This year has seen the twentieth anniversary of Greenprints, a delightful quarterly magazine, the autumn edition of which has just dropped through my letterbox.
Subtitled The Weeder’s Digest, and dedicated to the “human, not the how-to” side of gardening, it eschews information articles (so nothing on how to grow your cabbages or new blooms this season) and, instead, offers thoughtful, humorous and poignant essays inspired by gardens and gardening; it’s very personal writing.
Pat Stone, the editor, gives it a very warm touch. He himself is held in great affection by his readers, who like to be kept up to date with his family, so the mag usually includes a brief update on what’s been happening and, while Pat is editing, Becky his wife is i/c subscriptions.
It's a real mom-and-pop enterprise (as they say in the States), published from their home office in North Carolina, but that doesn't stop it being thoroughly professional. Pat was Garden Editor at Mother Earth News back in the 1980s, and has also co-edited Chicken Soup for the Gardener’s Soul, one of the hugely successful Chicken Soup series.
Greenprints is a feel-good publication, featuring poetry, quotations and charming illustrations, as well as around fifteen stories per issue. One of the regular contributing editors, with a humorous outlook on life, is Mike McGrath, the erstwhile Editor-in-Chief of Organic Gardening Magazine (the US one, not the defunct UK mag) who is known over the Pond for You Bet Your Garden! a long-running syndicated Public Radio show.
If you wonder if Greenprints is for you, then have a dig round past issues, where you get a rundown of contents and good flavour of what's inside. CD selections are also available.
And, given that I’ve just visited two garden centres, both of which were putting up their Christmas grottoes, I’ll just whisper very quietly that a subscription might make a jolly nice present for a garden enthusiast.