T’was the night before Christmas’: A holiday poem for the garden lover

Picture of Paul Cappiello Ph.D.

Paul Cappiello Ph.D.

Yew Dell Botanical Gardens Executive Director

T’was the night before Christmas, when all through the house,
          Not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse.
The mice, it would seem, with the moles and the voles,
Were out in the yard, making holes after holes.

Their plan as a group, to the gardeners who know.
          Was to fracture your ankles and sprain all your toes
Meanwhile inside, all wrapped up in our Snuggies
Reading, we were, ‘bout new fungi and buggies.

The blight and the moth, of the boxwood so dear,
          The borer and lantern fly, now oh so near.
Forget all the wood chucks and chipmunks and kin,
          ‘cause these new garden headaches will make one’s head spin!

“A plan’s what we need!” I exclaimed from my chair,
          As Mama sat there, just pulling her hair.
“We’ll start with some good sanitation, that’s best,”
“scouting and plucking those off-putting pests.”

“That way we’ll not hurt the nice birds and the bees,”
          “We’ll be all sustainable and kind to the trees.”
“Hogwash!” screamed Mama all red in the face”
          “This menacing hoard needs a garden arms race!”

“Forget timid tries… all your feel-goody bit,”
          “We’ll nuke these bad buggers, with some really good… stuff!”
“Get me a howitzer, a  plane or a drone,”
          “I’ll blast them to Neverland, leaving nothing but stone!”

But as we both sat tossing thoughts at the wall,
          I started to think, “might we be missing it all?”
Sure, we plan out our flowers and veggies and pots,
          And have great and grand dreams for each and all spots.

But a garden’s a process, a constant Plan B,
          Maybe the forest’s worth more than the tree.
So up from my chair I did rise with new vigor,
          Our thinking from here, will be so so much bigger.

We’ll make us a plan and well give it our best.
          We’ll plant and we’ll prune and we’ll hit it with zest,
But if those grand plans, they just don’t quite do,
          We’ll have us a drink and enjoy the day’s view.

Happy Gardening!

This article was originally submitted to the Courier Journal on December 13, 2022.

About the Author

Blurb about Paul here.

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