DUCHESS OF DIRT Leslie Cox leaves gardeners with her best season's greetings.

DUCHESS OF DIRT Leslie Cox leaves gardeners with her best season's greetings.

A Duchess of Dirt holiday poem

T'was the night before Christmas and all round the yard; Most plants are sleeping like Geranium 'Ann Folkard'

T’was the night before Christmas and all round the yard

Most plants are sleeping like Geranium ‘Ann Folkard’

The beds are all mulched, piled high with old leaves

Protecting such gifts as my mom’s ‘Brazen Hussy’


Our roses are staked, their rambling branches secured

Against fierce winter storms the better endured

Rhodos and pieris lend green delight to the scene

But wet snow on branches, jump quick you must clean


Our clematis are tied to their trellises with care

As those fierce winds will likely not spare

Many clematis are not yet ready to prune

Until four, maybe five, months this side of June


The pond is winterized, pump removed and stored

But the waterfall repair is still on The List to be scored

Our two fish, Larry and Curly, will miss buddy Moe

Who sadly was dinner for a Great Blue Heron foe


No bird bath this season for our fine feathered friends

It is a cherished gift from our two-legged friends

Reason enough to put it away lest it freeze

A crack would ruin, not to be replaced with great ease


No beans, no peas left in the veg garden this season

The bed covered with clear plastic for very good reason

And come March we will sow seeds in the ground

Warmed by plastic for earlier harvest abound


Tomatoes, green and red, were plucked by our grandson and me

The greenhouse emptied for storing plants not meant to freeze

Dylan weighed them all before we packed the green ones away

In beer flats under newspaper to slowly ripen one day


The fruit trees have been barren of fruit a while now

Pears, apples picked and processed…many of you know how

For the first time I made Spiced Pear Butter this year

Using an old food mill from my granny most dear


The porch railing is festooned in its garland of green

Gaily wrapped with red lights, Christmas colours supreme

Our brightly lit villages are set up with train circling round

It’s not just for grandkids these two grandparents have found


Outside moonlight casts shadows on bare branches galore

Creating the stage for what was sure to be in store

So imagine my glee when on the scene who should appear

But St. Nick, himself, in his sleigh pulled by eight reindeer


Decked out in his red suit complete with white trim

He looked exactly as I had always imagined of him

There was that twinkle in his eye as he reached in his bag

To leave presents for two gardeners including plant tags


Everything on our Wish List from new rake to new boots

Warm gloves for wet springs, lots of pots for new shoots

Shiny new pruners for John…he is the master of those

Though this spring I must apprentice, I do suppose


Two books on gardening will give us winter delight

‘Til spring comes knocking and the time change in light

Seeds for the veggie garden, a wheel for the barrow

How I wish I could play in the garden tomorrow


St. Nick was finished with us, time to move on next door

The night was waning and so many houses more

He winked and exclaimed, as in his sleigh he stood tall

“A very Merry Christmas and Happy Gardening to all!”


Leslie Cox co-owns Growing Concern Cottage Garden in Black Creek. Her website is at www.duchessofdirt.ca and her column appears every second Friday in the Record.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Comox Strathcona Waste Management expects to go to tender this summer for the regional organics compost facility in Campbell River. File photo/Black Press
Comox Strathcona compost site should go to tender this summer

The regional organics facility is on target to open for the fall of 2022

The site of the King George Hotel in Cumberland. Photo by Mike Chouinard
VIU students research Cumberland’s past, future

Specific practicum topics were King George Hotel’s significance, densification incentives

Courtenay–Alberni MP Gord Johns says 12 million Canadians do not have dental insurance. Photo by Bofu Shaw, courtesy of Unsplash
Courtenay–Alberni MP, CDA consider dental care for all Canadians

Gord Johns has initiated a mail-out that asks constituents the date of… Continue reading

A 407 Squadron CP-140 Aurora, along with a Halifax-Class frigate enforce United Nations sanctions against North Korea in support of Op Neon in 2019. Canadian Forces photo/submitted
407 Squadron defends Canada for 80 years

The Comox-based squadron celebrating special anniversary

Jasmine Francoeur from Comox is an aviation technician for the Snowbirds air demonstration team. Photo by Canadian Forces/submitted
Comox’s Jasmine Francoeur’s career comes full circle with the Snowbirds

“To fly out here, fly into my hometown, it’s very special and I feel very lucky”

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

The following is a list of restaurants offering take-out and patio dining. ADOBE STOCK IMAGE
List of Comox Valley restaurants offering take-out, patio dining options

Restaurants in the Comox Valley continue to adapt to government-imposed restrictions in… Continue reading

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

Island Health has confirmed COVID-19 exposures at Ecole des Deux Mondes in Campbell River on May 4 and 5, and at Mill Bay Nature School in Mill Bay on April 28, 29, 30 and May 3. (Metro Creative photo)
Two new COVID-19 school exposures confirmed by Island Health

Health authority contacting anyone exposed at Ecole des Deux Mondes, Mill Bay Nature School

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

The dash cam footage, taken May 7 at 8:18 a.m. belonged to the driver of a southbound vehicle that recently travelled out of the tunnel. (Reddit/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Dash cam captures dramatic rollover crash on Highway 99

Only one person sustained injuries from the collision, says B.C. Ambulance Services

Most Read