Multiply dog-eared Fine Gardening says “Renew me!”


Like so many Americans, I'm tightening my belt, cutting expenses where I can, and wondering if I really need all the magazines I subscribe to.  Garden Design is surely a good candidate for dropping, since it takes me 5-10 minutes to "read" it, but unfortunately I fell for their deceptive renewal campaign and am paid up through about 2016.  No lie.

And it won't be Fine Gardening, either, especially since I noticed this about my copy of the May issue: 6 dog-ears marking stories I want to come back to and read in full.  Like:

  • Stunning photos attracting me to read "Who says a kitchen garden can't be beautiful"?
  • "Sweetly scented annuals."
  • "Pruning for conifers" I couldn't possibly resist.  Essential for a conifer-lover like me, still scared to death to ruin them with my pruners.
  • "Mix it up with coleus."  I've lusted after coleus for years; time to give them a serious try.
  • Stephanie Cohen's plant pick – 'Bunny Blue' carex, which is touted as a good pachysandra substitute.  Stephanie knows her plants and looks adorable in her sun hat.
  • "Making sense of specialty fertilizer" is something I need to be able to do.

Okay, so maybe I'll cut back on – well, probably nothing gardening-related after all.    


  1. I love Fine Gardening, and I couldn’t give it up either. I just renewed it and Horticulture. I don’t take Garden Design though. Not my thing. I like gardens which are messy. Hence, mine.~~Dee

  2. I don’t subscribe to any. I buy the issues that I think I’ll read. Less pulp, less recycling and a reason (not that I need one) to go to the library or the bookstore.

  3. LOL. I have a foot-high stack of: Horticulture (since I had an ad for Garden Your City in it, I feel I must be loyal, The English Garden, Garden Design, Mother Earth News, Fine Gardening,and The American Gardener (I am a member of the AHS),and even ancient but wonderful Mike McGrath as editor Organic Gardening issues.

    One day, pre-harvest, I do plan on “free” time to enjoy every page.

  4. If you have multi-year subscriptions you can still cancel at any time and receive a prorated refund. A couple of years ago, I did it with a good half-dozen subscriptions (including Fine Homebuilding, Taunton Press’ cousin to FG). Over the course of about 8 weeks, I kept receiving ‘little’ checks – to the tune of nearly $150.

    In addition to saving $$ and reducing the incoming mail pile, I also stopped getting much of the peripheral junk mail that the subscriptions engendered (whether offers to renew, to buy related books, to buy stuff from related companies, etc.).

    Now I use the library, share mags with friends (I do still get, for example, Horticulture and Organic Gardening), and read the mags’ online versions for the info I really want. I do sometimes miss the pretty pictures, but not the pounds of recycling.

  5. I’m mulling my renewals to exactly the same two magazines! I do enjoy both of them, but I’m leaning toward letting this cost go. Organic Gardening is the one I find myself reading in depth these days. These two, well, I think its time for a break — assuming I haven’t fallen for their renewal schemes and already renewed until I’m dead. 🙂

  6. I look forward to both Fine Gardening and Garden Design each issue. Completely different magazines. The number of dog-ears changes with each mag and issue.

    For years, Fine Gardening sponsored the Garden Conservancy’s Open Days program and this year Garden Design is sponsoring. I commend any business that gives back to the community.

  7. They will tear the last copy of Fine Gardening from my cold dead hands before I give up THAT subscription! All other magazines were dropped this year.

    FG was suggested to our class by Sylvia Elwyn during her Garden Design class at the Asheville Arboretum.
    Great advice.

  8. Garden Design lost me a few years ago. Too much interior design crept in to the format; then when I moved Phoenix, nothing in their pages ever applied to me.

    I’m still holding on to Horticulture, but they are on the watch list. They slide back to the poor quality they gave us earlier this year and they are outta here!

  9. I love Garden Design. My friend calls it garden porn and he’s right. I love to see what a $5000 deck chair looks like (and laugh because I can’t imagine buying such a thing). So yeah, I can’t say I read it for much practical info pertaining to my own garden, but I think it’s fun to see how the other half gardens.

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