is on a professional, skilled horticultural project at a public garden. For example, fabrication of large forms used to guide pruning of historic hedges, construction of winter cover structures for tender plants, installation and maintenance of mosaiculture forms, pruning and cutbacks on tender perennials, etc. Submissions should include a detailed description of the project or event, why it is important or impactful to other gardens.
  • Learning in the Garden—(February and August): Share with us your garden-related curriculum ideas for youth or adult educational programming that can be easily used and adapted by other horticulture educators.
  • Multi-disciplinary/Multi-industry—(May): This section showcases disciplines and industries outside of, but related to, the field of public horticulture. It highlights a project or program relevant to public gardens or one on which a public garden collaborated.
  • Pushing the Boundaries—(February): These are thought-provoking articles covering topics that challenge the status quo and push boundaries in the public gardening community. Sample topics include urban futurists, how knowledge from other industries can help gardens, or how to engage garden visitors within a diverse and ever-changing society.
  • Small Garden, Big Impact—(May and November): The essence of this section is to spotlight the extraordinary within the ordinary, and share fresh perspectives or lessons learned when making the most of limited resources in a small garden. The garden may be a garden inside a larger garden, a garden in a small community, or a small garden that is open to members and the public.
Feature articles generally range from 800 to 1,500 words. Focal Point features are high profile, either because of their national or international significance or because they push the boundaries of Backbones or Perennials. 

If you have an idea, please submit a query letter of one page (maximum), telling us how you would approach your topic, whom you would interview (if applicable) and what makes the topic a good fit for Public Garden. Upon submission approval, you will be contacted with a requested timeline for submitting full article and accompanying photographs. Focal Point features are high profile, either because of their national or international significance or because they push the boundaries of main articles and issue themes.

Perennials are recurring segments (500 words or less) in Public Garden, generally no more than one page and containing a high proportion of imagery. 
  • Garden Exhibits—This 400-word section features an amazing garden exhibit—art or educational—from any American Public Gardens Association member garden, large or small. Just be sure to tell us what impact the exhibit had on your community. Photos should include visitors enjoying it.
  • Garden Professional Spotlight—This 400-word segment offers a brief interview with an industry professional in any area. It is not limited to executive directors or horticulturists. The interview questions to be answered are: Tell us about your journey in public gardens; Tell us about a recent project you worked on; What do you find to be the most rewarding thing about working in this field?
  • How Does Your Garden Grow?—These short, informative articles (max 400 words) focus on non-horticultural departments, such as human resources, fundraising, marketing, volunteers, maintenance, information management, and more.
  • PhotosynthesisSend us your best shot(s)! This two-page photographic spread can accommodate photos as large as 17”x11” in a landscape orientation and should tell a story. They should not be standard publicity photos but rather illustrate a mood (foggy morning, smoke-filled afternoon, etc.); show a garden past and present; a garden in all four seasons; a garden in development; extreme close-ups of flowers; demonstrate the diversity of seeds, growth patterns, etc; bird’s eye or drone view of a garden or conservatory… Be imaginative and daring. A brief description (less than 200 words) should be included.
The Perennials listed below are either written by staff or selected collection curators. These are the only categories for which proposals are not solicited from the general membership.
  • CEO’s Note—Wherein the CEO spotlights new or changing initiatives.
  • Nationally Accredited Plant Collection™ Spotlight—This 500–700-word article features a collection selected by the Plant Collections Network Manager.
  • Program Spotlight—This 500–700-word article is focused on the Association’s signature programs, prepared by Association staff.


Issues are listed in order of most recent first.

PG August 2023 Issue Cover_Volume 38, No. 3

Volume 38, Issue 3

PG May 2023 Issue Cover_Volume 38 Issue 2

Volume 38, Issue 2

PG February 2023 Issue Cover_Volume 38 No. 1

Volume 38, Issue 1

PG Nov 2022 Issue Cover_Volume 37 No. 4

Volume 37, Issue 4