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Mike’s Very, Very, Last, Absolutely Final and Never EVER to Be Repeated Holiday Hort Singalong!


Well, folks, you knew you were living on borrowed time. I didn’t realize it, but so was I. But when the FBI and Walt Disney (hisself!) showed up on my doorstep to ask about certain musical themes “borrowed” for a certain slightly over-the-hill garden writer at a particular Midwest horticulture magazine, I told them to go next door.

However, they came back. And after we all had a chuckle over my subterfuge and ol’ Walt told me the back story of the creation of Mickey Mouse (and I’ll bet you never thought that guy could work blue!) over a heaping glass of Ovaltine, the FBI guys agreed to remove my handcuffs with the promise that this would be the very, very, very last time that I subjected people to this cruel and unusual punishment.

So get out your pitch pipes, your hankies and your best liquor, ‘cause here we go:

I Wonder As I Squander

(Sung to “I Wonder As I Wander”)

I wonder as I squander my last twenty bucks
Why all of my purchases turn into yucks.
I’m poor as a church mouse, my bank account sucks.
I wonder as I squander my last twenty bucks

I stood in the nursery and looked at my haul
And handed my credit card over to Paul.
He smiled as he swiped it. I started to bawl.
The promise of beauty I then did recall.

If my garden wanted for any wee thing.
A truckload of mulch or a fountain I’d bring.
The splendors of nature from compost would spring,
My friends and my fam’ly would say “You’re the king!”

I wonder as I squander the last of my pay
How all that I dreamed ever turned out this way.
And wasn’t I here only just yesterday?
I wonder as I squander the last of my pay.

I Don’t Mow

(Sung to “Let It Go” from the film “Frozen”. If you don’t know it, ask any six-year-old girl.)

The lawn looks sad in the garden tonight
Only crabgrass to be seen
A kingdom of desolation and it looks like I’m James Dean
The turf is browning like some chicken over-fried
Couldn’t keep it green Heaven knows I tried

Don’t let them in
don’t let them see
Be the neighbor you always tried to be
Conceal the deal,
don’t let them know
You let it go

I don’t mow! I don’t mow!
Took the Toro back to the store
I don’t mow! I don’t mow!
Couldn’t take it any more
I don’t care what they’re going to say
Let my mom rage on.
The weeds never bothered me anyway

All I Want for Christmas is New

(sung to “All I Want for Christmas is You,” with sincerest apologies to Mariah Carey. Remember last year when I said I didn’t know this song? Hah! Gotcha!)

I don’t want a lot for Christmas
I don’t need that love and mush
I don’t care about the feelings
All that sappy goo and gush
I just want to fill my home Pruners, plants and one big gnome
Make my wish come true
All I want for Christmas is NEW

I don’t want a lot for Christmas
Just some random garden things,
and I Don’t care about the wrapping
Throw ‘em in a pile of bling
You can give me planters, loppers,
Fertilizers, it’s all good
Shiny trowels, goofy towels
Sure to brighten up my mood

I just want stuff for my own
Tchotchkes, trinkets to display
Who cares how it grew?
All I want for Christmas is NEWWWWWW!

I Wish I Had a Manual

(Sung to “O Come, O Come, Emanuel”)

I wish I had a manual
My pruning skills are really not so swell
I mourn the hack job I started here
Until the tree guys and their saws appear
Re-cut, re-cut with massive decibel
I should have found a manual.

Mike Nowak is an author, speaker, humorist,environmentalist, show host and entertainer. You can follow his exploits at mikenowak.net

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questions

What does it take to make a climbing hydrangea flower? Ours was planted 3 years ago and is growing energetically. It’s in a protected nook near the patio and gets very little direct sunlight, but doesn’t act sun starved. We gave it a shot of slow release fertilizer on planting, and once since. Somewhat inadvertently it gets plenty of water, since the hose spigot is nearby and leaks, but drainage does not seem to be the problem. It now fully occupies an 8-foot trellis but shows no interest in flowering. Is it youth, lack of sun, too much or too little fertilizer, bugs, lack of pruning or what? When do these plants bloom and what conditions do they like?

I start ‘Dragon Wing’ begonia from seed under grow lights. What other begonias can I use to cross-pollinate with the ‘Dragon Wing’ so I can collect my own seeds?

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?

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