Dreaming of a greener Christmas season

Although many people throw out their poinsettias after the holidays, the plant will bloom again under the right conditions.

I would like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas. It’s going to be a little different this year.

My usual Christmas Eve includes the service at First Baptist, which has been canceled. After that, we enjoy a delicious Christmas Eve dinner and party with the Campbell family. That has been canceled. Then, to complete our evening, we drive out to Energy and enjoy some more food, fellowship, and eggnog with Bruce and Joan Aiken and friends. That has been canceled. So far, I haven’t heard of Santa canceling, but who knows.

We do not know the exact time of the birth of Jesus. Being a gardener, I think it would have been nice had they selected June 1 as the date. That way, when I’m asked to make my Christmas list, I can add perennials, annuals, trees, shrubs, and garden tools. It would take a week to read my whole list. Now it just reads, “shirts.”

One gardening tool I would ask for is the Twist and Plant Garden Auger from Proven Winners. Instead of digging a hole, which is not my favorite part of gardening, you just attach the auger to a drill and drill the hole in the ground or container. A lot of augers available only dig a 3-inch hole, which is okay, but most single pots are 4 inches. Twist and Plant will drill a 4-inch wide hole, and go down 11 inches deep. I usually don’t dig that deep with my shovel or trowel. If you are planting bulbs, just drill and plant. You will be done in minutes.

There isn’t much care for the auger. It is suggested to clean it after each use, and add a little vegetable oil to the blade. We males would probably have to buy our own bottle of vegetable oil. Women get a little touchy when they see their husbands get into the kitchen cupboards, especially if their hands are filthy, which is usually the case after planting things. Having your own bottle of vegetable oil in the shed would work out much better, and prevent any additional marital problems other than what you may already have.

The kitchen is almost off limits to me anyhow. I’ve been warned never to touch the dishrag. This leaves a problem when I spill something. It just remains until the cleaning crew arrives, or Hazmat finally shows up.

Plant containers are another thing that gardeners never have enough of. They just aren’t plentiful in December.

A nice bale of garden soil would make an excellent gardening gift. The Amish have it available, but it is usually frozen solid around this time of the year and would be very hard to wrap. A bag a peat moss with a bow doesn’t fit under the tree anyway. A bag of manure might also stink up the house and cause divorce papers being served.

The main plant available for Christmas is the poinsettia. Since the pandemic is here, I don’t think I’ve seen any, mainly because I haven’t been shopping yet. I like to wait until I’m under pressure to shop.

The red bracts are very pretty, but most people throw them away in January when the season is over. It can be kept, and made to re-bloom next December, but the blooms will not be as nice as the original. Should you decide to keep it, cut the bracts off in early August. Starting on Sept. 15 give the plant 10 hours of direct sun and 14 hours of complete darkness. No matter what your neighbor told you, poinsettias are not poisonous.

Keeping Christmas in December is probably best. Singing “Silent Night” and being accompanied by frogs and crickets won’t have that magical feel. The song “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” would have never been written.

And, I guess I need more shirts anyway.

Make your space a green space.

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