Dear Santa,


I would like these 

and these to come up and look like they're supposed to look.

Please don’t worry about leaving any Felcos under our tree. You can also distribute all the cool garden hats, clogs, special gloves, and rainbarrels to other deserving gardeners. I am not even going to ask for any of the awesome English gardening tools Amy demonstrated during our cocktail hour.

This is what I would like—you’re going to need some help from Mother Nature and maybe some other special friends for a lot of this:

-All of my 700-plus bulbs to bloom, including all the species tulips in front, the bright red eremurus I planted in the Welcome to Allentown garden, the hybrid tulips I planted in big groups, and especially the forced hyacinths I will be giving as holiday gifts this year. It is particularly embarrassing when these don’t bloom, as the recipients will invariably ask me what they did wrong, which just makes me feel worse.

-I would like one—just one—of the Norway maples in front of my house to either be taken down by the city or maybe just falter enough so it loses many of its branches and stops growing roots. I don’t it’s is possible but maybe you have a trick for this.

-Speaking of the community gardens, I would like the neighbors who are supposed to water the big concrete planters to actually do so.

-I would like the compromise plan currently being discussed by the Erie County Legislature to work, so that the Botanical Gardens, as well as the arts organizations and libraries, will receive the tiny pittance that nonetheless they will transform into enough fiscal salvation to provide service to the many citizens who rely on them.

-It would be great also if Buffalo urban farmers received more encouragement and less obstruction when they continue growing the vacant lots on the East Side.

-If my husband does go ahead with the vegetable garden, please let there be a decent crop. I can deal with gardening failure; he can't.

-Finally, I would like all businesses associated with gardening to flourish in the coming year. As for the gardening press, I would like it to survive. As a magazine editor, I still feel (unsurprisingly) that print is important.

Previous articleCan a blogger firestorm save some beloved gardens?
Next articleEnglish Garden Tools. We love them, yeah, yeah, yeah…
Elizabeth Licata

Elizabeth Licata has been a regular writer for  Garden Rant since 2007, after contributing a guest rant about the overuse of American flags in front gardens. She lives and gardens in Buffalo, N.Y., which, far from the frozen wasteland many assume it to be, is a lush paradise of gardens, historic architecture, galleries, museums, theaters, and fun. As editor of Buffalo Spree magazine,  Licata helps keep Western New Yorkers apprised about what is happening in their region. She is also a freelance writer and art curator, who’s been published in Fine Gardening, Horticulture, ArtNews, Art in America, the Village Voice, and many other publications. She does regular radio segments for the local NPR affiliate, WBFO.

Licata is involved with Garden Walk Buffalo, the largest free garden tour in the US and possibly the world, and has written the text for a book about Garden Walk. She has also written and edited several art-related books. Contact Elizabeth: ealicata at


  1. It’s true that we need services and experiences as much as THINGS, but I have four giveaways this month to celebrate my Third Blogoversary – inclulding three beautiful books from Storey. I’m devoted to print – even though a whole new world has opened to me through blogs. Buffa10! Hooray!

  2. Love it, especially the last one! All gardeners should write to Santa; I can tell it is very therapeutic.

    My Christmas wish is that in my neighborhood community garden, in this upcoming growing season (our second) the city park and rec. dept. turns the water on BEFORE late May, leaves it on until AFTER a killing frost, and the city of Colorado Springs gets a few books on basic gardening-for-dummies from Santa and decides to let us have our compost pile back (we had to remove it this year–yes, I know, a jaw-dropper!).

  3. I love gardening magazines, but what do you do when you just can’t support the one you have been subscribing to for 15 years? The quality of Canadian Gardening is dismal. I had kept all my back issues, and it is amazing how many duplicate pictures there are from different issues (eg. pictures to show different fences were also used to show certain perennials in a previous issue). Okay I get it that it may show both, but I just feel like they have cut corners to the point that there isn’t a point any more.

  4. Dear Santa,

    I would like the species rhododendrons I had to dig up because of the car that ran through my garden, and the subsequent installation of BIG rocks, to survive this winter. Please, sir, some of them are only hardy to 5-10 degrees, and we got down to 8 degrees last week, in Seattle, in November before they’d had a chance to go dormant. That would have been hard of them even if their root systems hadn’t been disturbed. And please, I’d like the trout lilies and winter aconites I planted in that corner last fall not be buried so deeply that they don’t come back. I had visions of masses of them. I’d also like a bigger chicken coop so I can get fluffy little chickies in the spring.

    Thank you, Santa. What’s your favorite kind of cookie? How about some eggnog instead of milk?

  5. Re the Norway maples: I have had very good luck with a leaky gas main along the street, which inhibited root and branch formation & essentially damaged the maple so much that I will be justified in taking it down this spring. But this may be a case of being careful of what you wish for.

  6. Unfortunately some of the things you are asking for are just not my department. The Elves union balks at impinging on natural phenomenon. I suggest you implore the Goddess Flora. She is much more influential in these matters. However, she also has a very busy workload at certain times of the year, so please be realistic. Just saying. Deirdre, how very kind of you to ask. Would it be too much trouble to get a nice hot rum punch. I’m sure Amy or Elizabeth have a recipe.

Comments are closed.