A Gardener’s Christmas Wish List
Back when my girls were little we always made a trek down to Tower City to see the Christmas lights, all the holiday decorations and (of course) visit Santa. We would anxiously wait in a long line to see the “big guy” with that mixture of excitement and fear that only a gift-giving, bearded giant in a red suit with bells on his boots can generate. Nervous yet eager, the girls would present their handwritten wish lists, mumble a few inaudible requests, the obligatory photo was taken and on we passed through the holiday spectacle. Unknown to all the kids was the slyest of moves and one of Santa’s elves would slip us the wish lists as we shuffled past. Then, on Christmas morning, the most magical of moments would occur when those lists written with backward letters and the greatest of care reappeared… delivered by Santa himself. Oh how I miss those magical days of childhood fantasies…. If we could only go back in time!
What if you could… go back in time, that is? What if you could wait again in that line, uneasy yet thrilled for the chance… when you sat on Santa’s lap, what would you ask for? Now in reality I realize you may be asking to be released from police custody, but let’s humor ourselves with the fantasy. Knowing what you now know, what could you ask for that is deserving of that moment?
I am sure Santa is trained not to promise world peace, a never-ending supply of cash or infinite wishes, so that won’t fly, but perhaps we can finagle something more creative than new underwear or pajamas. In this light I thought I would share my Christmas wish list as a gardener, ranked in order from modest to most optimistic.
1. My cheap pruners and hand trowel both bit the dust this fall so I wish for some high quality replacements that will hold up to my abusive treatment. You know how guys love their tools!!!
2. I love pottery and over the years I have gathered quite a collection, but most all my pots are cracked, chipped or broken and other pieces are… well, they’re ugly. I don’t know why I hold on to these things. I wish I could switch out the lot and get some nice pots that look good together and aren’t all busted up.
3. I’ve had this idea for a new garden in the back yard but I just can’t seem to come up with enough specifics to carry out the concept. I wish I could get a fresh perspective from a garden designer that could help me arrange my ideas and put a plan together for my new garden.
4. I love the outdoors and really miss the screened-in porch I had at my last house. I wish I had a patio room that I could sit in while it rained on a summer day, have dinner and drinks on the porch surrounded by tropical plants and flowers.
5. Finally, as we begin this long winter season, I wish for an early spring with sunny days and warm weekends. I wish my Hydrangeas would bloom, my Magnolias would not freeze, the deer would not forage and the slugs would not… exist. I wish my tomatoes would have the heat to ripen, that my Pear trees would finally produce fruit and that no groundhogs would find shelter under my shed. I wish my grass would be green but not grow, my shrubs be healthy but not need trimming, and my perennials be ever-blooming and ever-green. I wish all this and I want to sit back and enjoy while sipping adult beverages from a hammock strung in the shade.
Well, I guess my children’s wish lists weren’t so outrageous after all! Once you get started, it’s all too easy to get caught up in this wishing thing. I may as well wish for… world peace.
The fact of the matter is that for me… gardening is the gift that keeps giving. Spending time outside, nurturing plants, working the soil… it fills my soul. Growing flowers and vegetables, sharing the bounty, my passion and my knowledge gives me purpose, gratification and a sense of pride.
I guess if I really could go back, if I could make a wish that could become reality… I wish that others could gain a greater appreciation for all that gardening has to offer. I wish that others would find the simple pleasure of watching things grow as fulfilling as I do. I wish that through gardening we could all better serve our environment, our communities and ourselves. I wish that we could use gardening to return to a quality of life that, with time, we have seem to have evolved away from.
Finally, I wish all the best for you and yours this holiday season. (And world peace!)
Now go outside and have fun in the dirt!