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Follow the Bouncing Gall


There are two kinds of bets going on among my readers. The first is whether I will follow the tried, true and now fairly stale formula of setting horticultural lyrics to holiday songs for yet another year. The other bet is that I will eventually run out of holiday songs to parody.

Those of you who had your money on my trying something different this year can pony up right now. And those who thought I would run out of songs have never Googled the X-Mas Song Canon. It’s about the size of a medium-sized Midwestern town phone book. This could go on forever. Sing ’em and weep.

Little Dumber Boy

(sung to “Little Drummer Boy”)

Come and buy them, pa rum pum green thumb,

Our newest hybrid seed, pa rum pum green thumb,

Our finest genes we breed, pa rum pum green thumb,

Some water’s all you need, pa rum pum green thumb, rum pum green thumb, rum pum green thumb,

So to take a chance, pa rum pum green thumb,

I will succumb.

Little seedling, pa rum pum green thumb,

I am no scientist, pa rum pum green thumb,

I’ll do my best for you, pa rum pum green thumb,

I’ll give you chicken doo, pa rum pum

green thumb, rum pum green thumb, rum pum green thumb,

Will you grow for me, pa rum pum green thumb,

Or am I dumb?

Watching daily, pa rum pum green thumb,

Seems like a long, long time, pa rum pum green thumb,

I’ve waited patiently, pa rum pum green thumb,

I’ve watered faithfully, pa rum

pum green thumb, rum pum green thumb, rum pum green thumb,

Then it dawns on me, pa rum pum green thumb,

Boy am I dumb.

Slay (Me Now) Ride

(sung to “Sleigh Ride”)

Just hear those song birds sing-a-ling, “Spring-ting-ting ting-a-ling, ooh”

Come on, it’s lovely weather to be planting a garden with you

Outside the snow is falling and friends are calling “You fool!”

Come on, it’s lovely weather to be planting a garden with you.

Hurry up, hurry up, hurry up, let’s go, Let’s get out the hoe

We’re nearly in the month of March, you know.

Hurry up, hurry up, hurry up, it’s grand, just numbing my hand,

We’re breaking a prong to a song of a frozen relentless land.

Our cheeks are more than rosy and now we’re close to the brink

We’re clinging to each other with a flask of another hard drink

Let’s take that door before us Can’t take no more o’ this zoo

Come on, it’s stupid weather to be planting a garden with you.

It’s Beginning To Look a Lot Like Fungus

(sung to “It’s Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas”)

It’s beginning to look a lot like fungus

Everywhere you grow

Take a look at the pathogen

Blossoming once again

The sturdy kind that grabs and won’t let go.

It’s beginning to look a lot like fungus

Soon the plants will fade

And the thing that will make you cry

As you kiss each one good-bye

Is the price you paid.

The Summer Song

(sung to “The Christmas Song”...you know, “chestnuts roasting”? Do I have to explain everything?! Merry Christmas! Now SING!!)

Pansies baking in the blazing sun

Aphids nipping at your rose

Late blight taking out your prize to-ma-toes

And oaks messed up with oak wilt woes.

Everybody knows a trowel and some elbow grease

Help to make the garden right

Tiny knots in your back will increase

You’ll find it hard to sleep tonight.

We know that summer’s on its way

Soon all your garden beds will be in disarray

And every mother’s child will surely swoon

To find wisteria really knows how to bloom.

And so I’m offering this simple phrase,

“Get off my lawn–that means you, too!”

I know I will pray many times, many ways,

“When will summer be through?”

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questions

I have a Japanese maple that was hit by frost. Some of the leaves are curled and brown. Will they fall off and new leaves grow? Is there anything I can do to help the tree? What is the best method to prevent this from ever happening again?

I have a nicely sheltered, rounded 7-foot tall Japanese red maple on the southeast corner of my backyard. Half of the tree has lost its leaves, the formerly red bark is turning gray, and a good-sized square of bark has been stripped off on the side that faces the yard. I sprayed the exposed bark with black pruning spray to close any entry for insects. I have not cut off any of the branches.

Does the winter have any effect on the tree? Should I look for some insect infestation? What should I do now?

I’m moving to a townhouse with limited direct sunlight. I would like to put a Japanese maple in a north-facing garden but don’t know if it will do well. What are the best kinds? Also, when is the best time to plant a small tree?

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