Monday, December 19, 2011

Santa: Ten Things an Alaskan Gardener Wants

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Dear Santa,

Despite appearances, this only looks incredibly greedy:

1. Two weeks more of spring and autumn.  Three days of spring and 8.5 hours of autumn are just not enough.  To demonstrate my restraint in this request, I’m not even going to complain about our weeklong summer.

2. Moose that eat bears and bears that eat stray dogs, cats, and moose.  The fewer mammals pillaging my veggie patch, the better.  And one more fecal present from the local pets, unearthed whilst I am working the soil barehanded, and I won’t be responsible for my code red response.

3. A tomato/pepper/(fill in difficult-to-grow-in-Alaska vegetable here) that goes from seed to ripe fruit in oh, say, four weeks.  Is that so much to ask, Santa?

4. Tools that (much like the elves surprised the shoemaker in the morning with assembled footwear) sharpen themselves overnight.  A couple of out of work elves would do nicely.  They can live under my bed between the fire escape ladder, rifle case, and Tyrannosaurus-sized dust bunnies.  Cozy!

5. Some electrified fencing, in case number two isn’t workable.

6. Another blue tarp. That was a joke, Santa.  (I was going more for deep belly laugh, rather than outright shock, dearest Santa, so apologies if my humor was unfunny.)  Would it be too much to ask if you would, for the sake of beauty, neighborly relations (see picture), and peace on earth, please replace all those blue tarps with brown ones?

7. Catalogs for seed/plant companies that actually ship to our forsaken state.  We are part of mainland America.  This fact seems to have escaped the notice of some mail order companies.  I’ve received calls from nurseries telling me sadly, after I’ve placed an order, that “we don’t ship to Alaska.” 

“But your catalog says you ship to the U.S. and Canada.” 

“Except Alaska.”

Well, that grieves me, Santa.  Were we, or were we not, granted statehood in 1959?  And more importantly, I really need that rare grass/heather/salvia/what-have-you and it’s just not to be found here in old A.K.  I’m sure Hawaiian gardeners know how I feel.  They are nursery shipping outcasts as well. Aloha!

8. Plants that repel politicians and door-to-door salespeople.  I’d place a few (OK, twenty) on my front porch.  Don’t say red geraniums already do that, Santa, that’s just an urban garden legend.  And Santa, the plant has to let Girl Scouts selling cookies through.  I love the Thin Mints and the Samoas, which you must admit, dear sir, are heaven in a manufactured food item.  One final note: the plant should be absolutely toxic to men peddling magazines.

9. A perfume that, when spritzed into the breeze, carries itself to the nearest non-gardening neighbors, and infects them with a rabid desire to not only beautify their property with plantings, but to haul off the rusted-out snow machines and ancient truck on blocks.  I’m still mulling over ideas on a name for this miraculous scent.  How about we go halvesies on the patent, Santa? 

10. This one is a grab bag, Santa, you pick: a spare pair of felcos, pair of well-made wellies in (gulp) purple or green, lumber for a fence, or new garden gloves.

I have been a good gardener, you can check your list twice!  (Just stick to your naughty/nice list and avoid the police blotter and certain of my relatives and we’re golden.)

Sincerely yours,

Christine B.

The Last Frontier Gardener

What’s on your list?


Sue@G.L. Allotments said...

I've too have had the nasty moment when I realise that what I am rubbing between my fingers isn't a clump of soil!

Hanna at Orchid Care said...

Season’s Greeting, fellow gardener!

I can only imagine how difficult gardening might be in the harsh climate of Alaska. However, my requests are quite similar (except for #7) to yours and I do my gardening in Southern California.

I too want an extended Spring and Autumn, fewer critters (possums, raccoons, rabbits, squirrels, birds, etc.) ravaging my veggie garden, an easier time growing bell peppers (I do OK with tomatoes), gardening tools that stay in tip-top shape, vegetation that acts like guard dogs to facilitate the job my dogs already perform, neighbors who understand the value of esthetic properties, and whatever else Mr. Claus would like to provide during this great holiday season.

Christine B. said...

@Sue@G.L. AllotmentsIn those situations, I'm just unable to keep my composure and must squeal like a child "eeewwww!" and then say some maybe more adult things about the situation that I won't repeat here.

Wishing you unsoiled hands for the holidays.


Christine B. said...

@Hanna at Orchid CareHello and welcome, Hanna. I am surprised I have so many wishes in common with a California gardener. I drove through Death Valley once as a kid and that colors my idea of Californians. Just tell me it's not that hot where you garden!

