The editor, Aldona Satterthwaite, is a keen gardener and the magazine reflects that and does an excellent job of informing and entertaining gardeners (but, of course, I'm biased).
CG has an appropriate balance between gardening and what we magazine types call "lifestyle". Gardening = growing stuff, creating a garden. Lifestyle = buying the right teak bench.
This month (the May issue just out) in her editor's column, Aldona takes on the trend mongers and outdoor "decorators" who fall for one hot thing after the next, and who like to declare that gardening is over.
In her words:
"Of course, gardening isn't for everyone - it never was and never will be. But dead? Not any time soon. Sure, the human lemmings who flit from fad to fad may try it and move on, perhaps after finding out that buying an expensive, finicky exotic plant isn't quite the same as purchasing a designer sofa. Actually, it's a lot more like adopting a pet or having a baby, because we're talking three scary C-words here, folks - commitment, care and consistency. And whether you do it on a large-sized lot or a small balcony, that's pretty much the secret to being a successful gardener.Here! Here! I used to coordinate and write a lot of gardening articles for a women's magazine that shall remain nameless. We eventually fell out because of the very issue of exterior decorating: the editor I worked with actually said that they didn't want stories that necessitated getting your hands dirty.
I have another bugbear. There's something afoot to try to make gardening synonymous with outdoor decorating. Outdoor decorating and outdoor leisure are two perfectly delightful and legitimate pursuits, but they ain't gardening. The best gardens are made with heart and soul and love, and owe little to fancy doodads (but a lot to the three Cs)."
I hated writing about exterior decorating, and that's mostly what they ended up wanting. The parting was mutual. After that, Canadian Gardening took me on, and I'm pleased that I actually get to write about growing things. By the way, I have piece on bearded irises and how to plant a tree in this May's issue.
To illustrate this post, I chose a picture of my four-square garden, which to me represents the epitome of commitment, as it is my most labor-intensive garden area. There are times when I'd like to rip out all the flowers and bulbs, and just plant a single crabapple tree with groundcovers in each of the four squares, but even doing that would be a huge task.
Then June comes, and my heart melts at this amazing thing of beauty that we have managed to create - and once again the three Cs see me through. That's gardening.