Dear Santa

In the Garden
Ralph Purkhiser, Purdue University Master Gardener

      Dear Santa,

     I would like to tell you that I have been good all year, but I do not want to lower my chances of getting gifts because of a fib.  I have tried to be good, but it is hard to do.  
     On the chance that I make the nice list, I wanted to get my requests in early, just in case the elves need some time to make some of the more unusual requests.  Even if I do not get anything, this list may give you some ideas for the good gardeners on your list.
     As always, I would like rocks.  I need some flagstone pavers to complete the walk into my moon garden.  I would also like to have a large stone with “Sandhill Gardens” engraved on it to put at the end of the driveway.  I need some fill gravel to do some leveling and make some gravel pathways in the gardens.
     You did not bring the concrete hand chairs I requested last year, so I am asking again.  I want to put these on a look-out area at the top of the cliff.  You do not have to put them under the tree.  You may leave them at the cliff, so I do not have to try to move them.  I also need another seat for the garden.  The bench in the rose garden broke recently and cannot be repaired.  The roses are the attraction there, and I do not think the bench should detract from their beauty, so a simple stone slab resting on two stone pillars would be great.
     There are some trees and shrubs I would like to add to the garden next year, including some more evergreens, more rhododendrons and more native flowering shrubs.  They would be hard to find at this time, so perhaps you could just leave some gift certificates to some local nurseries.  There are a lot of good nurseries in Southern Indiana, and I think you should support the local economy by purchasing gift certificates from them.
     I love to share my garden in unique ways.  I have seen a kaleidoscope that opens to allow one to place flowers, leaves and other objects into a chamber.  One may then view them through the scope and the prisms will create interesting designs.  I think this would be a great way to introduce children to the garden.  Children are also fond of finding animals in the garden.  Some small concrete animals that could be hidden beneath shrubs or within grass clumps would be nice.  
     I like herbal teas and I grow many herbs.  I would like some infusers into which herbs may be placed for making tea.  These infusers allow loose-leaf tea to be made without the need for straining.
     My Christmas tree is covered with many ornaments, but I can always find room for more.  I have seen a blown glass monarch butterfly ornament that would look nice on the tree and could be displayed on a stand all year.  There are some other garden-themed ornaments that would look good displayed with the butterfly.
     I have some antique metal chairs and a beautiful antique bench that need to be sandblasted and painted.  I have not found someone to do this, so I am asking for a sandblaster or sodablaster to try my hand at it.
     One of my favorite winter-time garden activities is feeding and watching the birds.  The price of bird seed has increased a lot this year, so I may not be able to keep the feeders filled.  You could bring me some bird seed and some suet cakes to share with the birds.  I would also like a heated birdbath for the cold days.  A good digital camera would also allow me to take some pictures to share.
    If you cannot bring me these gifts, please at least send your elves during the off season to help in the garden.  I know a lot of older folks who would appreciate help more than any gifts.  Compost from the reindeer barn would also be appreciated.
                                                                                                                   Yours truly,


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