The GreenPrints Story

Stone Family 1991

The GreenPrints Story

Stone Family 1991

A Family Mailng Session, Spring, 1991

“What about a garden magazine
that doesn’t tell you how to garden?”

By the Editor, Pat Stone


THE TIME: Late fall, 1989.

THE SCENE: Susan Sides and I, carpooling home from work.

THE PROBLEM: Susan was the Gardener and I was the Garden Editor at Mother Earth News magazine, but we both knew that, as the aftershock of an ownership change, those jobs were coming to an end. We wanted to stay in publishing, but, hey, there were already 100 other how-to garden magazines and newsletters in the country. We couldn’t compete with them! Susan and I were feeling pretty stuck. Then just as we rounded the final curve of our town-to-country drive–the curve where valley, farmland, and mountains suddenly open up to view–I got:

THE IDEA: “What if we start a magazine that doesn’t tell how to garden, but covers the personal, human side instead?”

Well, if ever a person had a get-rich-quick brainstorm, this was not it. Practical instruction is the peas-and-pansies of garden writing, and well it should be–we all have plenty more to learn! No, a properly practical mind would have composted my idea but fast. We didn’t.

THE RESULT: Over 20 years later, we’re still publishing GreenPrints, “The Weeder’s Digest”–and having a great time doing it. Susan and her husband, Franklin, provided indispensable help for the first year, then took leave of the enterprise. So these days, GP is a family operation. Well, a Mom-and-Pop operation: Our four children, Nate, Jesse, Sammy, and Tucker, are grown now, so—grin—it’s a little hard to get their help on mailings anymore (above). Becky (my wonderful wife) is the official Circulation Director, which means she handles all the subscription-and-book-and-back-issue orders. (A neighbor, Julie Wander, sometimes helps Becky out.) I, Pat, get to do all the rest. You know, the little stuff like emptying the trash, selling the ads, running all the promotions, keeping the books, and, oh yeah, trying to create a magazine.

Our international corporate headquarters is our home, a passive solar domicile that lies right between a mountain and a creek in lovely Fairview, North Carolina. There, in a cluttered office looking over our garden, “The Weeder’s Digest” comes to life. Stories by gardeners from Florida to Alaska, art from 16 different illustrators, photos, letters, quotes—it all blooms together to form an honest, intimate magazine, a heartfelt dialogue among gardeners and friends. An 80-page quarterly journal that shares the best personal garden writing, old and new, from all over the country.

I cordially invite you to join us. You will discover a hidden gem of the gardening world, created, shared, and enjoyed . . . with love.

P.S. Subscriptions to GreenPrints make Great Gifts for your gardening friends! (Hint, hint.)

Pat & Becky