Garden Making digs up niche readership

The new, privately published, quarterly mag is hoping to entice budding gardeners as well as the hobby's established fanbase with service-oriented content and a Canadian angle.

Despite the claims that print is dead, private Niagara on the Lake, ON-based publisher Inspiring Media is betting that a lively topic will entice readers to keep green-thumbing through glossy pages.

Launched this month, Garden Making magazine is a quarterly publication primarily targeting gardeners in their 30s and 40s, but hoping to reach a younger demographic of up-and-coming gardeners as well. It will feature a minimum of 70 editorial pages per issue and has an initial print run of 34,000 copies. The rate card is currently based on a guaranteed circulation in Ontario of 12,000, with the additional 22,000 being distributed nationally through mail, newsstand and at garden shows.

And although the print run is starting out small, Garden Making has some serious Canadian publishing pedigree behind it, with former Canadian Gardening editor (and George Brown horticulture instructor) Beckie Fox at the editorial helm and her husband, Rogers’ Publishing senior VP of circulation and development Michael Fox, on the business side. (Fox will remain in his post with Rogers while handling the new venture.)

While the story in Canadian magazines has been, in recent years, a bit gloomy, Fox thinks that the magazine’s focus on detailed how-to content for all levels of gardeners will help build a dedicated readership for the magazine’s success.

‘I am very optimistic about the viability of print for well-edited, well-focused magazines with compelling content. There is a mixture of satisfying education and entertainment for gardeners to sit down with a magazine that literally takes hours to enjoy. Certainly, magazines must be willing to invest in content that’s truly interesting and useful for readers if they expect to be supported by readers.’

The magazine is being promoted to consumers through a $100,000 marketing campaign focusing on direct mail, sample issue mail-outs, targeted print advertising, garden shows and online advertising.

There are 16 advertisers in the first issue, on newsstands now, largely focused on industry-endemic brands such as Lee Valley Tools, Proven Winners plant brand and McFayden Seed Company.