Adios, Garden Design

On a rare day off when I should be outside pulling weeds, I am doing some long overdue catching up with the online gardening community. One of the first stops on that itinerary is always Garden Rant, where Elizabeth Licata reports that Garden Design magazine’s April issue will be its last.

I used to devour that magazine every month – stop everything and head to the couch when it arrived, and read it cover-to-cover. I say used to, as in the 1990s, when every issue was a surprise of gorgeous design and plant porn. Rarely usable in my own little garden, which was only half the size of the one I’m starting now, but inspiring nonetheless.

Even though I stopped reading it some time ago, I’d saved years’ worth of back issues in those silly plastic holders you buy at Office Depot. They were organized for quick reference. I don’t recall ever actually using them until right after we sold the Houston house, when I had to make some serious decisions about what to keep and what could go.

I couldn’t part with the back pages that offered excerpts of classic gardening books, so I tore a bunch of those out and put them in a folder. Who knows where that folder is now – somewhere between here and a box in The Abominable Storage Unit.

The young couple that bought our Houston house wanted it partly for the garden, so I left them a few of the best, most appropriate issues. The rest went, finally, to recycling.


But I didn’t let go of the many books those pages led me to – including Eleanor Perenyi’s Green Thoughts – A Writer in the Garden (an all-time favorite, always on my nightstand), Russell Page’s The Education of a Gardener, Elizabeth Lawrence’s The Little Bulbs – A Tale of Two Gardens and William Bartram’s Travels.

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