Difficult Times

An original garden design at Floriade 1992. Our tour to Holland and Floriade 2002 helps support the publication of Pacific Horticulture. Photograph by RGT

An original garden design at Floriade 1992. Our tour to Holland and Floriade 2002 helps support the publication of Pacific Horticulture. Photograph by RGT

The tragic events of September 17, 2001 have had a significant impact on many aspects of our lives. Fortunately, for gardeners and plant lovers, our favorite pastime provides us with a soothing escape from the worries of terrorism and the stories of warfare. We again hear that gardening is the number one hobby of Americans, and would like to think that recent events may encourage newcomers to this most satisfying and nurturing of hobbies.

The country’s economic woes, originating before September 11, seem, at press time, to be easing. We hope that Pacific Horticulture will benefit from an improving national economy. Certainly, the last months of 2001 saw a significant decline in our subscribers—the most dramatic in recent memory—and a drop in advertising. The resulting decline in revenue seriously impacts our ability to maintain the high standards set long ago for the magazine. Subscriptions and advertising have never fully matched the costs of publishing Pacific Horticulture, and the recent drop in revenue merely exacerbates our tenuous fiscal situation. The effects will be noticed in a consolidation of color pages and a continuing limit of sixty-four pages per issue—frustrating though that may be for our editor, writers, and, presumably, our readers.

Fortunately, our Friends have come through stronger than ever with end-of-the-year contributions that surpassed our fundraising goals. This dedicated group of readers—amounting to approximately ten percent of our total subscribers—provide financial support to the Pacific Horticultural Foundation that allows this nonprofit organization to continue publishing Pacific Horticulture magazine. Their contributions are, of course, entirely tax-deductible, yet we hear repeatedly that our Friends donate to the foundation out of their sheer love for the magazine. For this we are eternally grateful.

With an eye to ensuring the uninterrupted publication of Pacific Horticulture, our board of directors has begun to address the long-term financial stability of the foundation. In the coming months, readers my note a few revisions in the scheduling of fundraising activities of our Friends Committee, chaired so ably for many years by Mary Lynn Cox. We have also begun the process of positioning the foundation to serve as the beneficiary of estate planning efforts by our readers and supporters. We will soon have information available for those who wish to support us while guaranteeing their own financial security.

The mission statement for the Pacific Horticultural Foundation appears now on the inside front cover of the magazine. As a part of our education program, we continue to organize and sponsor symposia of value to the West Coast gardener, as well as domestic and international garden and natural history tours. Each of these activities helps our bottom line, through participant contributions to the foundation, without increasing the expense side of our ledger. We hope you will consider this aspect of our tour program, particularly, when choosing between tour programs.

Expensive as the production of Pacific Horticulture is, it would be impossible to publish without the continuing generosity of the writers, photographers, reviewers, and artists who contribute content and artwork to its pages. These many individuals expect nothing in return but the satisfaction and pride that comes from being a part of this fine journal and from sharing their enthusiasms for plants and gardens on the West Coast.

The board and staff hold a deep appreciation for all those who help in the production of Pacific Horticulture. We look forward to a long association with them and with our readers and Friends.

Richard A. Brown, president
Pacific Horticultural Foundation