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As I am shortly due to move to a new house (which has a garden) and as I am asolutely useless at anything horticultural I decided to buy some gardening magazines and this was amonst them. Gardens Made Easy - does exactly that - makes gardening easy! There are LOADS of descriptive illustrations and sumptuous photos, which means the inexperienced gardener like myself doesn't have to rely fully on the text. The front cover is very glossy and friendly looking. It almost invites you to pick the magazine up from the shelf it is so appealing. THe issue I picked up had 2 lovely competitions in; One to win some garden plans by a designer and the other to win a super timber deck. There's also some free gifts and money saving offers. Apart from the gardening stuff proper, there is a feature on compost containers, one about different ways of tagging your plants, and of course there is a large classified section at the back of the magazine where you can order your supplies and stuff :-) An excellent offering for beginning gardeners
Gardens Made Easy is a new publication launched in March 2000. To help win readers in an already saturated market they have given away many free gifts with their first issues including seeds, seed trays and gloves. I admit this marketing ploy has worked on and as I've explored the magazine I've been impressed. Its aim is to be an all round magazine and its first issues have a good balance of hard-landscaping information and planting. They use a good system of pictorial logos to highlight products they believe stand out in their review features and mark them as either style, ideas, value, quality or green choice - this makes for a good, quick reference system. Articles featuring gardening makeovers are accompanied by to-do, stockist and contact lists as well as summary stating the overall cost, time and difficulty of the project. The articles are very well illustrated with clear photographs and diagrams. The magazine is obviously looking to have a very interactive feel with their audience and it is interesting to note they are pushing they can be contacted by e-mail which I think will be a popular feature. They often have at least two pages of prize give-aways in additional to more substantial competitions including a gardener of the year award where the prize is £1000 worth of Bradstone materials. There is a comprehensive book review section and regular product tests. The magazine is bright, breezy and well laid out, and would appeal to a wide span of gardeners at many skill levels. I would certainly buy it again but only time will tell if it attracts enough regular readers to keep it afloat in this already competitive area. Priced at £2.60 I think it is a tad too expensive but it is a good quality magazine.