Garden & Gun Magazine (No Joke!)


It’s alive and it has a press release:

Garden & Gun, a new Southern lifestyle magazine, will hit newsstands
in April. The publication will reflect "the modern lives of
affluent Southerners and those who aspire to the sporting life of the
South," according to a company statement.

And on their website we find gorgeous photography and this ad copy:

In the 21st Century American South there is a breed of modern men and women whose mindset is at once old world and new….Stewards of the land, they love the outdoors and long to conserve all that the favorable environment and climate affords them.  They seek a magazine that is contemporary yet classic, confident, sophisticated – a new kind of Southern magazine.

Garden & Gun will attract men and women who live an adventure bound, art loving, skeet-shooting lifestyle and who have a love affair with the South.

Thanks, Garden & Gun, for reminding me why I carried myself OUT of ole Virginny as soon as I legally could.

And thanks to Doreen Howard for alerting the (disbelieving) Garden Writers Listserv to this new publication (subscribe now!)  She also passed along this information about a gun soon to be introduced by Marlin Firearms.  "It’s marketed as ‘perfect for getting rid of chipmunks,
mice, snakes, and other garden pests’, sort of a mini shotgun.  Without
the loud blast.  It will be called the ‘Garden

Now get this.  According to the website, Garden & Gun is being published by none other than Rebecca Darwin, former publisher of New Yorker Magazine.  We’ve heard the publishing world is all a-fluster over its new competition on the Internet but this is just bizarre.  So bizarre, in fact, that I’m still not entirely sure this isn’t an early April Fool’s joke, in which case – ya got me!!

Joke or no, the Garden Writers Listserv has been having lots of fun with this, using subject lines like "Let the Games Begin!" and tongue-in-cheek reports of Poetry Magazine’s takeover by the NRA and subsequent roll-out as Poems and Pistols.  Et cetera.  Readers, your contributions?

UPDATE:  Called Garden&Gun, We Done You Wrong.  Turns out it’s a really good magazine.


  1. Black people seem to be carrying out their traditional role in the deep South – blatently rascist – shame on them – see the pictures on the splash page – if the content of the magazine reflected these attidudes, they would be prosecuted in the UK and rightly so. Does the Cru Clux Clan still exist?!

  2. Well, it is a beautiful web site and you have to applaud when a company picks a name which is both politically incorrect and offensive to a good portion of the public. Using a gun in the garden is nothing new but to brag about it is in bad form…just one opinion. They are offering a free first issue so let’s all call their bluff and see just what is inside that cover!

  3. C’mon, Gardenrant, you’re better than this. So this magazine’s goals are to promote ‘upland bird hunting, gardening, fishing, sailing, equestrian sports and conservation’… which one of those do you find offensive, and why?

  4. Hmmm, let’s see. Decadence? Entitlement? Wastefulness of resources? Cruelty? Or just a continuation of the me me me attitude that keeps us focused on how ‘life is just a big bowl of cherries’ …unless, of course, we can’t even afford the magazine. I would take them up on the free issue, just to see whether there is any focus whatsoever on conservation… other than for the wealthy and priviledged. Yeah boy, that’s what I want to support.

  5. I can do better than that. I’m starting a new magazine called “Garden, Gun & Skillet.” It also will employ that new mini-shotgun. But instead of treating squirrels, chipmunks and raccoons as pests, it will treat them as food. Lots of garden veggies and new ways to consume those four-legged critters who’ve been making off with your tomatoes. How about Brunswick stew with frisee?

  6. Ed: Great idea and could you please include some ‘road kill’ recipes. That is sustainable living!

  7. Dick Cheney should be their first center fold pin up boi.
    After all he’s the poster child for gun safety and is himself Americas’ best weapon of mass destruction.

    For their culinary department he could be shown splayed out ceramoniously in the center page with a big red ripe apple in his mouth and a side of good old fashion Southern style deep fried chitlens, served up by the same person on the cover of Guns and Garden who is assisting the lily white fisherman in servitude .

    They still don’t get it do they ?

  8. Hey… sounds good to me. I am a rather serious skeet shooter. I simply don’t care to kill things for fun, so I don’t hunt. But I would if needed. And if you break into my house late at night and put my family in danger, I will shoot you.

    But my REAL attraction is the shotguns themselves… I love my shotguns… beautiful Italian works of art (one is Belgian)… magnificent really (and substantial investments). I’m not a “gun guy” except for these sporting field guns… which live in a safe, disassembled, the metal only touched with gloved hands (that’s what the wood is for).

    And I love my gardens to.

    And I’m Southern, living in a cold place.

    I’m not too keen on the title though. Seems a little… uh… not for me.

    I’m also a big supporter of the Ruffed Grouse Society (which is also supported by hunters) beacuse the goals are to protect upland gameland and upland game species.

    What’s wrong with that?

    If the title were less… uh… in my face, I’d probably subscribe.

    Sporting Guns and Gardens? I’d buy that.

  9. I’d like to start “Books & Bombs: The Magazine of Detonative Prose.” Because, you know, writing stuff down and blowing stuff up just goes together so naturally.

