Spring 1990

At The Gate

The Garden Gate
Welcome to GreenPrints, our garden of words. The little quarterly focuses on why-to, not how-to. On the inspiration behind the sweat. On the funny, frustrating, rejoicing, reflective, peaceful, poetic, and personal sides of gardening.  READ MORE


Typing on a laptop in a garden
Donna Schaper: Donna's the pastor of the First Congregational Church in Riverhead, New York. Her recent A Book of Common Prayer: Narratives Against the Current (LuraMedia, 7060 Miramar Rd., Suite 104, San Diego, CA 92121) proves she's not a typical preacher. Bobby Fountain: This Silsbee, Texan wrote his garden-fever commentary in an English course he…  READ MORE


Breaking Ground

Warm day. Dry soil. Early spring. It's groundbreaking day in the garden. I go out to negotiate with ol' Dobbin, my middle-aged rototiller. She's getting a bit stiff in the joints and cranky at times, but, if you talk gently to her and coax her choke just right, she'll start up eventually and put in a few hours of work.  READ MORE

Of Bittersweet and God

The bittersweet is legendary out here on the Eastern end of Long Island. It could be Charleston's Spanish moss but for the burnt orange outline it makes of late autumn. Reminding one more of extravagant pierced earrings on a tall, funky woman than of tangled vine, the bittersweet is the garden's farewell song.  READ MORE

Relax and Name Frogs

The first of February, my blood perks up like a coffeepot brewing because, down here in Texas, February 14th is Tater Time. The garden to me is a place to prepare the ground, grow fresh food, and relax. You win whether you profit or not. When you begin to prepare the ground, you feel a…  READ MORE

Garden Time

Mud season, the Harvest Moon, or when the frost is on the pumpkin. We're all familiar with such time measurements: the kind far removed from calculated accuracy. Not the precise, and aloof, paper calendar, but an earthy one with cycles of life, death, and change. Flexible but constant. Spring always comes-and it always comes after…  READ MORE
Baby Tree

Bright Hours

And now I take my pleasure in my garden. There is a gate but it is rarely opened. I lean on my staff as I wander about or sit down to rest. I raise my head and contemplate the lovely scene. Clouds rise, unwillingly, from the bottom of the hills: the weary bird seeks its…  READ MORE
My Fathers Hoe

My Father’s Hoe

Either side the clock in my workroom hangs a weapon. On one side is a fearsome musket that one of my ancestors is said to have captured in the War of the American Revolution. On the stock is crudely punctured the legend, "Samuel Mash, 1777." The bayonet and its leather sheath are still in place;…  READ MORE
woman in the garden

The Consolation of Flowers

It is something to have flower-fields and beauties to remember amid the enveloping universal darkness of the world. For the utmost griefs of beings, races, and continents come and pass, but the beauty of a poppy-petal on an alpine fell, the child of a day at the mercy of wind or hail, that has its…  READ MORE

Planting Out

I am standing in the garden, a plant in my hand, in a state of indecision. Where shall I plant it? I have a new raised bed ready for planting. I have just read an article in an Illinois newspaper where Waid Vanderpoel casually throws out that he has many large troughs each devoted to plants from a single geographic region.  READ MORE
Living with Chickweed

Living with Chickweed

The other day I saw a research report from some agricultural scientist who'd decided that chickweed—that disgusting little kissing cousin of kudzu—was the ideal winter cover crop for soybean farmers. After all, Dr. Agrigree claimed, it comes on (without sowing!) in the fall after the big machines have harvested the beans, then dies off (without spraying!) in the spring just before planting time for next year's crop. In the meantime, it reduces winter soil erosion, loosens the earth with its roots, and, when turned under, adds nutritious green matter to the soil.  READ MORE

The Love of Dirt

The love of dirt is among the earliest of passions, as it is the latest. Mud-pies gratify one of our first and best instincts. So long as we are dirty, we are pure. Fondness for the ground comes back to a man after he has run the round of pleasure and business, eaten dirt, and sown wild-oats, drifted about the world, and taken the wind of all its moods.  READ MORE


Exhilaration and Health

Compared to gardeners …

We garden because it’s an old cold world …


Garden Meditation


The Gift of Good Land

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