Deb Wiley

deb wiley head shot
Title: Freelance Garden Writer, Editor, and Creative Project Manager
Expertise: Gardening in the United States , Cold-hardy plants , Pollinator gardens , Deer resistant gardens

Deb Wiley's goal as a writer and editor is to bring the joy of gardening by cultivating her readers’ relationship to growing and planting. Although gardening may seem intimidating at first, she urges everyone to begin by simply planting a seed, watering a houseplant, or realizing that you’re not truly a gardener until you’ve killed a plant at least three times. After nearly 45 years of writing for national and regional publications, she understands that storytelling, accuracy, and clarity (along with a dose of good humor) can bring gardening home to everyone.


  • Former garden editor of Midwest Living magazine
  • Project editor and contributor for five Better Homes & Gardens garden books
  • Writer of hundreds of garden articles for more than 20 national and regional magazine titles
  • Ghost writer for the encyclopedia of an award-winning garden book, 2020
  • Fellow of Garden Communicators International
  • Book awards judge for American Horticulture Society 2016-2020
  • Past chair and current judge for Garden Communicators International


After 20 years as a newspaper reporter, Deb Wiley melded her lifelong passion for gardening with her writing and photography experience when she became the garden editor for Midwest Living magazine. Since starting her freelance career in 2008, she has been a highly sought-after writer and editor for a wide range of magazine, book, and online projects. Deb’s goal is to educate and entertain her readers so they can experience the joys (and challenges!) of home gardening. By making gardening approachable and do-able, she helps readers understand what it takes to enjoy growing a greener world.

Honors & Awards

  • Honored as a Fellow of Garden Communicators International 2017
  • Winner, 2008 Silver Award, magazine writing, Garden Communicators International
  • Judge for American Horticulture Society's annual book awards 2016-20
  • Past chair and frequent judge for Garden Communicators International's Media Awards program


Deb graduated magna cum laude with degrees in English and history from Luther College, a private liberal arts college in Decorah, Iowa, and fulfilled graduate credits from the College of Journalism, University of Iowa. She is an Iowa State University Master Gardener.

Professional Memberships

  • Garden Communicators International
  • Emeritus board member, Greater Des Moines Botanical Garden
  • 12-year board member for The Brenton Arboretum
  • Affiliate member, Des Moines Founders Garden Club, a Garden Club of America chapter

About Better Homes & Gardens

Better Homes & Gardens, a Dotdash Meredith Brand, is the only iconic home brand with a 100+ year history of providing trustworthy and achievable ideas for all doers and home-enthusiasts. We are the go-to resource for fresh takes on home, food, and gardening—inspiring people to bring their dreams to life at home on special occasions and every day. BHG reaches 45 million readers each month. Learn more about us and our editorial process.

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