Christmas Eve in my garden

Tis the night before Christmas

And in my front yard

My hardy bananas are all standing guard.

They’ve been stately and leafy and looking just fine

Until Mother Nature dropped the mercury to one-nine.

And they weren’t the only to feel the zap

The rest of my garden now looks just like crap.

Sure, 2008’s been an interesting year

The weather for one was really quite queer.

The spring never happened, the summer was not

All of my tomatoes just went to pot.

The cucumbers struggled, the corn was so short

The eggplant flowered but it then did abort.

Somehow the zucchini continued to bear

Despite the cool days and the nip in the air.

But the sweet peas were puzzling

Though they grew just like weeds

They never formed flowers and thus never seeds.

I’ve got tons of carrots and radishes too

Beets by the dozens, I’m so glad they grew.

I can eat them all winter, taking only a few

Making salads and soups and even a stew.

I had visions of planting more crops in the fall

Building some hoops to cover them all.

But now that I see what the weather does bring

I think I will wait until it is spring.

Christmas Eve in my garden is a time to reflect

On the labor and planning and even neglect.

Of the failures and glories and dreams come true

And all of the reasons I do what I do.

For gardening to me is a labor of love

It’s a gift to us all that has come from above.

The miracle of growth is a wonder indeed

One that so many don’t realize they need.

When planting a seed and watching it grow

We exercise faith in the future we know

As we nurture our gardens I truly believe

It’s not what we give but what we receive

Sure, we water and prune and thin and weed

And sometimes our fingers can actually bleed

Our backs will complain and our feet will be sore

But when it’s all done, we come back for more

For the act of gardening doesn’t seem like work

The joy and the pleasure are really the perk.

Seeing the flowers and watching the bees

And smelling the roses amongst the trees

Gives us reason to labor for hours on end

At least until our knees won’t bend.

Steve Smith is owner of Sunnyside Nursery in Marysville. You can reach him at 425-334-2002 or email at

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