Fading gardening fad prompts IPC and Romsey to prune titles

IPC Media’s closure of New Eden and Romsey Publishing’s disposal of Garden Ideas signal a waning of the Charlie Dimmock-inspired trend in gardening.

IPC Media’s closure of New Eden and Romsey Publishing’s disposal of

Garden Ideas signal a waning of the Charlie Dimmock-inspired trend in

gardening.



Both magazines launched last year at the height of the fad, when

gardening programmes began usurping cookery and DIY shows in the

television schedules.



Despite popular interest in the pastime generated by TV, the bi-monthly

New Eden recorded a debut ABC of only 25,820 for the second half of last

year - significantly below IPC’s expectations.



At the start of June, IPC moved its gardening portfolio of New Eden,

Amateur Gardening and Your Garden from the Country and Leisure group

into Southbank, to join the home interest titles.



The strategy was to sell the two portfolios together. However, although

editorial and marketing has since moved to Southbank, the gardening

titles have continued to be sold by the Country and Leisure sales team,

headed by ad director Jean Christie.



The two sales people dedicated to New Eden will continue to sell the

other two gardening magazines.



New Eden had a more designer and contemporary image than the traditional

gardening fare and was aimed at urban yuppies who were new to the hobby.

Editorial had an upmarket lifestyle tone and advertising was targeted

accordingly. The current July/August issue carries ads for BMW, Saab,

Campari, Ericsson and Clinique. Features cover Hampstead roof terraces

and designers’ gardening sculptures.



One industry observer commented that New Eden was too self-indulgent,

and suggested IPC had gambled in chasing a TV audience which, it

transpired, was not interested in gardening magazines.



’Visit any garden centre or flower show and you will see that committed

gardeners are not trendy but conservative and predominantly

middle-aged,’ he added.



The bi-monthly Garden Ideas is to be folded into SPL Publishing’s

Gardens Made Easy, which launched in April. Next year, frequency will

increase to monthly.



Garden Ideas was launched a year ago as a practical gardening guide to

compliment Romsey’s coffee-table title The English Garden.



Last year’s second-half ABC for Garden Ideas was 27,294. The result for

the first six months of this year is expected to show growth in sales to

more than 40,000. However, the first half of the year is the peak period

for gardening titles.



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