Never Judge

Where else but the Southern United States would a magazine named Garden & Gun find a readership? Yes, you read correctly Garden & Gun.gardengun1

Pretty isn’t it.

When I first saw this magazine at my local Central Market, just sitting in the rack waving at me, I stared, mouth likely hanging open. I was flabbergasted I was stunned! Truthfully, I nearly burst out in laughter right there in the check-out line, thinking to myself, “nowhere else but here would anyone think to create such a shiny, beautiful magazine named Garden & Gun, nowhere but here in the South, because nowhere but here in the Southlands of the USofA would anyone think this goes together like milk and cookies!”

Gotta get me a UZZI to kill me some varmints’ dagnabit!

If you know me at all, even a little bit you know despite the rather pricey $5.99 cover I simply had to make the purchase, had to know what was inside. There truly wasn’t anything on the cover, other than the name itself that hinted at the ‘real’ contents, what could possibly be inside? Oh, oh my not only do they have a print magazine all glossy and beautiful, they have an electronic delivery of their super-duper Garden & Gun (don’t you just love the juxtaposition of those words).

Here I am, eating from my wonderful fruit salad I made yesterday, all this wonderful fresh goodness and perusing my Gardens & Guns expecting the worst. Imagine my surprise; it wasn’t at all gardengun3 what I expected. Sure, there were advertisements’ for sport shooting at, well those clay things hurled in the air. But there were also beautiful garden pictures, spectacular recipes like the one on page 44 for Tomato Pie (yum), music reviews, book reviews, walks through fabulous houses, humor and so much more. All of it done well, written really well and the pictures, my oh my, the pictures some of them are simply stunning.

So this was a surprise, one that led me to the online magazine just to take a quick peek. What I found was some more of the same. To put things in perspective, this is what is on offering at Garden & Gun, online which pretty closely follows their print magazine.


This one I just had to share with you all:

I am going to admit, it is highly unlikely I will subscribe to Garden & Gun. I am simply not a hunting, sport shooting or fishing fancier and there is plenty of this in the magazine. I started out, when I bought this magazine at the check-out stand, when it was waving me down, screaming at me; well I started out with the plan to be ugly, knowing I would be able to write ugly, snarky things about the magazine and my beloved Southlands and those who inhabit this diverse and wonderful part of our nation. I started simply knowing only here could you combine Gardens and Guns and come out with something truly obnoxious and disturbing that others would find worth reading. Kickm

I was wrong, this truly is well done.

So much for my preconceived notions, what do they say? Oh, yes that’s right…..Never Judge A Book by its Cover.


  1. Val what a great read that link you shared, just loved it. Any magazine which kind of gives an idea that sitting in a garden with gun is cool must be great, not that this magazine did this but you know me 🙂

    • It was a strange and eye opening read. Like I said, I was kicked about for judging based on the cover (name). I think I am not supposed to do this. Bad Val.


  2. Might I hazard a guess that their Marketing Department pulled out all the stops and opted for the ‘huh, what?’ shock appeal?

  3. My, Val, I must look for this magazine at my local HEB (no Central Market here)! What is the South coming to when guns and gardens go hand in hand? Your review was fair and I clicked on the link too. I suppose there is a lesson for all of us who consider ourselves tolerant: don’t judge until you have more facts. Thanks for the fun review!

    • I was surprised and taken aback, really. As I said, I am not going to subscribe, it isn’t really my cup of tea. On the other hand, I suspect I may pick it up now and again when I see it in the store, it is well written and despite the ‘guns’, hunting, fishing the rest is really quite nice.

  4. The magazine title is certainly bizarre! Imagine the conversation: “Where do you work?” “Oh, Garden and Gun.” “Pardon me?” –Thanks for the giggle.

  5. Finally a magazine that appeals to women AND men at the same time. Great idea, haha.

  6. A strange combination indeed …. but you were very fair!

  7. I would have given it a pass so you did well to satisfy your curiosity. That’s why I like the internet as you can snoop before deciding to buy without standing in line at the check out thumbing through the magazine. lol

    • I normally would have also Ian. I think because I write this blog my curiousity gets double whammied.

      1. I see beautiful things I want to take pictures or learn more about them.
      2. I see terrible things I want to learn more about them.

      This time it was a bit of both. In thinking I had seen a terrible / tacky thing though I relearned a lesson, don’t judge.

      As I have told a few others, I hope you will visit the link I added. I think you will enjoy it.

