Memories of Christmas in June

By: Richard G Turner Jr

Richard G Turner Jr is the editor emeritus of Pacific Horticulture. After receiving degrees in architecture and landscape architecture from…

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The annual Hardy Plant Society study weekend, this year organized by the Hardy Plant Society of Oregon, was as good as Christmas, with exceptional speakers, outstanding gardens, and some surprise entertainment to enliven the proceedings. Performed by the Chorus of the Goddess Flora (and Deadheading Society), the following songs were a hit among participants and seemed appropriate here, as a prelude to the holiday season.

My Favorite Things

(sung to the tune of My Favorite Things, from The Sound of Music, with apologies to Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein)

Raindrops on roses and black spot on leaflets,
Bright copper dahlias that glow as the sun sets,
Light blue delphinium tied up with strings—
These are a few of my favorite things.

Cream colored peonies and petals with ruffles,
Lilies with pollen and noses with snuffles,
Wild seeds arrive with the birds on the wing—
These are a few of my favorite things.

When the bugs bite,
When the nettle stings,
When I’m feeling plowed,
I simply remember my favorite things,
And then I don’t scream out loud!

Ferns with white markings that grow under Abies,
Violets and blue bells and plants that make babies,
Silver thaw winters that melt into spring—
These are a few of my favorite things.

Pansies with faces and plants that have fallen,
Annuals, biennials and new plants from Holland,
All sorts of hort ideas fit for a queen—
These are a few of my favorite things.

When the slugs slime,
When the m’squito stings,
When I’m in this crowd,
I simply remember my favorite things,
And then I can scream out loud!

"Lillies with pollen…" at The Lily Garden growing fields in Brush Prairie, WA. Photograph by RGT

“Lillies with pollen…” at The Lily Garden growing fields in Brush Prairie, WA. Photograph by RGT

Heronswood Nursery’s Dan Hinkley, horticultural man-about-the-planet and winner of the 2003 Arthur Hoyt Scott Garden and Horticultural Award, was further honored with this serenade:

Danny Baby

(sung to the tune of Santa Baby, with apologies to J Javits, P Springer, and Eartha Kitt)

Danny baby, just slip a fuchsia under that tree—for me.
I’ve weeded all my new beds, Danny baby,
So hurry back to China tonight!

Danny sugar, I need a new corydalis too—light blue,
And schizophragma to match, Danny sugar,
So hurry back to China tonight!

Think of all the plants you’ve missed.
Think of other nurs’rymen—they’ll be so dissed.
Next year, I’ll buy anything that’s new,
If you bring back more clematis!

Danny honey, I want thalictrum taller than you—I do!
I’ll stake it so it won’t show, Danny honey,
So hurry back to China tonight!

Danny cutie, there’s one more plant I really do need—I do—
Of your hellebore strain, Danny honey,
So hurry back to China tonight!

Danny sweetie, I’m filling all the pots on my deck—and heck,
My Visa limit is high, sweetie guy
So hurry back to China tonight!

Come and bring us something good,
Something that we cannot get at Heronswood,
A vari’gation that comes true,
We know you’d bring it if you only could.

Danny hottie, forgot to ask for cardamine—oh gee!
Bring me alliums too, you hortie hottie,
And hurry back to China tonight.
(Thailand might be finer…)
Hurry back to China tonight.

 

Chorus of the Goddess Flora (and Deadheading Society)
Linda Beutler, head lyricist and Steve Peter, director and accompanist. Vocalists: Connie Anderson, Bruce Bailey, Laura Crockett, Teresa Dennis, Nancy Goldman, Lucy Hardiman, Susan LaTourette, Deborah Meyers, Diane Taylor, Barbara Jean Yankee.

RGT