This poem offers gift advice for the gardener in your life


The Christmas Garden poem below was written for this column over 30 years ago. It is still the most requested reminder of all the columns I have written and as a gift to my readers I grant copyright permission for it to be downloaded and used from my website at

It was the week before Christmas, and all through the yard,

Not a gift was given, not even a card.

The tools were all hung in the carport with care,

With the hope that Saint Nicholas would repair soon,

The rusty and cracked blade shovel,

The fork still shiny, but the handle was missing.

When on my lawn, (she’s brown and mistreated)

I could see poor old Santa Claus looking confused.

No list had been left with Santa Claus, no gardening gifts were under the tree.

But wait, there’s still time, it’s not Christmas yet,

And gardening gifts are the fastest to get.

You can forget about the silk tie, the new fluffy sweater,

Donate something to make the garden grow better.

If she wants a shiny gift then don’t be a fool

This is not a stupid diamond, but a sparkling new tool.

If the perfume is listed, you can forget about the French perfume,

It’s a pile of manure that will make gardeners turn green.

Give night caterpillars, not nightgowns, the type of hose that gives water.

(Not all cooking is worth it.)

Give a nice gift that digs in the dirt, better than any branded shirt.

Now take a quick look at Santa, this guy ain’t so dumb

Under his glove, he hides a green hand.

Her knees are so dirty, her back like it hurts,

His boots trample the slugs (he gives them no break).

The guy only works in the winter, surely you can see why,

The rest of the year is gardening.

Elves plant in spring, happily pull weeds all summer,

In the fall they all harvest, but the winter is a disappointment.

And so Christmas gives Santa a part-time job,

‘Until spring, when flowers are her real pleasure.

So ask the big guy for garden gifts this year,

Seeds, plants and tools, Santa Claus holds them all to heart.

You see malls can get crowded, with vendors hawking their wares,

But visit a nursery, stress-free shopping is there.

Now Santa Claus is gone, he’s going to the nursery,

And her voice fills the night with Hoe loud! Hoe! Hoe! Hoes!

Merry Christmas from Marianne Binetti


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