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It is my understanding, Santa, that there is no limit to what your sleigh can carry. While I don’t claim to understand the underlying physics, I shall be delighted to receive your bountiful offerings of my most coveted plants on Christmas morning, nonetheless. With your kind contributions, my currently sparse garden will be lush and inviting by the time you visit again next year.

1. Huge leaves

I am in desperate need of the garden drama only big-leafed plants can provide. All the smaller plants will show off better in the company of the big leaves. Plus, I can pretend I live in a jungle.

huge leaves
From our Pinterest board plants: huge leaves

Of course the list must start with the bigger-than-a-person sized leaves of a Gunnera. I am not picky, I shall be delighted with either Gunnera manicata or Gunnera chilensis.

Gunnera manicata by Tom Oates with a Creative Commons share alike license
Gunnera manicata by Tom Oates with a Creative Commons share alike license

I would very much enjoy a glossy, evergreen, veiny, textural big leafed rhododendron like Rhododendron sinogrande. I promise this time I’ll be good and keep it alive.

Rhododendron sinogrande
Rhododendron sinogrande

The soft, hairy, platter like leaves of Astilboides tabularis will make good umbrellas for small dogs, which, as you know from your surveillance, frequent our garden.

astilboides tabularis
Astilboides tabularis from Keeping it Green Nursery, used with permission

And if you can forgive my previous lapse in judgment in removing the Ornamental Rhubarb which once graced the garden, I would very much like to try again.

ornamental rhubarb
Ornamental rhubarb

2. Fine feathery friends

As you are surely aware, there is no better combination than the aforementioned huge leaves, coupled with delicate, wispy foliage that catches water droplets and dances in the breeze.

plants: texture!
From our Pinterest board plants: texture! on Pinterest.

Of course I realize you cannot in good faith deliver sheets of spanish moss that so elegantly decorate live oaks in the south. But a prolific green flowering Amaranthus caudatus viridis would give a similar effect, inspiring one to run their hands through the tendrils. You must admit, the seeds would make an excellent stocking stuffer. Hint, hint.

Amaranthus caudatus viridis
Amaranthus caudatus viridis? by Loree Bohl

Although you may not have limited options for a Portland-hardy restio (and thank goodness we do have options), a Eupatorium capillifolium ‘Elegant Feather’ is an awfully good stand in with that frizzly electric texture.

Eupatorium capillifolium 'Elegant Feather'
Eupatorium capillifolium ‘Elegant Feather’

Would you consider it greedy if I asked not only for fine soft texture but also fiery fall color? If not, an Amsonia hubrichtii would be much appreciated.

Amsonia hubrichtii
Amsonia hubricthii by Far Reaches Farms, used with permission

And honestly, I don’t require a bunch of expensive hard to find plants from Santa’s greenhouse. A collection of green fennel to fill in the bald spots would really make my day.

fennel 'green'
Fennel ‘Green’ by Select Seeds, used with permission

It would go quite nicely with the Bronze fennel that’s been politely self seeding about my garden for years.

Bronze Fennel
Bronze Fennel

3. Fab foliage

Of course big leaves and the fine texture need some shapely plants to fill in the gaps.

Dragon plants would make fine companions to my thirsty big leaved dinosaur plants. Please bring any variety of Ligularia przewalskii, including Ligularia przewalskii ‘Dragon Wings,’, Ligularia przewalskii ‘Dragons Breath’. Ligularia japonica ‘Chinese Dragon’ will also do the trick.

Ligularia przewalskii 'Dragon Wings,' photo by Terra Nova Nurseries, used with permission
Ligularia przewalskii ‘Dragon Wings,’ photo by Terra Nova Nurseries, used with permission

I don’t know what magical forces are in play rendering Manihot grahamii hardy in zone 8, and why I haven’t asked for this plant in years past, but I am ready to sprinkle this magic dust in my garden.

Manihot grahamii
Manihot grahamii by Plant Delights, used with permission

And please bring some bright gold to light up the garden. The tall skinny pillars of maple shaped crinkly textured leaves Filipendula ulmaria ‘Aurea’ are sorely missed following the recent drought, but I’ll prepare a new bog to keep them happy next year when summer returns.

filipendula ulmaria aurea
Filipendula ulmaria ‘Aurea’

Feel free to skip the chimney and leave them under the tree out back. Planting is optional. Please and thank you.