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Sunset magazine is more than a gardening magazine. I enjoy their recipes - they are pretty basic, easy to follow and are delicious. The travel suggestion are usually out of my pocket range. I miss the old days of Sunset.
terracotta Santa Barbara County, CA (Zone 9a) (3 reviews) February 16, 2006
I used to enjoy Sunset magazine, but over the past few years I find myself flipping through it quickly and not picking it back up again. There's just not enough to interest me anymore. Previously, when Sunset would arrive in the mail, I used to zero-in on the gardening section to look at the pictures and read the articles, then would start at the beginning and read most of the other articles. Over the years I've tried many of the crafts and recipes (Sunset has always been good at step-by-step instructions), and I used to save my copies for future reference. Now I recycle the magazine right after I flip through it.
Sunset seems to be aiming at a more upscale audience than it used to. Ho hum. I'm tired of reading about 21st century yuppies and their wine and travel and trendy remodeling projects. (BTW, there seems to be a heavily increased emphasis on wine -- to the point where I sometimes wonder if Sunset is an instrument of the wine industry.) I suppose this new audience and emphasis is more lucrative for Sunset and its many advertisers, but this new tony version leaves me cold. What do I care if some couple's new designer home features a professional-grade stove, custom-designed tiles, a shower room and sauna, and a garden designed by an expert? I'm happy for them, but give me something I can relate to!
Sunset's gardening section keeps getting smaller and (to my mind) less helpful, which is quite disappointing. I used to really enjoy the informative articles and accompanying photos, as well as the "do-able" garden projects. Also, Sunset used to feature more crafts (garden and interior); now I get the impression "crafts" is a dirty word with them.
To be fair, I still find the section called something like "what to do in the garden in [insert name of month]" helpful, and many of Sunset's recipes are quite good. I still appreciate their travel articles that focus on little-known places, or when they feature activities (such as farmer's markets) that can be enjoyed on a budget.
Overall, though, I've become disillusioned by the way Sunset is going. Once my subscription runs out, I doubt I will renew it.
I've been hot and cold on Sunset over the years, but I do think that in trying to please all people they have lost their original mission regarding lifestyles in the west. I feel like many of the articles could have just as easily been written for Southern Living, or Northern Living (if there is such a magazine). Instead of preserving what is distinct about each area, we are being offered homogenization.
Kelli L.A. (Canoga Park), CA (Zone 10a) (13 reviews) March 31, 2005
Sunset is o.k., but as others stated, it is not strictly a gardening magazine and a person shouldn't buy it if all they want is gardening magazine. I agree that it used to be better. They are too much into stuff that is too expensive for my tastes - like hotels where rooms go for $275 a night and trendy room remodels. They do have a lot of healthful and interesting recipes.
nevadagdn Sparks, NV (Zone 7a) (117 reviews) March 28, 2005
As a garden magazine, Sunset leaves a bit to be desired. But Sunset ISN'T a garden magazine pure and simple--it's also a food magazine and a travel magazine and a home magazine.
I admit I don't like the new format nearly as much as the old format, and the articles have a lot less substance than they used to. Still, I'd say most months I come away with some new idea for the garden--not necessarily something I'll implement, but something to consider at least.
I still like the recipes, because there's a reasonable chance that NONE of them will be so vile that my mother feels compelled to try them and use ME as an experimental subject to taste them. The few recipes she does try are at least edible.
vs71099 Osage City, KS (Zone 5b) (5 reviews) March 28, 2005
I have to agree I started because it was a good offer at about 1.00 a month.... but I will not be renewing - little content - lots of ads.
Yes, totally agree. Before Sunset was sold it was a great magazine, but has gone downhill since. We too have subscribed for probably 40 years, and still do out of habit I guess but don't get much if anything out of it any more. Harold
rutholive Tonasket, WA (Zone 5a) (10 reviews) August 20, 2003
I began my subscription to Sunset in 1950 and had appleboxes of the magazines to about 1995. Learned much about gardening from Sunset mag. Then they began carrying so much advertising that had nothing to do with gardening so I dropped my subscription. I did resubscribe a few months ago but there is far too much advertising and not enough about gardening so will not renew.