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December 18, 2015

Dear Santa,

I hope that I have made your “good” list this year and that you won’t hold a little thing like letting that really expensive camellia shrub die from neglect against me. Perhaps I shouldn’t have mentioned it. Also, the incident with the Japanese maple was not my fault. The dogs were clearly to blame, but in their defense, they were just trying to get that gopher and I am sure they did not begin digging with the intent of pulling up the tree and playing tug of war. Well, pretty sure, anyway.

I digress, Santa. I think we both know why we’re here. It’s to discuss my Christmas list, and while I certainly do not expect to get everything on it, I am hoping for at least an 80- to 90-percent gifting rate.

Perhaps you could also share this list with people who are searching for ideas for their garden and farm-oriented loved ones.

  1. New loppers. Yes, yes, I know I already have a pair, but they weren’t great quality and have aged badly. New sharp loppers just in time for pruning season would be a dream come true.
  2. Hand pruners with holster. Not only does having a holster for a spanking new set of pruners keep them handy at your hip, it also reduces the possibility that you might set them down just for a moment in the tomato bed in the spring only to have them disappear until you turn the bed over in November. Not that I have ever done this.
  3. An hour or two of garden labor. The girl kid gave me this for my birthday and not only was it great to have some extra help, it was pretty fun hanging out in the garden with her. We bonded by eating all the blueberries and not sharing them with anyone else.
  4. Slogger shoes. Comfortable rubber clogs or boots that are easy to slip in and out of and can be cleaned with a forceful hose blast are essential to anyone dealing with dirt or chicken coops. If they are covered with adorable designs, so much the better.
  5. Chicken diapers. OK, I know that I drew the line at these awhile back, but I really would love to see what Cabbage would do if she were allowed free range of the house. She spends a lot of time and energy trying to get in, and this really would be more of a gift for her than for me. See, Santa, how selfless I can be? Perhaps this will bump me up closer to that 90 percent gift/list level.
  6. Perennial garden herbs. Rosemary, sage and thyme: If they can’t be planted in the ground in your area, can go into a groovy little pot in a sunny windowsill until spring. I don’t know about you, Santa, but I never seem to have enough sage since I discovered how amazing crispy fried sage is on everything. Or, just eaten alone in the kitchen when no one is looking, as one does with the leftover pumpkin pie. Not that I have ever done this.
  7. Garden art. Metal cutouts to decorate the garden fence, henhouse or garden shed, or interesting trellises, reflecting balls, metal café tables and chairs, or statues (I am especially fond of statues of pigs) will let your favorite farmdener (Hey! Did I just make up a new word?) turn the garden into a haven.
  8. Bulbs. A bag of bulbs, mixed and matched from the crazy varieties available out there, are the gift that keeps on giving. Some of the crocus and daffodil bulbs I put in a few years ago are creating bigger and bigger color patches in the combo garden, without me giving them a second thought. I just love things that don’t require a second thought, don’t you, Santa?
  9. Books. Really cool ones about gardening, with lots and lots of pictures. Anything by Georgeanne Brennan comes to mind. Nothing better than sitting by the fire on a blustery day reading about gardening. It’s like that proverbial light at the end of the tunnel, Santa. It gives us faith that spring is indeed coming.
  10. Wine. Because what is better than sitting in the garden at the end of the day with a nice glass of wine, surveying your work? Or sitting by the aforementioned fire, sipping cabernet while reading one of those gardening books? Or finding the perfect pairing for that new kale salad recipe. Or sampling a cool glass of chardonnay in the hot kitchen while you whip up dinner. Yeah. Wine. Can’t lose with that one.

So there you go, Santa. My holiday joy is in your hands. Please note that I will be leaving you a large platter of oatmeal butterscotch cookies and a small glass of single malt per our previous arrangement. Feliz Navidad!

Cyn



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