As the name implies, Wilder Quarterly examines the natural world with unconventional eyes. The newly launched print magazine is the brainchild of Celestine Maddy, a finicky 33-year-old who took up gardening four years ago when she moved into a ground-floor apartment in Brooklyn that came with an overgrown backyard. When the advertising strategist turned to the handful of publications focused on horticulture, she found them all to be too in-depth for a novice or too boring to hold anyone’s interest. Wilder Quarterly is the upshot of these frustrations—the first issue presents a 164-page spread art directed by Wieden + Kennedy’s Monica Nelson.
While there is plenty of advice on growing, the quarterly is more concerned with the culture surrounding gardening—filmmaker Jonathan Caouette reveals his secret urban oasis, mycologist Paul Stamets discusses plant intelligence in the modern world, fermentation buffs stress pickling in autumn and seed bombing is taken back to its roots in 1970s NYC. Wilder editor Kate Sennert sheds light on urban farming with an investigative article on the socio-economic implications of community gardens in New Orleans instead of the typical story on farm-to-table freshness.
Comparing her first successful batch of strawberries to the rush of nailing an ollie, Maddy’s fresh perspective on gardening gives hope to anyone lacking a green thumb. “I still kill stuff, part of the joy of gardening is to try and try again.” Like skateboarding, when gardening you’ve got to keep going no matter how many times you may fall.
While Wilder is definitively a “young person’s growing and gardening magazine,” Maddy has made sure to include something for all experience levels, from novice to expert. With snippets of poetry, offbeat photos and mouthwatering recipes, the print-only publication is an enticing read for anyone who appreciates all that nature has to offer.
A sneak peek of the inaugural issue can be viewed online, where you can also purchase a copy of Wilder Quarterly for around $19. Buying a subscription ($60) helps support the Fresh Air Fund, a not-for-profit that provides free summer camp to children from disadvantaged communities. The first 100 CH readers to subscribe with the code WQ1011CH15 will receive a 15% discount.