Thursday, October 02, 2014

Gardens West suddenly ceases publication -- as do companions Prairie, Central and East

Gardens West and its companion magazines Gardens Central and Gardens East, has ceased publishing. It was announced today in a Facebook post that the current issue, now on the stands will be its last. The subscriber page and online store have been closed down.

The magazine was published nine times a year for southwestern BC from Vancouver by Cornwall Publishing as was its Prairie edition for prairies and north. Gardens Central for Ontario and Quebec and Gardens East for Atlantic Canada were added in 2010.

The publisher was David Mulroney, who took over in 2013 when his mother, Dorothy Horton, retired. She had founded the magazine in 1987. The editor was Melissa Cornwell who had worked with the magazine for eight years and risen through the ranks. There are a number of contributors and columnists on plants, birds and gardening -- most of them freelance -- who are out of work with the sudden closure. 

A brief note on the magazine's website Forum page from reader Amy Aikman, dated September 30, put the situation bluntly:
"I'm so sad that the magazine is done for, and that the publisher is bankrupt. I will miss finding it in my mail box (real mail!), poring over all articles and gorgeous photos. Thank you to all of you at Gardens West who brought it to life!"

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for keeping all the money from our subscription and not delivering!! How about sending back our money???
Low life scumbags that rip people off like you are not good enough to be in my compost!
Karma will catch up to you and render your garden infertile!!

12:28 am  
Blogger Sonya said...

So sad for the workers of the magazine it was such a beautiful relevant garden book for Canada and now to have it gone....I will miss every issue glad I have the ones I have to keep and review. huge hole for Canadian gardeners.

1:52 pm  
Blogger Linda Baumann said...

Great magazine. I will miss it! Sorry people lost their jobs. Hope the subscription money will help their debt problems!

11:10 am  
Anonymous Helen said...

Well I just found this out, I was wondering why I had not gotten any more mag's in since Oct. Really ticked that I only just bought a 2 year subscription to it & only got 3 mag's. Would have been nice to get my money back!!! :(

4:01 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Surely people are smart enough to know that when there is a bankruptcy different rules apply. Those rules about who gets paid first from any assets are not made by the publisher.

Will miss a wonderful magazine and best of luck to all those who depended on it for an income.

8:22 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It was a wonderful magazine and I would have expected some level of integrity from passionate gardeners. I renewed for 2 years as my subscription expired in October and I also ordered binders that were confirmed as on "pre-order", but were never delivered. Nobody contacted me to inform that the venture stopped operations and nobody returned the money. All subscribers who lost money should get together to try and get it back. Is there any chance of that? If so, contact me at

2:41 pm  
Anonymous Rosemary Bennett said... I out of touch. I had major surgery and was really out of touch for awhile. I just realized I hadn't had a magazine for a long time. Of Course, I too had just renewed for two years till May 2016. Really disappointed in the folks running the magazine that they took all of our money without any warning and then kept it. Not good karma for sure! Sorry to see it go and for all the folks who worked there. Not sorry for them stealing our money and then declaring bankruptcy. They had to know they were going to do it.

5:57 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wow, it is sad to learn that the person in charge of this magazine does not even have the decency to inform all its loyal readers, especially if this magazine was founded by his mother. I had just renewed in end 2014 for 2 years and had been waiting for the next issue patiently ever since. The first and last one received after my renewal was the Special Colour edition and that's it.

12:31 pm  
Blogger Amanda said...

Really annoyed at lack of consideration for their readers, not just the monetary aspect for those of us who paid a subscription, but in general. As someone else stated bankruptcy is not a surprise. They knew it was happening. Since the last issue published was a special issue anyway they could have made it as a farewell issue.

2:23 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I too was very sad that Gardens West ceased to publish as it was the best gardening magazine ever for me! All my issues since discovering the publication in 2011 have been saved and I often use them for reference. I would be very pleased to receive 2010 or earlier back issues in lieu of the lost subscription.

11:20 am  
Blogger M. RHONDA WHALLEY said...


6:49 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just to let you know that when companies go bankrupt, the staff does not know this and they are usually in shock when it does happen. So do blame the staff. Yes, it is sad when this happens.

7:27 pm  
Anonymous Dorothea Walker said...

So sorry to lose my favourite gardening magazine - I was wondering why I'd not received any issues for ages. Wish I'd known this before I renewed my subscription through 2016 - certainly not very ethical on the part of GW; after years of faithful followers subscribing to GW (or the affiliates). I would have expected better - even a notice of apology would have been welcome. Shame on you!

6:49 pm  
Blogger Adam Gibbs said...

Better late than never. I worked for GW for over twenty years as their principal photographer. The bankruptcy was unexpected and the small staff that worked at the magazine very poorly treated. The original owner Dorothy Horton retired a couple of years prior and although difficult to work with was passionate about the magazine and those that worked towards its success she treated me well and respectfully. When Dorothy retired her son David Mulroney took over the magazine. David is a lawyer in Victoria and as it turns out wasn't interested in the magazine at all. To cut a long story short I as well as all of the staff (about 8 of us) lost thousands of dollars in salary and back pay. I had worked all year for the following years magazines, I was paid when the magazines came out. In total I lost about $50 000 in revenue from this. So I understand the grief about not receiving a heads up but if you still have a gripe I urge you to get in touch with David Mulroney because he is a true lawyer through and through, good luck. Even at t he day of the bankruptcy David didn't even show up, he in his own words was to grief stricken. It has taken me over a year to to get back to normal so yes I do have a gripe with this man, he is a bastard who at the end of the day cared for only himself.

8:56 pm  
Blogger David Hunter said...

It was disappointing to learn that another Canadian gardening magazine is no longer available. Since Canadian Gardening has discontinued I had thought to get Gardens West only to be again disappointed. Both magazines were invaluable sources of valuable information as well as interesting articles and beautiful photos. Ruth Hunter.

12:08 pm  
Blogger Adrienne Maynard said...

Adam (Gibbs). Very sorry to hear you were not paid for all the word you did for this magazine~ I had a pleasure of meeting you when you photographed my yard for an issue. Thanks for summing up the situation. I think it seems clear that people likely aren't going to receive the subscription money they sent but we are reminded, what we might have sent 40-60$..??? can't remember but staff like you lost a whole lot more. Puts some perspective on it so thank for writing what you did.
And, I still enjoy perusing your stunning work from time to time. Regards, A. Maynard

11:28 am  

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