Yakkety yak….don’t talk back

The good men at THE RIVER RADIO, Ken and Timmy, have made me an offer I can’t possibly refuse. They groveled and whined and begged me to keep them company in the dark days of winter. They want to know what goes through this lovely gardener’s green brain as the winter solstice comes and goes. OK, so I ad libbed lovely and green to that last sentence. Of course I will find time to chat with Ken and Timm although, I must say, 7:30 am comes too damn early. But you know me, I am willing to sacrifice for them and my adoring public (You know who you are and you look marvelous).

So, about once a month, maybe more often, I will make time in my busy week for the boys at the River. First, we shall talk about forcing. Forcing bulbs for the holidays. Actually, we have about three minutes left to get the little beauties all potted up. Secondly, I shall scout high and low for the finest fresh holiday wreaths and trees and will guide you through the selection process. Thirdly, we will talk about dessication. I know, I know, its a dry and dirty word, but that’s the way it is with gardening in the desert my lovelies. We play in the dirt and run with Felcos. We will also make calendars and time charts for those of you who are crazy enough to start your veggies from seeds.

And here is a great tip if I do say so myself: a few years ago, we bought a live Christmas tree. Had the noble idea that we would replant it, yadayada. Husband blew out his back getting it up on the back porch. Well, an 8 foot tree in a black plastic pot weighs in on the heavy side. The plan was to have a tree that year, and a live one, but to leave it on the patio, just outside the dining room glass doors, so it looked like a part of the house, but wasn’t a crappy mess in the house, and it didn’t stress the tree to an untimely death. Like I said, a noble notion.

So, I let him put on all the colored lights. It is standard here that we stick with all white ,tiny lights. We must have at least 900 tiny, white lights. Bless his little pea pickin heart. He has stayed with me through this. So just this once, I let him have them big C9 jangly-lookin multi colored party lights all over the tree. It WAS outside, after all.

This being such a clever notion and big hit, we kept the tree and kept it watered, the neighbors loved it, and for Valentine’s Day, we switched all the lights over to red and white. Feeling the love and festiveness of it all, I added a few blue bulbs for President’s Day. Then, all green for St. Patrick’s. I was gearing up for Easter pastels when I decided I had had enough. Not bad, all in all, the tree lent a festive air to the house and patio for 4 of the darkest months.

Then, smart cookie that I am, I hired the 19 year old nephew and his buddies to remove it from the patio and to take it to its new home at the Botanical Garden. $20 x3 kids is a great deal less than the bitching and moaning and chiro bill from the earlier installation.

The moral of this story is: you don’t always have to bring the tree into the house.

This year: Feliz Navidad. I am off to Mexico for the holiday. I am packing the lighted ice cubes to lend a festive air to our beachside cocktail hours. And I DO OWN said ice cubes. Quite a few. Listen, I was one of the first people to use “cocktail” as a verb.

Coming up next: how to jazz up those nekkid lookin pots on the front porch. We shall forage.