Autumn 2016

At The Gate

This issue has a page of “Letters to the Editor” (p.24), which, oddly enough, has become fairly unusual in GREENPRINTS. I don’t run reader letters often anymore, because I’d rather use the space for stories: I like to squeeze as many pieces in an issue as possible. (This issue has 15—hooray!)  READ MORE


Typing on a laptop in a garden

Helen Wilbers: From Springfield, MO: “Growing up, I was forever swiping my mom’s GREENPRINTS before she could read them. Today I am a freelance science writer and mother of an ever-expanding family of succulents and cacti.”

Pamela Freundl Kirst: “I live with my teenage son and a feisty Border Terrier named Winston in Santa Monica, CA, where I practice as a clinical psychologist.”  READ MORE


The Great Cantaloupe Contest

Giant pumpkins were my childhood. I spent count-less hours toiling alongside my brother and father in Missouri’s summer heat and humidity, because fairy godmothers aren’t real and if you want a coach-sized pumpkin, it takes work.  READ MORE

Summer Ends

It’s the tail end of summer, a liminal time like dusk and dawn when things are neither one nor the other, but for an instant both at once. The air is still and breathless, our brains sluggish and limp; the simplest tasks are beyond us.  READ MORE

The Seven Years Beer

The python slips shoulder-first out of the bromeliads. (I know, snakes don’t have shoulders, but it leads with the bit of itself that would be one.) I leap backwards—and my harvest basket whangs me in the head.   READ MORE

Lining-Out Space

I belong to not one, but two garden organizations that have plant sales. As an officer in each, I am Expected To Have Things For Sale. The trouble is that anything good propagates and grows slowly.  READ MORE

To Rose and Ed

Being a small-town California girl, I’m always endeavoring to do small-town things. So I start most Saturdays as I did last week—at the local coffeehouse, where the baristas are friendly and remember the regulars ...  READ MORE

Great Garden Quotes

I’ll admit it: I’m not always the sharpest colored pencil in the box. I mean, in the last year, the publishing world has been flooded with adult coloring books. They are the book fad of the last 12 months.   READ MORE


My home state of Washington is justly famous as the birthplace of Boeing, Starbucks, Amazon, Microsoft, Bing Crosby, and about a gazillion apples. But the state never has received proper recognition for our biggest accomplishment: the Mega Slug.  READ MORE

The Case of the Half-Dead Hedge

I like to read mysteries. Not the brutal kind but more of the cat-helps-find-the-missing-lunchbox type of story. It’s interesting to see how things get solved. It usually seems obvious at the end, in a satisfying “Of course!” kind of way.  READ MORE

Watching Her Garden Go

My friend is a gardener, a working gardener. At garden shows, garden tours, friends’ gardens, she is working—planning, visualizing, doing. She says her own plots hang like paintings in her mind, displaying where sun lights, shade rests, and water flows.   READ MORE

Mr. Gilfeather’s Turnip

As of July 2016, Vermont has an Official State Vegetable. It’s the Gilfeather turnip, a solid and stodgy veggie that—given a little encouragement—can grow to the size of a groundhog.   READ MORE

Grilled Peaches

“How did it come to this?” is admittedly a question I have asked out loud more than once. But this was the first time it was at 3:00 a.m. on a freezing cold April night as I feverishly try to turn the frosted-to-the-metal knobs of an ancient Weber grill ...  READ MORE

Chickens and Coleus

In the early summer after my freshman year of college, on a whim, I purchased a kit for growing coleus plants. It was a rectangular plastic container, with a yellow bottom and a clear top. There were markings for six holes in the top.   READ MORE

Gardening with Emerson

Emerson was nine months old when his family moved in—a chubby-cheeked, curly-haired baby with big blue eyes. The house his parents were remodeling was right next to my property. Only a rickety old fence and a few evergreen shrubs separated their backyard from the vegetable and flower gardens in mine.  READ MORE

Death of a Tree

Last May, the young man who lives in our garage cottage showed us a huge loose limb hanging over his roof, large enough to crush, at any moment, the cottage, not to mention our tenant.  READ MORE

Garden Wall, Stone Roots

The year we were married, I moved with my husband to a white farmhouse in northeastern Pennsylvania. The place, old but well cared-for, was once part of a much larger, still-operating family farm. From my porch, I can see the wide fields, red barns, and pastured hills of the farm next door rising in the distance.  READ MORE


My Garden Spade Can Heal

A Sense of Quiet


Cabbage Thief


The Little Boy with the No-Spinach Blues

My Garden Saved My Sanity

A Chinook Psalm

Broken Trowel

The Pruneful Truth

Letters to GreenPrints

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