Along the Garden Path: A Gardener’s Night before Christmas


As we come upon Christmas Day, we send a special “Thank You” to the many downtown merchants who have decorated their windows and put so much effort into making Downtown Greenville look wonderful.

The Greenville Street Department did an awesome job of lighting all areas of the traffic circle, the City Building landscape, all the lampposts, Annie Oakley Park and stringing the new snowflakes lights across Broadway. I had the opportunity to meet and thank each one at a recent gathering. I wanted them to know everyone appreciates their work.

For those who have hung a swag, wreath, or garland on the outside of their home, they look great. It has been a pleasure to drive around town and out in the countryside to see all of the added touches to each of the homes. It’s an added site when driving at night and see all the lights in the distance.

It wouldn’t be Christmas unless I shared “A Gardener’s Night before Christmas!”

(From the website comes this gardening greeting)

Twas the night before Christmas and all through the yard,

Not a plant was left standing, the ground it was hard.

The tools were all hung in the garage with care

A well deserved rest now that the garden was bare.

The bulbs were nestled all snug in their beds,

While visions of springtime danced in their heads,

I in my Snuggie, my husband with our cat

Had just settled in for a long winter’s chat.

When out in the hydrangeas there arose such a clatter,

I dropped my seed catalogs to see what was the matter.

Away to the front door I quickly dashed,

Half expecting to find my yard had been trashed.

When I opened the door, it was suddenly clear,

Here was a sleigh and eight tiny reindeer

With a little old gardener so lively and quick

I knew in a moment it must be St. Nick!

More quickly than crabgrass his coursers they came

And he whistled and shouted and called them by name.

“Now Holly, Now Ivy, Now Daisy and Rue!

On Rose, On Petunia, Fern and Lily, too!

To the top of the trellis! To the top of the wall!

Now dash away, dash away, dash away all!”

So up to the housetop the reindeer they flew

With a sleighful of gifts and St. Nicholas, too.

I closed the front door and was turning around

When he slid down the chimney, hitting the ground.

He was dressed all in red, with Wellies on his feet,

And a poinsettia on his cap made him look really neat.

He stood up quite quickly and went straight to his work

With a composter for Cathy, a Dutch weeder for Dirk.

There were asters for Ann, a pine tree for Paul

And a garden design book for use by us all.

Next came a rain barrel. This was for Rob.

And finally, for me, a ginkgo key fob.

Then laying a trowel aside of his nose

And giving a nod, up the chimney he rose.

He ran to his sleigh and gave a quick whistle

And away they all flew like the seeds of globe thistle.

But I heard him exclaim as he drove out of sight,

“Merry Christmas to all gardeners and to all a good night.”

By Charlene Thornhill

Along the Garden Path

Charlene Thornhill is a volunteer citizen columnist, who serves The Daily Advocate readers weekly with her community column Along the Garden Path. She can be reached at [email protected]. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.

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