Further evidence of the enduring power of print arrived on my doorstep a few weeks ago—a review copy of Wilder Quarterly. This is the type of gardening publication we just don’t do in the U.S. It’s more like an independent literary periodical than the gardening magazines we’re used to. (They probably have something like this in England.)
With offices in Brooklyn, Wilder Quarterly is edited by Kate Sennert, and published by Celestine Maddy. The first issue—Autumn 2011—is 164 pages. Yeah, it’s really more like a book, lavishly illustrated with photography, and savvy art direction throughout. It’s totally unlike any of our traditional garden mags, and that’s on purpose. Wilder Quarterly is aiming at the new generation—urban farmers, rooftop vegetable growers, community gardeners, and city chicken keepers—as well as those of us who have been doing all those things for years and didn’t realize we were on the cusp of a new wave.
So far, the word on Wilder is that it addresses a different audience than that aimed at by the current gardening magazines. That is likely true. What isn't true is the assumption that those magazines were satisfying the "older, financially secure females with college degrees" which is how Wilder horticultural edior Jessie Keith defines the traditional gardening demographic. All generations and all demographics of gardeners want new and exciting content in their magazines. We just haven't been getting it—with rare exceptions.
Celestine Maddy defines the Wilder mission like this: "focusing on ‘life through the lens of the growing world’—growing indoors and out, culture, travel, food and design."
All that said, there are really a lot of great articles about growing flowers in here. I enjoyed the interview with Russell Stafford of Odyssey Bulbs, and loved the glimpse of filmmaker Jonathan Caouette’s backyard refuge in Astoria, an impossibly lush space filled with tropicals I do wish the interviewer had asked him more about the plants. And there’s advice about bulbs and complete instructions for building a modular cold frame.
There is also an herb piece by Dominique Browning, words and recipes by celeb chef Josh Adams, and an extensive interview with mycologist Paul Stamets among the 30-odd articles. I haven’t gotten through the whole thing. (You can find some complimentary mentions of Wilder Quarterly in The New York Times, Design Sponge and Cool Hunting.) What you won't find in here: advertising.
Wouldn’t you love to check out Wilder Quarterly? We have 3 entire one-year subscriptions to give away—and if you clicked on the publications’s link, you know each is worth $60. Not only that, a portion of what your subscription price would have been will be donated to the Fresh Air Fund, as with all Wilder subscriptions.
Just reply in comments—what do you think the direction of garden publications should be? Is this a good start? Or is the future online, like the snazzy digital mag Leaf (which can also be an on-demand print mag). I’ll choose randomly from comments and announce winners Sunday at 10 a.m. EST.