Spring 2016

At The Gate

A Pitch from Pat Well, gee, I’m going to come straight out and make a plug this issue. Actually, two plugs. 1) Thank you for supporting our advertisers (and telling them where you heard about them). As I’ve said before, most of them are family businesses (like ours) trying to sell good products they love.…  READ MORE


Typing on a laptop in a garden
Eva Kosinski: From Louisville, CO: “My dad was an organic gardener before it was fashionable, so I’ve been gardening ever since I could pick a bean or a strawberry.” Larry E. Lael: “I am the Supreme Commander of Lael’s Moon Garden Nursery in Rochester, WA. My wife is the Extreme Supreme Commander.” Mary Whitsell: American…  READ MORE


Tinkerbell’s Tale

Tinkerbell first started visiting last year, when her owner (if cats could be said to have such things) moved in two houses down. She’s become the darling of the neighborhood, our little wanderer. Her fan club includes families four blocks away. She makes sure to check in on everyone at least a couple of times…  READ MORE

The Nurseryman’s Lament

Oh, don’t get me wrong. I am grateful for every customer who comes into our nursery here in Rochester, Washington, whether they are there to browse, tour our display garden, or buy plants. Many are like kids in Disneyland, laughing and oohing and ahhing nonstop.  READ MORE

Too Much Moss

Today I noticed that the moss on our lawn is at least two inches deep, maybe more. No matter that I raked it up two dozen times last year, it always seems to come back thicker, greener, and stronger.  READ MORE

Why Bother?

I admit it. I’m not a good gardener. I have killed or badly damaged most of my plants (housebound and otherwise) by lack of correct care. Oh, I try. I put them on watering schedules. I repot. I prune. I weed. I debug. I don’t mean to kill them—I promise!  READ MORE

Oh, Help—Hydrangea!

Yes, I admit it. I am an addict. I can’t seem to get past any plant with a For Sale sign on it. Yesterday… I was on my way home from church and needed to stop at the market for a few essentials. How is it that we always need bread, milk, and eggs—it’s not…  READ MORE

The Tree Whisperer

I love trees—and all plants. You probably love them too. By listening to them, I have come to know hundreds of trees and other plants as individuals. When they are sick, I help them heal themselves. I love each of them as if they were my children. When you put your hands on a tree,…  READ MORE

Daffodils? Bah, Humbug!

I live in prosperous Bucks County, Pennsylvania. There are lovely parks, roads are clean, and every fall a group of businesses and nurseries plant literally thousands of daffodil bulbs for a program called Bucks Beautiful. Then every spring, along roadsides, canal paths, and traffic circles, there are great bursts of golden yellow. And who passes…  READ MORE

Our First Tiller

My husband and I both grew up in the mountains of eastern Kentucky. Now you have to understand that in eastern Kentucky, a garden is an essential part of life. Not particularly because you need a garden to live—raising a garden is just something you do.  READ MORE

Kids and Gardening

My first gardening experience was a memorable moment in my life. It took place when I was five years old. With reckless abandon, I took a hoe and made a smooth and inviting road for my toy truck—right through my mother’s pansy bed.  READ MORE

Jesus a Gardener?

He asked her, “Woman, why are you crying? Who is it you are looking for?” Thinking he was the gardener, she said, “Sir, if you have carried him away, tell me where you have put him, and I will get him.” ~John 20:15 NIV The devastated woman was completely beside herself over the death of…  READ MORE

One Little, Two Little Dead Little Peach Trees

I know that some (OK—most to all) of you think that this stuff is funny, because it meets the Mel Brooks definition: “If I personally fall into an open manhole, it’s tragedy; but if somebody else does, it’s comedy;” but meanwhile, I’m the one falling into the manholes. Oy! Anyway, this specific manhole cover began…  READ MORE

April Showers

April showers bring May flowers” is a proverb that dates at least to 1560. That is, more or less. The 16th-century version was “Aprell sylver showers so sweet/Can make May flowers to sprynge.”  READ MORE

Old Lady Hetch

Old Lady Hetch loved to garden. But she was getting on in years, so she always offered to pay the kids on my block a few dollars to help out in her yard. Most part-time jobs for us 12-year-old boys ended with the last snowfall and wouldn’t start up again until the golfers emerged on…  READ MORE

No One Told the Iris

I’ve never been much of a gardener. Nor were my mother and father. My grandmother gardened, though. I especially remember her iris. Rows upon rows of iris sprang to life at Gram’s house every year. Shades of purple dotted the landscape as I darted through the trails amongst the buds.   READ MORE

To the Celery in My Life

In February I set a tray of soil on an old bathmat on the floor of my office and planted a line of tiny celery seeds. I gave the soil a pat as I stood up, switching on the shop light I’d finally figured out how to suspend a few inches above the dirt  READ MORE

A Simple Sign

A surprising number of us believe in signs—those odd synchronicities or happenings that seem to point us down a certain path. The still, small voice that tells us an impending choice is right—or wrong—and sometimes leaves a tangible reminder just in case we forget to believe it.  READ MORE


Plant Leeks

Cast-Iron Back

Nature Never Did Betray


Letter to the Rhododendron


The Agnes Rose

An Unexpected Compliment

The Love of My Life

Broken Trowel

My Maple Mishap

The GreenPrints Letter

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