August 13, 2009

Announcing my New Magazine - Plant Society

The cover of my first issue of Plant Society Magazine. Order your issue here.

I am pleased to announce that the publishing of the first prototype issue of Matt Mattus | Plant Society Magazine, available now at Magcloud.com.

Magcloud is HP's new Beta self publishing site for magazines, and I am using it to launch the first few issues. Magcloud tells me that that they can currently ship directly to USA, Canada and the UK. Let me know how it works if you are outside of the US.

As a designer, horticulturist, trend hunter, artist, photographer, blogger and plant collector, it only seemed natural to use this new platform to launch this venture, after all, I design magazines for a living, I evaluate publication design for many of the major graphic design journals and annual award issues, I speak at both leading visual design conferences, and plant societies, and I have a vault of images taken over the past ten years from my greenhouses, alpine house and gardens.

The publishing business is changing so fast, that what once was seen as vanity publishing, is now much more accepted in our new digital world of blogs, Twitter, Facebook, etc. You can think of this as a magazine, or a blogazine. Either way, it will morph and change as I develop future issues to include both plant related features focusing on subjects not examined by the mass market magazines, and garden lifestyle - with inspirational crafts, holiday design, food, travel, and more all planned for future issues.

Currently the magazine sells for $14.99. at 75 pages, but it is on sale as a feature of Magcloud for around $12.00 US give or take some change for shipping and handling directly through the website MAGCLOUD. Anyone in the US, Canada or UK can order direct from the Magcloud website portal, and can even pay directly from their credit card or Paypal on the site. Magcloud prints to order, and the process is very easy. In five days or less, the magazine will be printed, bound, and mailed directly to you.

This first issue is packed with stories, photos and articles including a long article on my culture and experience with Nerine sarniensis, Tuberous Pelargonium, Dahlia, Japanese Chrysanthemums, and more. Please share your thoughts, I really need your feedback on content and what you would like to see in future issues. I am calling this first issues my Prototype Issue, and I am releasing it as a limited edition soft launch, with the premier issue being the Autumn Issue in October. Frankly, I have no idea how this will be received, I expect both positive and critical comments, just as I get on this blog, which is terrific.

I am currently calling this a quarterly, but I am planning this to move quickly to 5 issues a year. High Summer, Autumn, Holiday, mid Winter, Spring. Four issues seems like too few, and six issues stretches my resources at the moment, but five issues although unusual, makes sense for now since it matches the lifestyle and gardening calendar in a more natural way. Since Magcloud sells the issues individually, It really doesn't make any difference how many issues there are until, or if, or when I finally am able to offer an annual subscription rate. Until then, this is a significant venture, and my strategy is that quickly, this website and blog will change its name and ID as well, as I move our project, forward. Wish me luck ( I'm going to need it!).

An article on Phone Apps for Gardeners.

August 9, 2009

Mini Glads are like Salt Water Taffy

Silly, I know, but sometimes I can't resist the common , (but still rarely seen outside of farmers markets) Mini Gladiolus. Mini glads are my junk food in the summer. A secret indulgence of mine, and when ever I see a bunch at a farmers market, or at a Gladiolus show, they remind me of why I am so fascinated with flowers. Even wierder, to me, they remind me Salt Water Taffy. Yeah, I know. But here is why:

When I was very young, my family would spend a couple of weeks at the beach. The ocean is only a one hour drive from our home, and Cape Cod and the coast of Maine, is an hour and a half. After playing on the beach, and swimming in the ice cold Atlantic, I can remember going for a walk on the board walk, and possibly get fried clams. Sometimes we would be allowed to go into a candy store and choose a pound of freshly pulled, Salt Water Taffy. There would be 20 or 30 flavors, and each would have a different color combination. Pink with a burgundy spot, light yellow with a teal green center, or red and white striped, lavender, green and yellow, I could never make up my mind which one was prettier, so I would pick one of each, never actually thinking of what flavor they were. See......Salt Water Taffy.....mini glads.....get it?

Love them or hate them, mini glads will always appear in my plant windows during August. Their colors are odd combinations, but somehow they work when mixed together in a 'carny way'. Sure, gladiolus that are not a rare species form might be a little too circusy for some of us hortiphiles, but on an August afternoon, I think they are perfectly sweet and appropriate. LIke taffy.

A SNOWBERRY CLEARWING Hummingbird Moth ( Hemaris diffinis) sipping nectar on a Verbena blossom.

August 7, 2009

A Sneak Peek at My New Magazine

OK, I can't stand it anymore, I need to share my project with you. Even though you cannot order it until next week when I announce it formally, and give you the link to subscribe. Here is a sneak peek of my new magazine called Matt Mattus - PLANT SOCIETY - The Magazine for People Serious About Plants.


As I prepare for my 'soft launch' next week, I wanted to share with you, my devoted ( an not so devoted!) readers my little project that you've perhaps already heard about. Next week I will announce the soft launch of Matt Mattus - Plant Society magazine. Essentially a blogazine, this is my experiment ( a big one) into the brand new world of digital publishing. In a partnership with a new web service called Magcloud, which is itself a beta test owned by Hewlett Packard Development Company, I will be writing, designing and offering subscriptions to my own paper magazine.

Starting as a quarterly this fall, this first printing is a test-a prototype issue, if you will. More info next week, for now, here are some screen captures to give you a taste of the content.