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June 1, 2010


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LETTER FROM THE CEO

Dolce Domum
[Marianne Howatson]

The Wind in the Willows, by Kenneth Grahame, was published in 1908 in England and 1909 in America and over the years has become a much-loved classic. The principal characters are talking animals that live in and around a river and, although they all have their faults, display charming examples of hospitality, forgiveness, compassion, generosity and humility throughout the book. While looking for a name for the company that would acquire Cottages & Gardens Publications, LLC., from Richard Ekstract last October, I turned to this classic and in Chapter Five, entitled "Dulce Domum," I found it.

I have been in media for more years than I care to reveal and have published some of the country's finest magazines, including Travel & Leisure, Self and Parents. During the Internet boom, as a founding member of the content-solutions company Screamingmedia.com, I traveled the world acquiring content in seven languages and talking to publishing companies about digital and online opportunities.

When, last fall, the opportunity arose to acquire HC&G and its sister publications Connecticut Cottages & Gardens, Westchester Cottages & Gardens and Palm Beach Cottages & Gardens, I jumped at it. Eight months later, I am happy to report that our business reflects the cautious optimism of the marketplace, and we are increasing our publishing schedule for HC&G in 2010.

Dulce Domum (duhl-cheh dome-um) means "sweet home," and if ever there was a period in our history when our "sweet homes" meant so much to us, it is now. With the recession, we've found comfort and sanctuary in our homes with family, friends and neighbors. Dulce Domum.

At the end of Chapter Five, the weary mole returns to his home after having spent time in the upper world: "It was good to think he had this to come back to; this place which was all his own, these things which were so glad to see him again and could always be counted upon for the same simple welcome."

Marianne Howatson
CEO/Publication Director

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