Monday, February 20, 2012

Garden Making magazine

Okay. So this blog is called "a book a week." Let's just say for the sake of argument that books are anything with printed material, otherwise I'm not going to be able to keep up my most excellent streak of posting once a week. I've had a lot of trouble staying with anything longer than a magazine article over the past couple of weeks. I do have a couple of books I'm working on, which may or may not get finished for review: Lauren Chattman's Bread Making, the second Cardcaptor Sakura omnibus volume, Karen Armstrong's Twelve Steps to Compassion, E. M. Forster's A Room With a View. All of these have various things to recommend them, but I'm having a hard time finding the energy when I have the time to read much. Even a graphic novel, you'll notice.

But this is all okay, because I have Garden Making. This is a Canadian magazine, and it's an excellent magazine. It's got all the lovely garden and flower photos, but additionally it has interesting, meaty articles. There are garden profiles, plant profiles, design articles, gardening columns, how-tos, book reviews, tool profiles, and so on. For my money this is the best home and garden magazine on the market, and I flip through plenty of them.

My favourite thing? The articles are long, sometimes several pages, so there's depth and space for thought and interest. I like that it's not a list of things I need to buy to have for my garden or to complete my life, nor is it a series of chirpy tips that bear little resemblance to my gardening experience or that I've already heard/seen many many other places, nor reams of lists of things without context or sufficient information to make them relevant. The writing is excellent by and large, and the photography plentiful and pretty. And the layout! It's not confusing or distracting -- it's clear, perhaps a little staid, but it bears more resemblance to something like The Atlantic than other home and garden magazines I've seen and I like that. It's a magazine I can take seriously and read comfortably, without sacrificing attractiveness.

I don't have many subscriptions. Well, at this point I only have Garden Making. I used to have others, but this quarterly publication is the one I most look forward to and the one I can't let lapse. It's not an old magazine, it's only been around for a couple of years and I believe I've been subscribing since it's fourth issue. But I definitely hope it will stay around longer, so I can read more of Patrick Lima's plant profiles (the spring edition has a big article on peonies by him: I vacuumed it up and went back for a second reading), and Judith Adams' design suggestions, and Lorraine Flanagan's interviews.

Recommended for gardeners or people who wish they had a garden. Its relevance is Canada-wide, and certainly extends to the northern States as well. It's by far the most useful and most pleasurable gardening reading I do these days. It's so refreshing to see such a gorgeous, fat print magazine in these days of internet and e-readers; I hope they can continue to be profitable so I can enjoy it for years to come.


Nan said...

This sounds so good. Often gardening magazines have nothing to do with real life gardeners. :<)

Unknown said...

So true! But they're often so pretty. This one combines the best of both. I don't know if it's available to you in the States, though, sadly.