First published in 1823, Twas the Night Before Christmas is a much loved Christmas book. Here's the tale cheekily rewritten especially for gardeners.
The perennials were nestled all snug in their beds while visions of 5-10-5 danced in their heads.
The new planted shrubs had been soaked by the hose to settle their roots for the long winter's doze; and out on the lawn, the new fallen snow protected the roots of the grasses below.
When what to my wondering eyes should appear but a truck full of gifts of gardening gear.
Saint Nick was the driver — the jolly old elf — and he winked and he said, " I'm a gardener myself."
"I've brought Wilt-Pruf, Rootone, and gibberlins too — father can try them and see what they do.
To start new plants — a propagating kit; sparkling new shears, for the old apple tree."
"To seed your new lawn, I've a patented sower; in case it should grow, here's a new power mower.
For the seed planting days I've a trowel and a dibble. And a row of wire mesh if the rabbits should nibble."
"For the feminine gardener, some gadgets she loves; plant stakes, a sprinkler and water proof gloves; a chemical agent for her compost pit. And for pH detection, a soil testing kit."
"With these colorful flagstones, lay a new garden path; for the kids to enjoy a bird feeder and bath.
And last but not least, some well-rotted manure! A green Christmas year round, these gifts will insure."
Then Jolly Saint Nick, having emptied his load, started his truck and took to the road. And I heard him explain through the motor's loud hum:
"MERRY CHRISTMAS TO ALL, AND TO ALL A GREEN THUMB!"
What the heck are gibberlins, you might ask? They are plant hormones that regulate growth and are often sold in the form of gibberellic acid, which is used more commercially than in home gardens.
Credit: Commercial Appeal