Winter 2015-2016

At The Gate

Dear Readers, There are 36 advertisers in this issue. I have personally met 23 of them. The rest are phone friends, most of whom I’ve known for years. I can tell you that they are good people, running family businesses they started because they love gardening, had a product they were excited about sharing (be…  READ MORE


Typing on a laptop in a garden
Laurel Radomski: How appropriate that WI’s Laurel started off the first issue of our Anniversary Year, as well as this last one—with her wonderful “Encora Imparo.” Bonnie Szantyr: From Morris, CT: “Getting published in GREENPRINTS would rank up there with having my great American novel published!” Linda Delmont: “I enjoy writing, reading, and hanging out…  READ MORE


Nature Heals

’ll bet you’re going to go home now and have a glass of wine.” That’s what I said to my friend Deb after we toured my slightly chaotic prairie gardens. “Oh, no,” she replied, “I’m going to need the whole bottle!” We giggled. Deb is my compulsive, type-A friend. She’s the one you see in…  READ MORE

Nana’s Garden

had definitely decided to give up fruit and vegetable gardening. Just flowers from now on. Oh, I’ll keep the pumpkin and gourd patch that spreads over the side yard—if the seedlings survive the beetles. And I do love straight-from-the-stalk sweet corn. But that’s it. Goodbye broccoli and lettuce that only fed the woodchucks. Adios…  READ MORE

My Private Microcosm

didn’t know when I received the seeds what they’d bring. My daughter and I were walking our dogs in Huntington Beach, California, when we came across school kids offering envelopes of free seeds: “Asclepias curassavica—Tropical Milkweed. The host plant for the monarch butterfly.” A sign explained that their habitat was being wiped out by…  READ MORE

The Stink Plant

ne summer, when I worked for a small-town newspaper here in West Virginia, Don and Willalea Kelley invited me to their home to cover what Don calls his “stinking plant.” Don, a board member at the local senior center, is especially proud of his blueberry bushes and also, apparently, of his exotic lilies. His stinking…  READ MORE

Raspberry Romance

any pick-your-own farms dot the New Jersey countryside where we live. One of our favorites is Valley View Farm, where we harvest the sweetest, juiciest red raspberries around. Carole and I arrive early on an August morning, before the throngs show up. “It’s been a mild summer. Do you think winter’ll be colder than normal?”…  READ MORE

The Flower Man of Sing Sing

In the 1920s, many newspapers and magazines featured glowing accounts of a man who transformed a desolate, barren, and depressing site into one of the country’s most fabulous gardens. Visitors flocked by the thousands to see his flowers—geraniums, snapdragons, phlox, asters, roses, and more. They came to see his trees, shrubs, lush turf, fountain, and…  READ MORE

In Love with Daphne

aphne, Daphne, Daphne…for many years the name conjured images not of a beautiful flower but of Jack Lemmon in the movie Some Like It Hot. What can I say? I’m a movie buff. And how could anyone not love this 1959 Billy Wilder comedy (cowritten by I.A.I. Diamond)? Besides, I had heard rumors that Daphne…  READ MORE

How My Grandpa Got Locked in the Tool Shed

t takes a special approach to make gardening fun for children. My dear late Grandpa Adrian clearly did not understand this concept—and, due to this, ended up locked in his backyard tool shed. I still say that it wasn’t really my fault. When I was four years old, my mother would take my grand-mother grocery…  READ MORE

Wells on Walls

Stone walls do not a prison make. Nor iron bars a cage Minds innocent and quiet take That for an hermitage. Thus whispered Dorothy L. Sayers’ Lord Peter Wimsey to his beloved Harriet when she was wrongfully imprisoned. He was quoting a poem, written in 1642 by Richard Lovelace, who was himself imprisoned for his…  READ MORE

Filching Fruit in France

I knew I would get into trouble when I agreed to lead a tour through the south of France this past summer, and I thought I had already achieved my goal when my wife left her hairbrush behind. You HAVE to leave something behind when you go to another country (it’s some kind of International…  READ MORE

My Muse

The very first time I had a garden on a public tour it rained. A steady, all-day rain, something to be much appreciated after a long, hot summer. That said, I had just spent about six weeks in exhausting heat, beginning August 1, whipping the place into shape for that tour, so I was not…  READ MORE

“Oh, Cedar Tree”

y dad ran a family farm on 70 acres in rural Ohio. He milked cows and grew and sold corn, soybeans, and alfalfa hay. It was a good life, but definitely a frugal one. One year he planted a few red cedar trees to make a windbreak. Almost as a hobby, he started digging up…  READ MORE

Potatoes on Mars

n Andy Weir’s The Martian, astronaut Mark Watney, victim of a freak accident, has been left for dead on Mars. Now 140 million miles from home, stranded and incommunicado, but very much alive, he has to figure out how to survive on his own for four years. Luckily Watney is a botanist, and his best…  READ MORE


Nature Does Not Hurry

A Wonderful Thing


The Garden


Gardening Up North

My Little Visitor

Broken Trowel

Pulverized Poppies

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