CHARLESTON, S. C. – Sterling Eason met me for breakfast at Virginia’s, across the street from her office at Garden & Gun, everybody’s favorite magazine. Well, maybe not everybody’s — but over a million of us consider it the best, which puts this dazzling publication in heady company.
Garden & Gun is in its infancy when you consider it is only seven years old, but its “national lifestyle pages that focus on the South” circulate in all 50 states with 40 percent of its readers living outside the Southeast.
Sterling, a Georgia graduate whose courtly smile and conversational warmth radiate energized hospitality, finds her work as the communications director of the magazine fulfilling and exciting. There is electricity in the air at the office, where there are many side benefits when you are immersed in Charleston’s magnolia way of life. There’s the farmer who brings fresh eggs to the magazine office. There’s another farmer who grows peanuts, which are boiled and neatly packaged by his mother. He brings them by the office in a wicker basket. Long live Old South commerce and neighborly habits!
Members of an outfit from Alabama, Belle Chevre, showed up recently driving an airstream, which in minutes transitioned into a popup tent from which grilled goat cheese and prosciutto sandwiches were served. As Sterling waxed on with ungoverned appreciation for the environment in which she works and the success of Garden & Gun, her mother Anne Lattimore, a longtime resident of Manhattan, nodded approval. Anne is a media maven who fully understands and appreciates Garden & Gun’s alacritous success.
If you have something unique or different, there is nobody better than Garden & Gun to tell the world about it — and if they find it worthy of coverage, you couldn’t have a better crier on the landscape. The best news about Garden & Gun is that it has a brotherhood of word-of-mouth advocates. It is akin to gossip you can’t wait to tell or promoting the movie you want everybody to see. Once you become a subscriber to the magazine, you can’t wait to heartily recommend to your friends that they join the club. I can’t go any further without toasting Rosemary Magill, who connected me with G & G with the treasured gift of a subscription. It’s nice being the beneficiary of someone’s thoughtful generosity.
The numbers say it all. Subscriptions are up nearly 14 percent over the previous year. Single-copy sales are up over 23 percent. Even if you aren’t currently reading Garden & Gun, if you appreciate an old-fashioned verve, alluringly packaged news, and well-written essays, and if you enjoy the way things of old were done but with a new twist — then you should make G & G required reading. Garden & Gun will affiliate you with artists, artisans, authors, architects, chefs, performers, dogs, hunters, poets, lyricists, fishermen, and characters — anybody and anything newly minted — and it will make your day.
If it is creative, unique, and innovative when it comes to lifestyle and good living with a bent toward the outdoors, sporting venues, and anything to electrify your taste buds, you simply cannot live without Garden & Gun. Revenues for the magazine are up, which means that, in the world of print journalism, this magazine is doing something lofty, to say the least. It is also a reminder that there are many who choose to abandon their iPhones and instead take respite on their porches and traverse G & G’s inviting pages without allowing their lives to be dominated by the void in creativity, concentration, and nothingness which is brought about by occupying themselves with impersonal screen time.
Now, this disclaimer. If you subscribe to Garden & Gun, I get no royalties. Sterling even paid for my breakfast. What I get, pleasantly so, is the satisfaction of knowing you are likely to enjoy the same emotional benefits of a million others.