Maybe Santa can get a bulk discount at Walmart for some of the items and shower them down on we deserving gardeners. Surely Walmart carries climate extenders and carnivorous moose....


Marguerite said...

#2 is one of the reasons I never go into the garden without my trusty garden gloves. In fact, that would be top most on my Christmas list, more gloves! Mine get awfully worn quick. As for #7 I'm a bit stunned people won't ship to alaska. Isn't everyone kind of desperate to turn a buck these days, you would think they would jump at a sale no matter where you lived.

Birds, Bees, Berries, and Blooms said...

The only thing I see you getting on that list is the blue tarp:) Good luck with the rest. I appreciated the good laugh.

Christine B. said...

@MargueriteI have the best of intentions about garden gloves. It's just the finding of a pair not full of holes or two left hands or even sodden from the last rain. I suppose laziness is the real reason I'm working the soil sans gloves. Don't tell Santa.


Christine B. said...

@Birds, Bees, Berries, and BloomsNoooooo!! Not a blue tarp!!

Well, my husband will be happy at least, me not so much.


Faith said...

Second that more spring and fall. And fast ripening fillintheblank. I really want a heated greenhouse minus the electric/heating bill. Merry Christmas.

Christine B. said...

@FaithRats! I knew there was something crucial I'd forget...a heated greenhouse! As for bills, bah humbug.



Hi Christine, Well actually I'm thinking about compiling my own list to Santa. I will be sure to credit and link to you for the inspiration, once again!

I would think that if Santa can travel the world in a single night, surely he can answer your simple requests. Certainly he has some influence over the weather and tarp colors. Dust bunnies? Let's not go there. :) Have a fabulous Christmas Christine and I look forward to more of your comic relief in the new year.

Christine B. said...

@GRACE PETERSONHey lady, good to hear from you. Any link love is OK by me, especially from a terrific garden blog like yours.

Don't tell me dust bunnies live in Oregon, too?! Here I was thinking they were an endangered species and I was keeper of one of the last known preserves....


guild-rez said...

I have the problem with raccoon feces in our garden.
Raccoon roundworm or Baylisascaris procyonis is an extremely rare parasitic infection in humans that can cause nausea,
nerve damage and even death.
People become infected by swallowing the parasite's eggs that are shed in the feces of infected raccoons.
Any droppings I pick up using disposable gloves and small plastic shovels from the Dollar Store and throw in trash bags.
Besides that I wish that the Emerald Ash-borer would disappear and not destroying millions of ash trees in Canada.
The Japanese Beetle caused a lot of damage in my garden.
Where is the border control between USA and Canada when we gardener need it? Both beetles are illegal US immigrants:)
- Cheers Gisela.

guild-rez said...

Hi Christine, forgot to ask you...
Do you want my Swedish salmon recipe with feta??
- Cheers Gisela.

Lona said...

LOL! I love your list Christine. I want the plants that repel salesman and politicians. LOL! I think your list makes so much sense and not unreasonable at all.
Happy New Year to you and I hope your list gets filled.

Christine B. said...

@guild-rezWait, wait, I'm having a flash (albeit a very temporary one) of brilliance: I send you a few of my brown bears or moose, take your pick, to chase or eat the raccoons. In return, all I ask is that you don't send said wildlife back to me. Pretty please.


Christine B. said...

@guild-rezYes, yes, yes! And thank you for sharing!


Christine B. said...

@LonaWell now, Miss Lona, just as soon as I get my grubby little mitts on it, I will send a cutting FedEx. I'm anticipating a certain percentage of salespersons developing a resistance to it, however, and am thinking ahead. Do giant sized Venus Fly Traps sound promising?


HT in AK said...

Does the label "we ship to the CONTINENTAL U.S.A." bug you as much as it does me? How is AK not the continental USA? Makes me crazy...and so grateful for the handful of rare-garden-item nurseries that will actually ship to us!

scottweberpdx said...

Oh yeah...can we all just get some legislation that forbids the sale of blue tarps...please!

Christine B. said...

@HT in AKI have had more than one dustup with ebay sellers who do not grasp that concept. They should have a "contiguous/continental" differences clinic.


Christine B. said...

@scottweberpdxSure, we have had plenty of other important legislation, like putting into law what the state dog is, so why not? Blue tarp prohibition is way more important, too.

Knowing our state legislature, guess that means it won't happen.



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