Autumn 2015

At The Gate

How do I create an issue? Let me count the stories. First, I sat down in May and read all 118 manuscripts that had come in by mail and email in the last three months. I accepted 13. Reading, deciding, responding, and buying took a week. A hard week.  READ MORE


Typing on a laptop in a garden

Amber Kanuckel: From Walhonding, OH: “I am an accomplished ghostwriter (over 1,000 blog posts) and avid gardener (whose green thumb is often all too brown).”

Linda Clearwater: Lewes, DE’s Linda has been in the creation business for over thirty years—designing, illustrating, writing, and gardening.  READ MORE


Chicken Tomatoes

I love to grow tomatoes. There’s nothing like home-canned sauce, so each year I grow at least 30 tomato plants. For a number of years, I also raised chickens so that I could stock the fridge—and the neighbors’ fridges—with fresh eggs.  READ MORE

Tending Beauty

Working in my garden is a lot like raising my girls. I often think about what I should do to make both it and them beautiful and healthy and strong. And although I weed and discipline, sometimes it feels as though I’m not really making a difference. There always seems to be one more problem to sort out.  READ MORE

Show-and-Tell Potatoes

A couple of years ago, we moved to a place with a large lot. I borrowed my dad’s rototiller, broke up a large area, and planted rows of vegetables. Our son Paul, eight, and daughter Paula, five, helped us plant the seeds. Then we covered them and watered the garden.  READ MORE

Bluebirds in the Pokeweed

Here’s a scenario that used to snap my pitchfork: I’m working in the yard. The guy next door goes for a walk with his son, and passes my way. I chat with the man a bit, long enough to confirm that we still have nothing more in common than our geographical proximity.  READ MORE

Molehill Mountain

Whine. Whine whine whine. The puppies were whimpering downstairs. I squinted at the clock: 6:02 A.M. Ugh, I mused. Maybe they will go back to sleep. I closed my eyes. The whimpering continued.   READ MORE

Peanuts from Cameroon

At my community garden in the Bronx, we grew many things. Sunflowers bobbed at the fence line, overlooking the cracked sidewalk and the rundown bus stop. Spindly peach trees offered up small, fuzzy fruits, many of which were stolen before they were ripe.  READ MORE


When I was young, in post-war Germany back in the 1950s, I promised myself that I would never have a garden. Mother was to blame. She had a huge garden. Since she also worked in the family store, she eagerly drafted as many of us seven girls as she could for garden duty.  READ MORE

Not Bad Apples

Apples have a bad reputation dating back to the Book of Genesis. And we’re never going to let them forget about it, either, since we’ve immortalized their part in the Garden-of-Eden fiasco in scientific Latin.   READ MORE

My Grandmother’s Ring

My grandmother used to love gardening. She lived alone in a rather small house here in Jorvas, Finland (“the cottage,” we used to call it), but had a fairly large garden which she nurtured almost like a much-loved child. She spent hours caring for it every day.  READ MORE

Exploding Forsythia!

Many things are my fault. The forsythia is/are not one of them. They were here when we moved in. Actually there were more forsythia(s) then in the front of the house but we wanted to see the front of the house so I ‘dug one up.’  READ MORE

Rhonda’s Garden

The tenth November in my kitchen garden found me cleaning it up just like I had the nine before. Saving the few green tomatoes that still hung from the now-blighted vines. Picking the last chilies that dangled like colored lanterns among the debris.  READ MORE

Dandelion Wishes

The alarm went off, woke me up—and I realized that my hand wasn’t on my baby’s chest! Then I saw that the bassinet was gone. That meant that my husband, Paul, had taken the baby to give me a break. Relief washed through me.  READ MORE

A Rose Is a Rose Is…Grace Darling?

I loved my mother, but I couldn’t grant her wish. She longed, she often said, to have a flower named after her. Flowers and plants named after people are, as we know, numerous.   READ MORE


Long-time readers of GREENPRINTS know that I am constantly looking for good garden books. I love to share excerpts from them to give you appetizing tastes of what’s new.   READ MORE

Growing Up with GREENPRINTS, Part IV

As part of our special 25th anniversary year, each issue in 2015 will contain a piece by one of our four offspring about “Growing Up with GreenPrints.” So far, we’ve heard from the three oldest, Nate, Jesse, and Sammy. This go-round, it’s 26-year-old Tucker’s turn!  READ MORE

Growing Closer Together

My father was a hobby grower. At least he wanted to be a hobby grower. One year he decided to make wine from the grapes he’d grown on a trestle in the backyard. The resulting creation was a bitter, pulpy drink that he named Chateau du Puck, in honor of my involvement in little league hockey.  READ MORE


He Who Sows Courtesy

The Mountain and I

The Wonder


Celery Pride


Birds and Boysenberries

Messenger for the Bees

Broken Trowel

The Tree

The GreenPrints Letter

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