  8. frigginloon says:

    Can’t say I was a tad disappointed Valentine. I was kinda hoping for a pistol shooting pansy or at the very least a brussel sprouting uzi.

  9. What a bizarre concept for a magazine, Val. What’s next, Blood and Roses? Grenades and Cupcakes? I don’t care how beautiful it looks, how amazing the recipes are. If it promotes guns in any way, I’m just not interested.

    • It is bizarre, isn’t it? As I said, my mouth hanging open and it isn’t likely I would ever subscribe but it is equally shocking I found things that were terribly wonderful. Yes, the magazine promotes guns, but hunting rifles, skeet shooting, sport shooting. Not what you and I usually think. One of the articles I read with great interest talked about University Target Teams. There wasn’t a single truly offensive advertisement in the entire magazine. I understand your position, it is generally my position as well. Maybe it is the Southerner in me, I don’t have an issue with hunting, sport shooting; don’t do it myself and am not interested. Thus won’t subscribe.

  10. I wonder whether “Gun” was the name of the farmer who first moved into the homestead back in the 1800’s and had to fight off coyotes and all, as he tended his farm.

    “Hand me the gun, son,” he would say.

    Soon the Indians referred to him as “Gun” and that name stuck. A lot easier than fire-stick.

    His grandson launched a one-sheet leaflet and that grew into a glossy magazine – his great grandson took it into cyberspace – that eZine.

    A tall tale, you say – true – it could be true 🙂

  11. I thought they had gone out of business! Because my boss is an MD, we end up with all kinds of mags. And just after I saw it at my (VA) hairdresser’s I was amused to find it at work. But I haven’t seen it I. A few years, and think that perhaps a new Gardens and Guns “lite” may have emerged …

    • I had never ever seen it. Maybe it had just never been displayed so prominently anywhere before. It is a thing of great beauty though, truly the food and gardens are marvelous. The humor is actually well done. I was so surprised by the writing.

      • I wonder if it was revamped — I put a picture in an old post and found the stopped publishing it a few years ago. Maybe they restarted

  12. Maybe we could petition for a name-change.

  13. At least you have the guts and integrity to admit your preconceived notions were off base. Many people do not!

  14. So the cover photo is not varmint pie, made from the varmints that were in your garden, that you shot?

    Well, it is nice that the magazine turned out to be *not* what it sounds like … and, it takes a gracious lady to write and say so …

    • I was pleasantly surprised. I am also going to try some of the wonderful and very much traditional southern recipes, like that Tomato Pie I mentioned. The really awesome thing about some of the recipes, they actually have them on beautiful receipe cards, how lovely is that?

      I hope you go read the link I added to the eZine, I think you will enjoy that one John.

  15. Alliterative titles sell! That pie on the cover is beautiful.

    • Okay, okay…fine. Rub it in. Thank you very much. I admitted it. I was wrong. Kick a girl when she is already wallowing in her abject self-pity, go ahead.

      • Not at all. I would have made the same assumptions, but I probably would have bought it for the pie picture. My pies never look as good as the magazine pies do. I wonder if there’s a sister magazine: Hunting & Hearth.

  16. Glad it was a surprise. And I want to make tomato pie now. xxx

    • I haven’t had tomato pie in at least 10 years, at least. This recipe makes my mouth water just reading it.

      I swear to you, just reading it my azz is growing.

  17. Jueseppi B. says:

    Reblogged this on The ObamaCrat™.

  18. I’ve heard of this magazine and I understand the concept. You grow a garden to be self-sustaining in the event of a societal collapse and then use guns to protect your food when zombies and socialist liberals come around. Yes, only in the South!

    • Deborah the Closet Monster says:

      I love not only the post, but this fantastic comment. I start naptime with a smile. 🙂

      • I hope you come back and read the one link I put in, I think you will love it. I think it will make you especially smile.

        • Deborah the Closet Monster says:

          You did not think wrong. After accidentally unfollowing you while trying to read it on my iPad, I have goosebumps rippling down my arms and tears in my eyes post-reading. Never in a million years would I have expected such a piece in a magazine of this title! Thanks not only for sharing this but ensuring I saw it. ♥

          • I just knew you would love that one. When I was reading it I thought of you. Isn’t that funny how sometimes something we read can bring someone to our minds and our hearts.

    • Actually, it wasn’t at all like that. Had it been, I would have been all snarky and nasty. I was actually pleasently surprised by the content and how well done it was. I am still reading some of the articles and cutting out the fabulous recipes.

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