Well this month sure has been interesting. Low temperatures of 20 degrees followed by highs in the lower sixties. The weather rollercoaster continues to be unpredictable. I am throwing in the towel and just accepting what we get from this point on.
Most of our plants have become fully dormant while a few are still trying to hang on some of their leaves for some odd reason. They must be overachievers! Our goats have grown out their hair and are adapting well to colder winter weather. I was always told goats will eat anything. My two must be the anomaly, they are somewhat picky you might say when it comes to likes and dislikes.
Our landscaping department is still bidding for spring jobs, our Christmas store is full of shoppers getting poinsettias, those last minute decorating touches which make Christmas special, gifts for the gardener and a few more items for the Christmas tree. Let's not forget the mistletoe and of course the pickle for the tree.
I am sure you know about the mistletoe but did you know about the legend of the pickle. I think it started in Germany. A pickle would be hidden in the Christmas tree. Children would look for it in the tree Christmas morning and whoever would find it would receive an extra gift for Christmas. I like that idea and pickles made of glass are available which you can hide in your tree and join the many that do this tradition.
Some of my other favorite items are the vaccinated Santa ornament with his sleeve rolled up, or the Santa wearing a mask which have been big hits this Christmas. Santa's helper for this year is the Sasquatch who helps deliver his gifts. Santa and Sasquatch have so much in common. They are living legends who are rarely seen in action. This ornament captures the Christmas spirit and magic. And if you are an Ohio State fan, Old World Christmas has produced the coolest Brutus glass ornament for this year. This is a must have for anyone who likes the Buckeyes!
So once you have your stockings hung, of course with care, the tree is decorated and the house smells of gingerbread or Christmas cookies, you are ready for the season. Enjoy this time with friends and family. The gardener can have a short vacation as the lawn will not need mowing for a while and the landscape will not need attention till spring. Planning and prepping for the next year can begin when the mood hits you. Just remember don't procrastinate too long... As quickly as Christmas came around, spring will be here just as fast or faster now that I am a year older!! Truth be told, our garden seed order just arrived today, so there is the proof in the pudding!
And speaking of fast, let's not forget about Covid. This virus just keeps spreading like wildfire. Please practice caution this season when meeting with others. Hand washing, distancing from others and wearing a mask will help stop the spread which does not seem to want to go away. The last article I read said Ohio, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Indiana are now the hot spots for the spread of this virus. So many of my clients continue to pass from the effects of Covid. I would hate to hear others have been added to that list.
In closing, I would like to thank all of you who read my column and have shopped at my family’s store. I am thrilled how many new gardeners grew their own food for the first time. Many planted flowers, upgraded their landscapes and worked in their yards.
My goal has always been to help you succeed in gardening with relevant tips of what and what not to do. I truly appreciate all the kind words and emails I have received from so many of you. As always if you have a question, send me an email to email@example.com. I am happy to respond with an honest answer. I also need to thank my business associates (aka friends) who have helped with topics and given me answers and ideas for these articles.
May you remember the reason for the season and have a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, a Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Festivus and joyous New Year! My staff and family truly appreciate your patronage and your willingness to shop local at both mine and other family owned garden centers and greenhouses in our neighborhoods. This pandemic has really shown us how important we are to this community and how much we cherish each and everyone of you.
I pray you all stay safe and healthy now and through the new year!
J.R. Pandy, The No "B.S." Gardener
Pandy's Garden Center