    Let’s send our new friends at Gardens & Guns some story ideas. How about: “Ten Easy Ways To Bury Bodies in the Perennial Border (And Get Those Spring Bulbs Planted, Too!)”

    I mean, if you’ve shot it, you either need to eat it or bury it, right?

  10. My sister (Pacific Northwest, not Dixie) is an avid gardener and also enjoys skeet and bird hunting as well as fly fishing (though without the ‘guide’ on the splash page). But my guess is that she would rather subscribe to more specialized magazines for each of those avocations. Heck, I’d even consider one of those ‘garden guns’ now that the snow’s retreated and I can see the rabbit damage. (Who am I kidding. I couldn’t even kill the groundhog I live-trapped last year.)

    That splash page really gets me though. I was going to take folks to task for reading too much into this publication. But that image is no accident. I don’t think they’re selling a lifestyle I aspire to.

  11. It keeps getting better. I’m seeing a number of synergies here, such as produce that doesn’t work in the compost bin, but does work as ammo. For instance, 10-guage acorns. Or, for smaller game, coriander seed buckshot. I’m willing to bet that okra seeds, properly cured, could bring down a raccoon or a small deer. And those long, tough flower stalks that beg, What can I do? at the end of the season. I’m thinking sunflower stalks, amaranth, jerusalem artichoke. Aren’t they just waiting to be made into some kind of spears for big game hunting? Now I’m getting a glimmer of a “Survivor” or “Lost” episode. This is where a guy in a loin cloth is running through the landscape with a mint julip in one hand and an okra spear in the other shouting, “You are mine, rabbit! All mine!”

  12. That website is such a howler! So over the top… I think it actually may be a joke… I checked out the website before I read Susan’s original post, so I didn’t see her remark “So bizarre, in fact, that I’m still not entirely sure this isn’t an early April Fool’s joke.” If it’s NOT a joke I feel sure the creator(s) snorted and snickered while he/she/they wrote the copy, picked the photos, etc. I HOPE they did..

    And yet, and yet…demographically there IS a population of people who would defend hunting, love gardens and all things “outdoors,” & buy stuff. I’m married to one: a fly fisherman who loves gardens. And while I can’t call him a hunter, he’s been known to shoot a bird or two. He was raised in, and still lives in Maryland—some would call that a southern state. He subscribes to a ton of fly fishing magazines. Hell, if Garden&Gun turns out to be real magazine & they have a decent promotion dept they’ll find my husband and send him glossy solicitations in the mail–you probably know the kind I mean, the ones that can’t be composted w/o polluting the environment. I’ll report back if we ever receive such mail (but I still think it’s such a howler that it has to be a joke).

  13. barf. I read a little further and now believe the mag IS real and then I read this from their press release:
    ‘ “We aim to be more upscale, more targeted and more niche than older, mass-audience titles like Southern Living,” says Darwin. “Our reader is someone who enjoys the outdoor life — the men and women who aspire to the traditions of the sporting lifestyle. They will typically be in their 30s and 40s, affluent, well-educated and lead active lives.”’

    “more niche”
    “aspire to the traditions of the sporting lifestyle.”
    so elitist. pee uuu.

  14. Naturally I signed up for a free copy of their first edition and unless they deem my zipcode to be too low-class – and that’s entirely possible – I’ll be reporting back.

  15. Thanks to all commenters for the best laugh I’ve had in a week. I laughed till I cried; you all really had fun with this one.
    As for the magazine, I truly don’t know whether to laugh or cry!

  16. This just in: “Guns & Gardens” has been forced to cease publication effective immediately. The publisher/owner was out shooting in the garden, bagged her neighbor’s dog and celebrated by consuming a toxic dose of rhubarb leaves. A spokesman for the magazine explained that the deceased owner/publisher mistook the rhubarb for Swiss chard. Employees responded by taking up arms and shooting all the rhubarb.

  17. I just read a timely article mentioning that one way to bag mistletoe is to shoot it out of a tree! Great article fodder for this new magazine! Can’t wait to see my first issue unless, like Sue, they deem my zip too ‘northern’! Still LOL at all the comments. It doesn’t get any better than this!

  18. Well shoot, people, I don’t see what all the fuss is about. Personally I’ve been gardening with my gun for years. It makes deadheading flowers so much easier. Honest!

  19. I recall a picture from one of the old Foxfire book series with an old guy aiming a rifle from behind a tree. The caption: Organic woodchuck control.

    When it comes to those darn whistle pigs, whatever works.

