Garden Essentials issue wins GWA Gold

Garden Making

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GWA Gold

GWA Gold

Garden Making magazine has won the 2016 Media Awards Gold Medal for Best Overall Magazine under 100,000 circulation, awarded by the Association for Garden Communicators (GWA) for issue No. 24, Garden Essentials. The award was presented at the GWA Annual Conference & Expo Award Dinner on Sept. 19, 2016, in Atlanta, Georgia.

Garden Essentials
No. 24

“This is our second gold GWA award,” says editor-in-chief Beckie Fox, noting that issue No. 15, Fall 2013 — with its special focus on native plants — picked up gold at GWA’s 2014 Media Awards, in Pittsburgh. “We are honoured not just to win but to be here at the conference in person to accept the award!”

GWA members Beckie Fox, and publisher Michael Fox are named in the award. The contributors to Garden Making No. 24, published in November 2015, include Judith Adam, Laura Berman, Steven Biggs, Deanna Dority, Lorraine Flanigan, Laura Langston, Stephen Westcott-Gratton, Heather White and Karen York.

Garden Making Design Director Gary Hall created a dramatic cover image of a well-loved shovel surrounded by details about the articles inside.

Here’s what one of the GWA judges said about the Garden Essentials issue:

Brevity is beautiful. Garden Essentials is a powerful tool for any gardener, not just a novice. This series would serve any gardener well, but also a thoughtful  garden writer or editor looking for ideas. Garden Essentials is full of brief “entry points” on countless topics, and a usable reference. Well-organized, beautifully laid out; each photo and graph serves a purpose without the design getting in the way of information.

The GWA awards recognize individuals and companies who achieve the highest levels of talent and professionalism in garden communications. The 2016 competition had more than 250 entries in 56 categories, and Silver Awards of Achievement were given to 59 pieces of work making them semi-finalists for Gold Awards. A total of 11 Gold Medals were awarded in 2016.

“The GWA Media Awards showcase the writers, photographers, editors, publishers and trade companies that have pursued excellence in gardening communication in print or electronic communications,” says Kirk Brown, president of GWA. “The Media Award winners have been judged by industry experts and show significant distinction and merits that exemplify exceptional work.”

Since the early 1980s, the GWA Media Awards program has recognized outstanding writing, photography, graphic design and illustration for books, newspaper stories, magazine articles and other works focused on gardening. In recent years, the awards program has expanded to include on-air talent, production and direction for radio, television, video, Internet and other electronic media.

To view all the 2016 GWA Media Award recipients, visit

About Garden Making

Garden Making is an independent Canadian print and digital magazine published quarterly by Inspiring Media, which owns the trademark to the name Garden Making Canada. Based in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont., the brand also produces original content on its website and curates information of value to gardeners via social media and e-newsletter platforms.

The newsstand single copy price is $6.99; the one-year subscription price is $19.96. All other platforms currently offer free access.

The mandate of the family business is to offer ideas and inspiration to home gardeners in Canada, enhancing individual enjoyment and engagement, in turn galvanizing gardening communities throughout the country.

The magazine was launched in 2010 by Beckie and Michael Fox, two longtime magazine professionals. Beckie, Garden Making’s editor-in-chief, was on the editorial team of Canadian Gardening magazine for its first decade, from the launch in 1990 until becoming its editor, from 1999 to 2001, when it was owned by Avid Media. Michael, CEO and publisher of Garden Making, retired from Rogers Publishing in 2012, where he had worked in senior management for more than 30 years. He is the 2015 recipient of Outstanding Achievement from the National Magazine Awards Foundation.

In 2016 Toronto Star columnist Sonia Day wrote that Garden Making “offers real, practical information about growing things (instead of lifestyle piffle) with lovely pictures and an easy-to-read layout.” In 2012 Garden Making was cited as a recent example in an exhibition of British and Canadian gardening literature throughout the centuries at the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto.

About the GWA

GWA: The Association for Garden Communicators, formerly the Garden Writers Association, is a North American organization of professional communicators in the green industry, including authors, bloggers, editors, syndicated columnists, freelance writers, photographers, speakers, landscape designers, television and radio personalities, consultants, publishers, extension service agents and more.

GWA provides leadership and opportunities for education, recognition, career development and a forum for diverse interactions for professionals in the field of gardening communication.

GWA Gold winners in 2016

Allan Armitage presents Gold Award to Garden Making’s Beckie Fox and Michael Fox in Atlanta.
Allan Armitage presents Gold Award to Garden Making’s Beckie Fox and Michael Fox in Atlanta.

The GWA Awards & Honors Dinner on Sept. 29 was sponsored by Proven Winners Color Choice shrubs and emceed by Dr. Allan Armitage of the University of Georgia. Gold awards went to:

  • Best Overall Book: Craig LeHoullier & Storey Publishing, Epic Tomatoes: How to Select and Grow the Best Varieties of All Time
  • Best Overall Magazine: Beckie Fox, Michael Fox & Inspiring Media, Inc., Garden Making, Issue No. 24, Garden Essentials
  • Best Overall Electronic Media: David Calle, The Good Garden: Garden History Design Inspiration
  • Best Overall Broadcast Media: Linda Lehmusvirta, Central Texas Gardener
  • Best Overall Trade: George Coombs & Mt. Cuba Center, “Coreopsis for the Mid-Atlantic Region”
  • Best Writing: Book: Ken Druse, The New Shade Garden: Creating a Lush Oasis in the Age of Climate Change
  • Best Writing Magazine: Teresa Woodard, “Honey Harvest”
  • Best Writing: Newspaper/Newsletter/Brochure: Jeff Lowenfels, “Immortality & Grandpa’s Daylillies”, et al.
  • Best Writing: Electronic: Teresa Odle,
  • Best Photography: Bob Stefko, “Honey Harvest”
  • Best On-Air Talent: Nan Sterman, A Growing Passion

Other silver medals to winners in Canada

Other winners of 2016 media awards silver medals from Canada include:

  • “Gardening in the Wild” by Belinda Gallagher, owner of Hooked on Horticulture Consulting in Tory Hill, Ont., in the newspaper column (circulation <30K) category.
  • “Gardening with Mark – June Issue” by Mark Cullen, president of Mark’s Choice Ltd., in the e-newsletter article category. (On July 1, Mark was awarded Member, Order of Canada “for his contributions to promoting and developing horticulture education in Canada and for his ability to explain how Canadians can protect the environment.”)
  • “Dallying in the Dirt” by Kenneth Brown, who is publisher/editor of in Whitby, Ont., in the e-zine overall category.
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