On Feb 16, 2006, terracotta Santa Barbara County, CA (Zone 9a) wrote:
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.
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
On Aug 20, 2003, rutholive Tonasket, WA (Zone 5a) wrote:
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.