  20. I find it so amusing, albeit disturbing, that so many self-described “enlightened” people could be so ignorant of the facts. Sportsmen, in the South and elsewhere, have done more for conservation in this country than any other group. The National Wild Turkey Federation brought wild turkey to near-threatened status to the point that populations are prolific throughout their range. Ducks Unlimited has saved more wetland habitat than any well intentioned but batty government initiatives (except for the ones DU itself lobbied for). Quail Unlimited is scratching like mad to reverse the damage done by development and ecologically unethical corporate farming practices that have decimated quail populations across their range–an 80 % decline since the late 60s–and are beginning to see some success. So hunters harvest a small portion of the game they have struggled to preserve? Were it not for their efforts, chances are there would be no wild turkey, ducks, or quail at all. Get educated about the facts before you start spouting your supercilious ignorance. Talk about misplaced elitisms. As to the magazine’s title, which I agreed from the beginning was a bit obscure: it’s named for a now defunct Charleston nightclub that went a long way towards breaking down rigid racial, gender, and social lines in the city. Unfortunately, I doubt very few outside Charleston would get the allusion, as I feared from the beginning. Fact of the matter is, those of us who live in the South—and whose families have lived in the South for generations—really don’t care what you outsiders think. I’m just glad the person who started this blog left Virginia. Goodbye and good riddance, but shame on you for denigrating your heritage. It betrays a small mind.

  21. The magazine takes its name from a Charleston bar in the 70’s that was basically Charleston’s version of Studio 54. One of the few places around at that time where people of any race, gender, or sexual orientation were completely welcomed.

  22. I think you are all being ridiculous….this is an amazing magazine. (One that I have already had the honor to work with.)
    You speak of the South as though we all have small minds, racist thoughts + motives for hunting down anything that moves. Many of us are so far from that….though I wish I could say the same to those of you who are lacking the open mind, creativity, class + sophistication that this magazine is about; but obviously have plenty of time to sit around + complain endlessly about a Southern magazine. Get a life already!

  23. Im excited to see this interesting Publication! I do, however, feel that thier advertising rates are through the roof.Its not normal for a start up magazine to try a first issue with rates that make people choke. Being part of the Publishing world myself, most advertisers want to see proof of what a magazine can do for them before taking out a loan to advertise. I say “Good Luck!”

  24. I first learned of G&G after it was delivered by a federal agent to a designated location…near the garden. I showed it, (the cover only) to my wife, she was frighten, & cautioned me to “not open, or read it” until we received further instructions. It’s been a week now. I’m curious to how my information fell into their hands…although, we do own several guns, &
    the wife does have a concealed to carry permit, & we are organic gardeners, have been for years, {how did they get our address?!} so, if you’re reading this, G&G, please contact us ASAP…so I can read the damned magazine!

  25. I ran across this magazine this morning at my dentist’s office and was perplexed by the name until I read the bit about the club and the target audience. It’s a beautiful magazine and had such interesting articles I had a hard time leaving it in the waiting room. I came home and immediately looked it up on the web. What I find disturbing is the offense taken by all these bloggers who probably have never gotten worked up about Town and Country, Architectural Digest or any of the other “society” magazines which have been touting (northern) affluence for ages. I agree with Elizabeth, get over yourselves.

  26. The anti-gun, anti-capitalist bigots are frosted, eh? Good. It’s high time those who espouse traditional rural lifestyles got themselves a glossy magazine. I live in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, but love quail hunting in the South. I’m gonna subscribe. And the more it irritates you – the more I’m going to do it.

  27. When I saw the premiere issue of the new Garden and Gun magazine in a local Borders, I was drawn to it because of the photo of Pat Conroy on the cover. I have admired his writing for quite some time. As I read the cover blurbs, I glanced at the magazine title and laughed out loud. I lived in Charleston from 1975 to 1982. Trust me, the Garden and Gun Club was a real place. I believe it was on King Street, but at the very least, in was “on the penisula”. I spent many a happy night at the G&G. We had more fun than the law allowed and I man that literally. The G&G was one those places where anyone was liable to be doing anything at any time. My next door neighbor, Ciff, took me along when he met his friends there. If you’re going to hang out at a gay bar, for God’s sake, don’t go with a Junior Leaguer, go with the natives. The Garden and Gun started to fall out of favor when it started to be cool for the Carolina Yacht Club set to go “watch the gays” there. What a shame. I’m still laughing about the title of the magazine and at first, I wondered if there was a connection. Now I don’t care if there is, I get the joke, even if there isn’t one. As my friend Cliff used to say: Let’s sashay down to the old “Root and Shoot”. Good Times.

  28. I saw the first issue of Garden & Gun, picked it up and subscribed immediately. I bought a subscription for a dear friend of mine (NY snob-type lit agent) becuase I knew it would open their eyes to a South that is beautiful, progressive… magical. The article on Winston Groom won him over. This is a fabulous magazine that deals with almost nothing the comments on this page discuss.

  29. i have been a workink gun smith for 45 years and have an undying interest in things martial.
    well finished steel is every bit as apealing as a well finished flower. i am 67 years old and i have worke with ultra secret military outfits and i will tell you they are a strange bunch!
    i wwould like to be part of your “Gun” offerings,
    910 4810953
    very best wishes.

  30. Weapons of Mass Destruction were found Stupid. Unless you don’t count the 500 biological tipped munitions, the satilite photos of the convoy of trucks headed to Syria, or the 500 tons of yellow-cake uranium moved out of Iraq last year. Sweety

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