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Mike’s “Bargain Basement”  Holiday Hort Sing Along


People ask me why, year after inexplicable year, I continue to crank out these bizarre little lyrics for the holidays. Normally, I nod and smile and ignore the question. But when it’s your shrink who is pleading for an answer, uh … let’s just say that I said I would think it over, but, gee, I’m on deadline and I’ll talk to you next week.

I’m not sure that counts as an answer. I’ll let you know next year.

And if you wonder why this is called the “Bargain Basement” sing along, it’s because I’m running out of A-list carols. I’m down to the Q-R-S list!

Regardless, sing, darn ya! (I need to talk to my shrink about holiday anger management.)

We Need a Little Business

(Sung to “We Need a Little Christmas”)

Haul out the dolly;
Bring in the pots before they freeze and crack again.
Hang up the holly;
It may be winter but we need to pack ‘em in now,
’Cause we need a little business
In the garden center,
Vendors getting nervous,
Get some folks to enter.
Yes we need a little business;
Summer nearly killed us.
We haven’t sold a single berry;
Our Christmas might not be so merry.

So mark down the prices;
Come get the cheapest string of lights you’ve ever seen.
Discount the orchids;
It’s time we slashed the margin on that evergreen bough.
For we’ve grown some Christmas cactus,
Grown some red poinsettias,
Grown some amaryllis.
None of it will get us
Through this winter into April
If we don’t sell somethin’
We need a little business now.

Gardening Rock

(Sung to “Jingle Bell Rock”)

Gardening, gardening, gardening rock,
Gardening spring brings gardening sting,
Straining and aching are bushels of fun,
Now, the drag n’ drop has begun.

Movin’ that, movin’ that, movin’ that rock,
Gardening slime and gardening grime
Crackin’ your back in a sweat you declare,
“It’s a muscle tear.”

With a straight face, you say that place
Is where the rock should stay.
It weighs three tons, and your three sons
Have gone ridin’ in your Chevrolet

Giddy-up vicodin, can’t feel your feet,
Landscaping is a crock.
Mix and a-mingle in some whiskey that’s neat,
Never should have bought,
Say good-bye to that

Stupid gardening rock.

Fertilize the Holly

(Sung to “Mistletoe and Holly” and the only reason anybody knows the darned song is because Frank Sinatra sang it … it certainly doesn’t have a tune!)

Oh, by gosh, by golly-a
It’s time to fertilize the dahlia
Make the ground quake with a yard rake
Banging into your big toe.

Oh, by gosh, it’s strange-a
Folks try to make a blue hydrangea
Over thinking, plants are shrinking
’Cause there’s a lot you don’t know.

Then comes that big fight,
Giving the tree a trim.
You’ll hear voices by starlight
She’s always blaming him.

Oh, by gosh, they’re brawlin’
It’s time to bring the lawyer callin’,
I’d advise they split the prize
And each get a plant or so

And leave fixing the garden to pros.

No More Gnomes for Christmas

(Sung to: “I’ll Be Home for Christmas”)

No more gnomes for Christmas
All I beg of you.
Please have hoes and bare root rose
And any kind of yew.

Christmas Day will find me
Holding back my screams
No more gnomes for Christmas
They’re stalking all my dreams.

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questions

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 have a dampish area with poor grass and moss that I would like to change to ground cover, but if I have only one plant, won’t it be boring? Can I get rid of the grass in winter or early spring?

I brought a frangipani (Plumeria) back from Hawaii last April when it was just a leafless branch. It sprouted leaves and grew over summer. Now it is losing its leaves. How can I keep it growing over winter? Will it bloom?

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