The Day Before Christmas at Tropiflora

(With apologies to Clement Clarke Moore)

‘Twas the day before Christmas at Tropiflora nursery

Only one person was working, on the rest they had mercy

The greenhouses sealed, the heaters all lit

In the office, alone, at my PC I sit


The employees were home all warm in their houses

Surrounded by family; their kids and their spouses

But I’m in the office with my fingers on the keys

Typing my weekly story for our VIPPs


White bearded and rounded like that famous old elf

“I could be Santa’s twin”, I chuckled to myself

But back from my daydream I snapped with a jerk

And checking the clock I got right back to work


Out in the nursery things rattled and clattered

Pots once stacked so neatly now lie blown and scattered

The cold wind was howling, what a commotion!

Greenhouse roofs rolled like waves on the ocean


The cold front came in, it blew like the devil

But the VIPP Special simply must go on schedule

The temperature’s dropping, tonight in the 40’s

But this is Florida, in two more days I’ll be in shorties


All across Tropiflora you could hear the winds whistle

Blowing Tillandsias from benches like down from a thistle

The rain came down sideways the cold front was here

But as quick as it came the sky started to clear


The winds had died down, the storm must be through

But I kept on typing, something important to do

Outside birds are chirping and the squirrels are all playing

But for at least the next hour right here I’ll be staying


Some new Neos, Tillandsias and a Cryptanthus or two

What other goodies were listed no one but we knew

The plants were all chosen with our VIPPs in mind

All waiting and wondering what treasures they’d find


With no time to spare the deadline was met

The VIPP Special on time, but the closest call yet

Moments later our plant list, selected by hand

Appeared as by magic from Texas to Thailand


When ten minutes passed, I opened the list

Half the items were gone, the spoils to the swift

Each item fair game, no outcome appointed

Leaving some joyful and some disappointed


But VIPPers all know that in only one week

A new list would come out with new treasures to seek

My day’s work was done, only one thing more

To turn off the lights and lock up the door


Outside the sun shone, no clouds remained

The ground was still damp from the new fallen rain

The air was now crisp, the coolness was pleasing

No hint that tonight it would be close to freezing


But the nursery was ready; I had no need to worry

So I headed for home in a bit of a hurry

Nurseryman’s work can be 24/7

So any time off can sure feel like heaven


At home once again to our little nest

Where all was decked out in its holiday best

Christmas was always our favorite season

Now with four grandchildren we had a good reason


So Linda and I, Scott and Robin too

And all of the rest of the Tropiflora crew

Wish all of you VIPPers who live far and near

Peace, Love and Joy for the coming New Year


Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays from all the Tropiflora family!

Written by Dennis Cathcart

December 24, 2012