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Mike’s Holiday Hort Sing-Along


I like holiday carols. Really, I do. Honest. Don’t look at me like that. I know it’s hard to tell from the annual hit job I do on them in this column. Hey, I like my plants, too, and yet I kill them with astonishing regularity. Maybe it’s a “you always hurt the one you love” kind of thing.

So a word of advice. Don’t make me like you. It could be bad for your health.

Come to think of it, singing any of these ditties around friends or co-workers might land you in intensive care. Just sayin’.

Do You Fear What I Fear

(sung to “Do You Hear What I Hear?”)

Said the neighbor to her BFF

Do you see what I see?

Way out in your yard, BFF

Do you see what I see?

A thing, a thing, crawling in on your plants

It could be a slug or some ants

It could be a slug or some ants.

Said the little slug to the crawling ant

Do you fear what I fear?

Falling from the sky, crawling ant,

Do you fear what I fear?

A spray, a spray, toxic as you please

With a half life as long as the sea’s

With a half life as long as the sea’s

Said the garden guru to the megacorp,

Do you know what I know?

Ethics-challenged, rich megacorp,

Do you know what I know?

The soil, the soil–stop with all this strife!

Let us bring it organics and life

Let us bring it organics and life

Said the megacorp to everyone

Listen to what we say

Buy our spray, people everyone

Listen to what we say

On Sale! On Sale! Get it while it’s hot!

It will kill all bugs with one shot!

It will kill all bugs with one shot!

What Were You Thinking This Year, Steve?

(Sung to “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve?”)

Maybe I shouldn’t mention you by name

Maybe it’s ’cause your garden looks so lame

What were you thinking this year?

This year, Steve?

Wonder who gave you all that bad advice

Wonder who told you gnomes were really nice

What were you thinking this year,

This year, Steve?

Maybe I’m crazy to opine

You’d read a book about design

Or even TiVo some Gardening

TV show

Don’t you stare at me like you’re in a trance

And don’t you give me that old song and dance

What were you thinking this year,

This year, Steve?

Mulchin’ Around the Parkway Tree

(sung to “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree”)

Mulchin’ around the parkway tree

On the fifteenth day of June

A hundred and twenty in the shade

Everybody starts to swoon

Mulchin’ around the front yard tree

You can blame it all on Pop

Whenever he looks the other way

Everybody tries to stop

You will get a truly hopeless feeling when you hear

His voice yelling “Oh, by golly, don’t forget that line of holly.”

Mulchin’ around the backyard tree

With a wood pile nine feet high

Shoveling chips on rubber legs

Everybody wants to cry

You will get a truly sickly feeling when you hear

His voice yelling “Don’t get slow now; Only twenty trees to go now.”

Mulchin’ around the neighbor’s tree

This has really wrecked the day

Later we’ll pass out on the couch

And we’ll reach for some Ben Gay.

I Saw Mommy Kill a Plant Because

(sung to “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus”)

I saw Mommy kill a plant because

Daddy didn’t come back home last night

She said he was a creep

And he’ll never have the Jeep

She swears that was his last chance and

She’ll get him in his sleep

Then I saw Mommy grab a pruning saw

Looking at his bonsai with delight

Oh, what a laugh it would have been

If Daddy had wandered in

He’d be walking with a limp tonight

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questions

I have two 3-year-old rose of Sharon plants, about 20 feet apart. One blooms every year. The other plant forms about 100 buds and looks healthy, but it has not bloomed in the last two years. The buds are solidly closed and look as if they are rotting from the inside out. There does not seem to be any sign of insects on the plant. What is this problem?

I’d like to plant a white bark birch in front of my home in my sunny front yard. What can you tell me about Betula utilis var. Jacquemontii?

I have some peonies that I want to transplant but cannot plant them in their permanent place until next spring when our new house will be built. Can I dig them now and transplant them again next spring?

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