No, Conde Nest, just send me the money


by SusanDomino
For my donation of $18 (if memory serves) to House & Garden Magazine I received exactly ONE issue before it folded.  Now a little postcard tells me that instead, I’ll be getting almost a year’s worth of a magazine called Domino:

We think you’ll love Domino, the guide to living with style. You’ll get the looks you want for every room; fantastic finds for your home in every style and price range; and insider secrets of the design pros.  Domino makes decorating easy, fast and fun!

That is, unless I want a refund, which I have to telephone them to request.  That’s okay; as long as I don’t have to try to make decorating easy, fast and fun.  But man, it’s a sad day for the gardening media when Domino is the closest alternative to the already-missed House & Garden.

In a moment of open-mindedness I did look at Domino’s website and discovered that it has an actual gardening blog by Ivette Soler, and it’s a good one.  Despite not having GardenRant on the blogroll and all.  I especially approve of its title – Germinatrix.  Ivette, give us a try!

Then I see from her bio (third one down) that Ivette "created ‘The Germinator,’ a gossip magazine about plants, gardens, and gardeners."  Sounds promising (and strangely familiar), but Googling the name yielded nothing.  So, does anybody have the scoop?


  1. Yeah, I got that card, too, and thought, replace Dominique Browning’s rather sophisticated worldview with what?

    But I lost the number, so will probably just receive Domino and fume.

  2. Ivette “The Germinatrix” has commented at Digging a few times, and she’s funny and sassy and crazy about plants, especially agaves. I love her blog, though I never comment because of having to sign in and all that.

    I don’t know anything about her gossip magazine though.

  3. Hi! This is Ivette, the Germinatrix, and I am TOTALLY flattered by the nice words, Susan (and Pam!). I must apologize for my tiny out of date blogroll – I will prod my editor to update it with GARDEN RANT prominantly displayed! Of course I read you!

    Oh, ‘The Germinator’ was actually a newletter I created for a garden club I was a member of about 10 years ago … it was pretty punk rock. It was only distributed to the club, but it also found its way into some other hands, and that is how I started writing about gardens … a few articles for Garden Design, and now the blog for Domino.

    I have to say, the community of garden bloggers is incredible! What a force! And the Garden Rant Manifesto is a mighty call to arms! I am so proud to be a small part of it all – thanks again for the mention!

  4. I got that postcard too.

    I’m a dude, man, I don’t want a recipe-laden mag on home decor. Although Amanda Peet’s legs are fine.

    I get plenty of gardening magazines, but draw the line with magazines that seem to cater to style-deprived suburban soccer moms.

    Germinatrix sounds intriguing though. I’m off to check her out…

  5. Okay, after my defensive, testosterone-induced comment previously, I realize that House & Garden is also a magazine that seems to cater to style-deprived suburban soccer moms. (My apologies if you happen to be one.)

    So much for my manliness defense.

    Given the choice between a cover with the latest heuchera or Amanda Peet’s legs, I’d still choose Amanda Peet’s legs. That’s gotta’ mean something.

  6. I got the card too, and was disappointed because I didn’t think there would be much about gardening in Domino. I may still donate it to my public library, but I will check out Ivette’s blog.

  7. I’m sorry, too, to lose House and Garden, but I’m thrilled to discover Germinatrix. Didn’t they fold once before, and then reappear as “HG” or something? Maybe they can find a way, once again, to appeal to a younger generation (isn’t that the problem, more or less?).

  8. Well, Susan -at least the two magazines have something similar in subject and you were given the option of a refund. When Premiere folded last April the substitute was a gossip rag called US Weekly… instead of a year of interviews with directors, writers and intelligent film reviews I got bimbos with babies each week for a few months.

    I sure hope you get a better deal than I did, Susan. [And since the Germinatrix is coming to Spring Fling, we Austin-bloggers will get to meet her in April!]

    Annie at the Transplantable Rose

  9. Are you kidding??!! Domino isn’t even a MAGAZINE! It is a “shopping guide” – more like a cultivated catalog than anything. It is the home decor version of “Lucky.” Look at how Domino is presented to its advertisers and you’llsee the truth — the other big clues that it is fairly original content-free are its big “Domino deals” portion and direct ordering sections.

  10. Hi Garden Ranters! It’s Ivette again –
    I forgot to say that on the positive side of things, Domino’s Editor-in-Chief, Deborah Needleman, was the Garden Editor for years at House and Garden before she was given the helm at Domino. She is truly a lover of gardens and is trying to bring more gardening and outdoor living to the magazine – she even brought on another garden editor from H&G, Steven Orr, to Domino to focus on the subject. I have high hopes… and I’m not just saying that because I’m a team player! The only party line I tow is that of Garden Maniacs everywhere!

    Can’t wait for Spring Fling in Austin! How fun will that be?!

  11. I am glad I got a whole year out of my House and Garden sub before it folded. I had just decided to resubscribe after trying to weed out a couple of my subscriptions…

    I did want to say, I get Cottage Living magazine and have been very happy with the garden articles…but they’re not the main feature of the magazine by any means.

  12. From the moment I came across Ivette Soler’s blog I have been a fan. I love the name of the blog, love her enthusiastic, passionate writing and selfishly look for it each day. I live in an apartment with a small patio, so my gardening is confined to large pots. Ivette has certainly changed the way I approach gardening from timid to, let’s give it a try! I tell everyone with even a remote interest in gadening to “read that blog”. Fresno is so hard on plants, not like when I lived in Sherman Oaks or West Hollywood. The plants that thrived there die in Fresno. I am learning just by hit and miss and even though I have had a lot of misses even with succulents, but no pain no gain as “they” say, does anyone know who “they” are?

  13. Ivette,
    Thanks for giving me my props. Well at least all these people recognize how great your blog is! i will never understand the animosity people have toward making a magazine that is meant to be useful and hence gives sourcing and pricing information. Its purpose is as a service to the reader–and has nothing to do with satisfying advertisers.

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