The Gardener’s Christmas Carol
On the first day of Christmas the gardener woke at dawn:
Dreaming of one large rectangular trough without a company name stencilled on it, preferably aged and plumbed into the South lawn.
On the second day of Christmas the gardener almost forgot:
Two pink camellias planted up in blue and white pots.
On the third day of Christmas the gardener was quite sure:
Three truckloads of manure.
On the fourth day of Christmas the gardener was in a dream:
Four Cassia fistula trees underplanted with drifts of Society Garlic and Agapanthus; a yellow and blue sky scene.
On the fifth day of Christmas the gardener was upbeat:
Five orchids flowering, to fill the house with blooms despite the awful heat.
On the sixth day of Christmas it was all boom or bust:
Six white Lagerstroemias underplanted with pink evening primrose, where it won’t matter if it gets away and takes over in a pink haze (rather than dust).
On the seventh day of Christmas just for the sheer delight:
Seven cream Frangipani trees flowering happily outside my bedroom window; the fragrance will float through like thick honey on a warm night.
(I know honey is not thick on a warm night however we are trying for poetic vision here, so stay with me please).
On the eighth day of Christmas a table quite sublime:
Eight bountiful fig trees, laden with their purple treasure and an endless pot of Stilton and cold white wine.
On the ninth day of Christmas perhaps while clutching straws:
Nine successful compost heaps, not the usual dried out piles of sticks and burrs the dogs spread hell, west and crooked with their overactive paws.
On the tenth day of Christmas the gardener lost the plot:
One new lawn mower; I realise this should be ten, but we all know a new lawnmower is a big-ticket item and I would like it to be self-propelled please and start on the first pull. Ongoing. Colour is optional, mechanics are not.
On the eleventh day of Christmas the gardener had her say:
Eleven big bales of mulch hay.
Spoilt Lucerne hay is great however at present I know there is a far bigger call on hay than for me and mine. All the same, this is a Christmas wish list and we must not forget the drought mantra: This too shall pass. My mother-in-law told me a great one last week, for the kitchen Wall of Fame: Go to heaven for the climate and hell for the company, thank you Mark Twain.
On the twelfth day of Christmas and let there be no doubt:
Twelve inches of rain for Summer and Autumn please and no one missing out.
You may extrapolate that figure for your own region as I realise we all have varying expectations. Twelve inches is our average annual rainfall, so it would be making up for in lieu of and the number fits the carol. A moderate flood wouldn’t go astray either, in case anyone is listening.
Eleven big bales of mulch hay
One new lawn mower
Nine successful compost heaps
Eight healthy fig trees,
Seven cream Frangipani trees clumped happily outside my bedroom window
Six white Lagerstroemias underplanted with pink evening primrose
Five orchids flowering
Four Cassia fistula trees underplanted with drifts of Society garlic and Agapanthus
Three truckloads of manure
Two pink camellias in blue and white pots
One big rectangular trough.
Beats the Bower bird in the Peach Tree any day. Keep your cool,
The Moble Gardener.