I have always been a big magazine reader, especially those related to gardening. Although my preferred magazines have changed over the years, for the past 20 I have subscribed to at least three different ones at any given time.
Right after I graduated from college I enjoyed American Nurseryman, largely because in it was a lot of current research and information about nursery trends. I was working in the nursery industry at the time and found it very useful. At that time, it was published weekly and I just couldn’t keep up with all that reading. I felt guilty about it so I quit subscribing. I will return someday.
I have always enjoyed Horticulture magazine, as well, though I can’t say I am overly fond of the fact that they took so much of the science out of it. I loved it when Roger Swain was the science editor there—he had a way of explaining soil pH like no one else. The magazine staff seemed to take themselves more seriously then and had a greater appeal for very experienced gardeners. My guess is that now they are trying to cater to newer gardeners, which there is nothing wrong with; I just don’t find it as interesting as I used to. I’m considering letting my subscription lapse, but I would feel badly about it. There is still good information there, but where I used to learn 10 or 20 new things, I now only learn one or two.
Organic Gardening magazine has been in my life since, quite literally, the day I was born. My mother subscribed and I always remember the digest-sized magazines sitting around the house. It is the perfect fit for me as a gardener and a mother.
And, most recently, I have rediscovered Fine Gardening. Many years ago, I used to enjoy reading copies passed along from a friend, but hadn’t seen one in a few years. I had the opportunity to check out several issues from the past two years and was very impressed with the amount of information it offered. Lots of science without making it overwhelming. Lots of gorgeous pictures without eliminating the “real” gardens—blemishes and all. Lots of practical information without dumbing it down. And lots of different topics in every issue. I am going to ask for a subscription for the holidays. I can only hope they see me through winter’s gardening lull.