5 questions with a Creator: Meet Katrine from Vildskab

April 12, 2021

 

"Today, I find other things much more inspiring - resilience and self-awareness, humility and vulnerability, and I meet people every day who inspire me."

 

Meet Katrine: the beauty, the brains, and the Creator behind Vildskab. We recently sat down with Katrine to get to know her, her business, and her story a bit better.

Here’s what we found out.

 

1. Tell us the story behind your business. How and why did you get into wild gardening?

I always had a deep love and admiration for nature. I am an ecologist and did my PhD on the value of nature for society. 

For me though, nature was something I had to go to, to travel to: the forest, the beach, Australia, Alaska, Africa. I didn’t think I could have it nearby in my everyday life, in urban or suburban, boring, Denmark. It came to me more by chance than by foresight.

I got an allotment garden with a small cottage because I was tired of subletting my apartment and putting all my stuff in storage when I travelled, and this was a much cheaper opportunity. I thought I was going to be a self-sufficient permaculture gardener, growing all my own food...until I realized just how much work that really was and that my life simply was not geared for constantly tending a garden!

I was doing research in rural Africa and was gone months at a time. Slowly but surely, my garden grew wilder and wilder, much to the amusement – and to the annoyance – of my neighbors. I couldn’t help but notice, though, how alive the garden became in this new wilderness state. There were so many insects, butterflies, birds, and other animals all the time. It was a real joy to just sit there and experience it all.

At the same time, I knew just how pressured nature was – and is – in our industrialized landscapes. So, the wildlife garden was allowed to flourish, and I tried out a bunch of different things to promote life. I wrote a book about it with two good friends and fellow biologists, called “Naturhaven: den mangfoldige have” [“The Wildlife Garden” in English]. Over the years, this has turned into giving talks, writing articles, TV appearances, developing projects, and designing living gardens. 

 

2. Who's your personal role model or hero? Can you tell us a bit about why you admire them?

I thought about this quite hard, but I simply can’t give you one person that I consider a role model. Had you asked me a couple of years ago, I would say someone like Beryl Markham – trailblazing the African wilderness as the first female bush pilot – solo, independent, and fierce.

Today, however, I find other things much more inspiring: resilience and self-awareness, humility and vulnerability, and I meet people every day who inspire me. Someone who is able to bounce back from yet another failure without giving up or self-destructing is a role model – we are in it for the long haul.

 

3. Do you have a personal motto, manifesto, or favorite quote that you live your life by?

I love Anthony Hopkins’ stoic philosophy, which in essence says “It’s really none of my business what people say or think of me, I am what I am, and I do what I do […]” Sometimes, I succeed to be somewhat stoic – haha.

 

4. Can you share a fun or quirky fact about yourself that not a lot of people know or would expect?

I’m a recovering arachnophobiac. 

 

5. If you had a time machine, what advice would you give to yourself as a young Creator? Any advice for Creators just getting started?

I would advise myself to realize the power of being a local. If you want to make a real impact, start at home. You will not make an impact on anything unless you’re able to change things in your own backyard. (In my case, literally.)

As Kenyan activist Kevin Mwangi puts it, “If you speak about it here, they’ll hear you more, because you’re local.” Everywhere we are dealing with similar environmental, social, natural, racial, economic injustices, but locally you have a much more justified voice and better insights. 


Interested in giving wildlife gardening a try, or learning more about how to preserve our precious nature? Check out Katrine’s video channel on Boon.tv.
To learn more about Katrine and her gorgeous wild gardening efforts, check out her
Instagram.