A gardeners letter to Santa

In the Garden

Ralph Purkhiser, Purdue University Master Gardener


Dear Santa,


     It has been a tough year, Santa, but I have been trying really hard to make the nice list.  I’m not sure I really made it, but I thought I’d write my annual letter, just in case.

     As usual, my number one wish is for rocks.  Actually, I am really wanting one special rock.  It would be large enough to say “Sandhill Gardens” and also have room for my address.  If it is large enough, perhaps the delivery drivers will see it and actually deliver things to the right place. 

     I also need some stones that are flat and about four inches thick to finish the walkway through the moon gate.  Of course, I need some fine gravel to fill in around the stones and lock them in to make a safe walk.  Some solar lights would be nice to outline the moon gate.

     Of course, some nice fieldstones to line the pathway would be welcome.  I really need a truck load of such stones, as I have several pathways to up-grade.

     Santa, you likely remember my love of seating areas in the gardens.  Last year, I asked for some chairs that look like gigantic hands.  I knew that was a long-shot, but I really do want those seats at the top of the cliff.  I guess it would not do any harm to repeat a request.

     I try to take good care of my garden tools, but, I must admit, that some of them are needing upgrades.  As I get older, power tools hold a certain gleam.  I am especially interested in a power trimmer known as the Jaw.  It is a cross between pruners and a chain saw, and is powered by a re-chargeable battery pack.  I think you can also get a set of hedge trimmers that will use the same battery.  That could be very handy.

     On the other hand, I am very fond of antique garden tools.  I have some old eye hoes that need new handles and a couple of picks that could also use handles.  One of my greatest desires is to get an actual stone hoe head.  Other tools used by Native Americans and early pioneers would also be welcome additions to my collection.  I enjoy using the tools in programs about how gardening has changed through the years and to also show that we still have the same connection with the earth when we grow our own food.

     I do not usually ask for specific plants, but I thought you might be able to bring some gift certificates for my favorite nurseries.  A beautiful new redbud won Plant of the Year honors at the Chelsea Garden Show this summer.  Marketed in the United States as “Flame Thrower”, this redbud offers brilliant red, orange and yellow leaves throughout the growing season.  Those accents in the canopy will be show-stoppers in the landscape.  I have a couple of places where I would like to try them, so two trees would be nice.

      Witch hazels provide interest in the garden at a time when there is little else in bloom.  I would like both autumnal and vernal witch hazels.

     I certainly need a gift certificate for a native plant nursery.  I want to get some rattlesnake master plants going for my meadow and would love other native bloomers.  I especially would like to get some native bittersweet, which has become very scarce in this area.

     Finally, I once again ask that you send some elves to help me in the gardens.  I find that it is hard for me to get everything done these days.  A good work crew for a few days would really be a big help.

     As always, if I end up on the naughty list again, you have my permission to use this letter as a guide for gifts for the good gardeners.  I am sure they will appreciate the gifts.


                                                                                                     Your humble gardener,



Please Login for Premium Content

Site Login Help

For current subscribers to The Salem Leader and The Salem Democrat, you can login to the site using the following information:

Username: Please use your full email address associated with your account
Password: Please use your last name. Passwords are case sensitive, so please capitalize your last name (eg: Smith)