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An Open Letter To Santa Claus

santa faceDear Santa,

Please go back and check your records. I should think by now you’d have a clear idea of the type of gifts I’d really like to find under my tree. Ever since I learned to garden at my Granddad’s knee, back in Texas, I have longed for plants, pots, tools and unique gardening gadgets and books to add to my collection.

My passion is gardening. I am at a loss to understand why I find so many turtleneck sweaters and plaid winter scarves under the tree each year….after year…after year…You know, Santa, if you were truly watching you couldn’t have missed the hints I’ve constantly been dropping.

Remember when I ran over the hose with the lawn mower a few years back? I should think a hose reel would have been in order. But instead? A warm winter scarf….in plaid. And how about when I fell off the ladder trying to water my window boxes because I didn’t have an extension wand on the end of my hose? Or the time I suffered sunburn because my hat blew away in a thunderstorm?

How could you have missed that painful hint? Did I get a sunhat? No, another turtleneck sweater, extra large. I hope you’re getting the point. Which reminds me, my Felco® pruners (which I purchased myself years ago) are as sharp as ever – but it would sure be swell to have an extra pair, perhaps a different model. And some rugged gardening gloves would protect my hands from blisters and accidental cuts.

I have enough plaid scarves to carpet the living room by now. But when it comes to gardening tools, I could never have enough!Santa, I know you’re very busy, and I know gardening is not one of your areas of expertise, what with you living at the North Pole and all. So, as a service to you, and all the passionate gardeners on your list, I’m sending you a Gardener’s Wish List. Think of it as a guideline – I wouldn’t want to cramp your style.

If your elves rebel at working holiday overtime, you can always make a pit stop at Behnke Nurseries – they’re even open on Christmas Eve!Well Santa, I guess I’ll sign off now. I’m pretty busy this time of year myself. There’s always so much to do in the garden: laying down mulch, pruning, planting a new perennial bed, watering, and protecting tender plants. I find that an extra large turtleneck stretched between two stakes makes a fine wind screen for my Japanese red maple.

Always your friend
in gardening,

Randy Best

Stephanie Fleming was raised at Behnke’s Nurseries in Beltsville. Her Mom, Sonja, was one of Albert & Rose Behnke’s four children. She was weeding from the moment she could walk and hiding as soon as she was old enough to run, so many weeds, so little time. Although she quickly learned how to pull out a perennial and get taken off of weed pulling duty.

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