Better Homes and Gardens is one of the most widely circulated magazines in the United States. Better Homes and Gardens focuses on interests regarding homes, cooking, gardening, crafts, healthy living, decorating, and entertaining. The magazine is published 12 times per year by the Meredith Corporation. It was founded in 1922 by Edwin Meredith, who had previously been the United States Secretary of Agriculture under Woodrow Wilson.
An Australian edition is also published, under licence, by Pacific Magazines and there is also a television show (see link above), which airs on the Seven Network. The Australian edition is the 6th best selling consumer magazine in Australia. The Australian edition has been publishing since July 1978
The Meredith Corporation publishes a number of books on home economics and gardening under the BH&G brand, the best known of which is the Better Homes and Gardens New Cook Book, colloquially known as the “Red Plaid” book. Now in its 14th edition (published in 2006), the Red Plaid was originally published in 1930. Meredith also publishes the New Junior Cookbook for children learning to cook.
The magazine’s title was used by Meredith’s real estate arm, which was sold, and is now called GMAC Real Estate.
Meredith’s broadcasting division began producing the New York City-based show Better in the fall of 2007, which is a lifestyle show which has a mix of content from Meredith’s various magazine titles (included BH&G), consumer advice and celebrity interviews. The program currently airs only on stations owned by Meredith and the Journal Broadcast Group, with Fisher Communications and LIN TV to begin airing the show on their stations in 2008 .
The brand offers a line of home decor products through a partnership with Home Interiors, a company based on direct selling.
References in popular culture
Mad Magazine published a satire in 1958 (issue #53) titled “Bitter Homes and Gardens,” including articles titled “They Built Their House on a Lot 22 Inches Wide” (A house built between two office buildings); a “How-The…” department which suggests putting a lawn on rollers so one can drag it “to a nearby spot where it’s raining”; and an article on how to convert a second bathroom into a basement (with a photo of the author’s wife, who has just stepped out of the shower and covers herself with a towel). The magazine was also spoofed in the 1970’s as “Bitter Homes and Garbage”, in a set of “Crazy Magazine Covers” produced by Fleer.
An episode of The Simpsons showed a brief shot of a magazine entitled Better Homes Than Yours.
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