Reposting from 11/07, some questions about garden magazines from the web,
“So friends, tell me: what are your thoughts on your favorite gardening mags? Are they as good as they always were? Do you find yourself wanting more from their articles? Have you noticed a dumbing down, a tendency towards sound-bite or news-clip type short pieces rather than something you can really enjoy? Or am I being picky?”
I answered this:
I think garden magazines are a victim of their own popularity. They are dumbed down, but that is because “in the old days” they were seasonally produced at most, and were more of an additional resource, so they could have more indepth articles.
Once you produce something more prolifically the expertise and the focus take a hit. Not to mention the costs involved which have to be offset by reaching a broader audience and including more ads.
I think we see this in the internet as well. In garden literature as a whole the move towards a more visual experience detracts from the writing, and that is something I had to face in my own sites. I’m no photographer, but that is what is popular for websites. I recently made my own decision to choose the path less traveled and try to improve my writing, rather than increase my efforts at photography which -frankly- I suck at.
I guess there is always that choice and the choices made have watered down the quality of the magazines, but I still will buy something if it appeals to my sense that there is something of value offered. Just not as often I used to.
Same with garden books.
What do you think, dear readers?
[UPDATE: notice I received 3 comments …maybe more this time around? Also, I have caved and now have many more photos than before. ]
Tags: garden magazines,
Greg W says
I am a beginning perennial gardener and I have been trying as many magazines as I can afford in order to find a few that can keep me informed on new varieties. Looking at them through the eyes of a novice these last several years I have found that the two things they all have in common is, of course, pretty pictures and they mainly profile California gardens. The details about how to nurse a plant from seedling to full, thriving maturity blooming in all its glory is sadly lacking. They do want to reach as many gardeners as possible and it does negatively affect their effectiveness. I have quit several magazines because of too many advertisements, especially the little inserts that fall out when you open the magazine, they just all go into the landfill and I don’t feel right about contributing. Birds & Bloom is by far the worst offender with their magazine shipped in a plastic bag for the sole purpose of foisting off even more ads onto you. It is published by Reiman Publications. I liked Garden Gate at first but as my expertise grows on how to grow different perennials I find the magazine beginning to repeat a lot of the more popular plants. And when it comes right down to it, how much more can you say about Echinacea or Chrysanthemum or Sunflowers? I just don’t see long term subscriptions to any gardening magazine in my future. Perhaps they are all geared to beginners and I am outgrowing them. Thank-you for bringing up the subject. P.S. I have never seen any garden form Utah profiled in any national gardening magazine. NEVER! Greg at Utah Valley Gardens blog.