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Mike’s Instant Holiday Hort Sing Along: Just Add Snow


I’m often asked, “How do you do it, Mike … year after year?” That’s the wrong question. The right question is “Why do you do it, Mike … year after relentless year?” However, even that question should be presented in a rhetorical way. In which case, I will smile sagely. If asked as a real question, I will suddenly remember that I must tend to the eggs boiling on my stove before they explode all over the unwashed dishes and the languishing pothos.

Now sing, darn ya!

Locusts We Have Heard on High

(sung to “Angels We Have Heard on High”)

Locusts we have heard on high

Sweetly humming o’er the ’hood

And the crickets in reply

Wish that they could sound that good

Bu-uh-uh-uh-uh-uhhh-uh-uh-uh-uh-uhhh-uh-uh-uh-uh-uzzing now

In excessive volume.

Bu-uh-uh-uh-uh-uhhh-uh-uh-uh-uh-uhhh-uh-uh-uh-uh-uzzing now

In excessive volume

Locusts, why this jubilee?

Why your droning sound prolong?

Now I need some more chablis

To survive your tiresome song

Bu-uh-uh-uh-uh-uhhh-uh-uh-uh-uh-uhhh-uh-uh-uh-uh-uzzing now

In excessive volume.

Bu-uh-uh-uh-uh-uhhh-uh-uh-uh-uh-uhhh-uh-uh-uh-uh-uzzing now

In excessive volume

I Want a Big Euonymus for Christmas

(sung to “I Want a Hippopotamus for Christmas”)

I want a big euonymus for Christmas

Only a big euonymus will do

Don’t want a grass, no nicey native thing

I want a big euonymus, a kind of outdoor bling

I want a big euonymus for Christmas

Enviro-types won’t mind I’m sure that’s true

It might escape and overrun the yard

But I’ve got my pruners handy

And I’ll always be on guard

I can see me now out in the garden

Snoozing in my chair

Oh, what joy and what surprise

When I open up my eyes

To see my burning bushes everywhere

I want a big euonymus for Christmas

Euonymus alatus, maybe two

No amaranth, no forsythiuses

I only like big eunonymuses.

And big euonymuses like me, too

Golly, Old Gardenia

(sung to “Jolly Old St. Nicholas”)

Golly, old gardenia,

Lean your leaves this way

Don’t you tell a single soul

What I’m going to say

Your demise is coming soon

Now, you dear old plant

Whisper how to make you bloom

That’s the thing, you can’t

The Most Humbling Time of the Year

(sung to “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year”)

It’s the most humbling time of the year

In the spring buds are swelling,

Your muscles rebelling, just get you a beer

It’s the most humbling time of the year

It’s the wor-worstiest season to fail

With those last minute plantings, irrational rantings

You need to exhale

It’s the wor-worstiest season to fail

There are seeds that need sowing

And beds ripe for hoeing

And plenty of spending of dough

There’ll be scary diseases

And hurricane breezes

And lawns you don’t have time to mow

It’s the most humbling time of the year

There’ll be plants that need nursing

And plenty of cursing

When loved ones can’t hear

It’s the most humbling time

It’s the stum-bumbling time

It’s the most humbling time of the year!

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questions

From what I have read, hellebores are supposed to spread. I have a few I planted four years ago, and they seem to be the same as when I planted them. They are planted in a bed of vinca. Should I remove more vinca that surrounds them? I do fertilize them and protect them with a winter mulch. What else should I be doing to have more plants?

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?

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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