October 20, 2011

Hipster x plantster - A Wilder Quarterly sprouts

This Sunday's New York Times Magazine introduced many of us to a new, and very exciting magazine for those of us who love home farming, gardening and plant collection. WILDER QUARTERLY, a magazine edited by Kate Sennert, a former editor of Tokion magazine, promises to appeal to 'contemporary gardeners'. "People who are growing in unusual situations: people who have gardens on their fire escapes, or kids who have moved out to start farming in very strange and unusual ways" says Celestine Maddy, the publisher who lives in Brooklyn.

The magazine looks beautiful on-line, and I can't wait to get my copy, praying that it appeals to those of us who are looking for a magazine that offers more for us plant geeks. Odyssey Bulbs' owner Russell Stafford wrote an article on bulbs, so that is promising.  Check out a sample of the magazine on issuu, here.

I have mixed emotions about this magazine, I really want it to be good, but, of course, since this is the sort of magazine I always wanted to do ( see PLANT SOCIETY on right), but I just don't have the time.  I will be lucky to get my next issue out this autumn/winter. I do believe that there is a market for a well-designed gardening magazine like this, but that will take all of us who love design and plants, to support such efforts.  WILDER appears to cross-over, to blur the boundaries between beginner and expert - I just hope there are not too many articles on growing arugula on a fire escape. My standards are high, I guess!

 Most publishers tell me that it can't be done - book or magazine that can appeal to the mass market, but I remain hopeful.  Martha had to go Mass, but when she takes over her company again, maybe that will change too. Hey, you never know, maybe I can write for them, or at least, contribute some of my photos?

Oh Wilder Quarterly? I wish you the very best. And you? readers? Let's go support them by ordering an issue.

A single issue of WILDER QUARTERLY is about $19; and a one-year subscription is about $60, so it is about the same price as a botanical society journal. WILDER targets the everyday gardener, whereas the NARGS (North American Rock Garden Society Quarterly), or the APLINE GARDEN SOCIETY QUARTERLY, check out their quarterly here. These society journals come with a membership to the specific society, and the cost, if over sees, remains around $60 annually. ( the Scottish Rock Garden Club membership for North America is about $40.)

I keep an entire bookcase next to my bed where I read, and re-read many of the specialized plant society quarterlies. They are always well written, and have subjects for both beginners and for those who are more experienced, but it's the photos and cultural hints that make them so valuable.

While on the subject of fall reading material, here are some of my favorite plant society journals also worth supporting. All have great paper, photos and content, and worth the price of $40 -$60 per year. You pay for quality, and it really shows with many of the publications. These are the sort you hold on to and read annually. Most plant geeks hold on to entire bookcases full, and back issues can be bought at auctions held annually by many societies.

 All of these make great winter reading material, or holiday gifts for you or your gardening friends.

Other four-color printed-on-paper plant society journals to check out:

The American Primrose Society 

The American Day Lily Society

The American Orchid Society


  1. Thank you for the news on Wilder, I hadn't heard of it. Still need to buy a copy of your mag too...maybe the next issue!

  2. I wonder if you already got Wilder and if yes could you please post some comments how good or bad the magazine is. I hope it is good as I would love to subscribe it. Thanks.

  3. Tulip Tramp2:43 PM

    An insider tip regarding Wilder Quarterly: none of the current staff are gardeners or even horticulturally inclined. They hired one garden writer, a friend of mine named Jessie Keith, and treated her badly. She wrote nine full articles for them and they only credited her with four. (The creditless Dahlia article shown in your blog is one of hers). Needless to say, she quit. Not a good starting point....


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