Monday, November 27, 2006

Poinsettias

I went to the garden center around the corner today looking for a rosemary topiary. There was just one left and it was already half way to dead so I left it there. There were plenty of poinsettias though. I left them there too. I like them well enough when they're massed together like in this pic, but one or two of them don't look like much. Plus, if I bought them now they'd be wilting and making a mess well before the holidays arrive. Does anyone like these plants?

The house could use some sprucing up to help us get in the spirit, but today wasn't the day to be shopping for wreaths and garlands - it was sixty degrees here! That didn't seem to stop many of the folks I saw today picking out their trees. They seem to be in the spirit, but it's still escaping me. I think I need some cold and snow before I'll feel like it. What about you - have you started preparing for the holidays already? Are you one of *those people* that have all the gifts wrapped and hidden away somewhere?

24 comments:

vicki said...

I like them a lot in large display groups, especially with all the newer more subtle varieties. I have yet to keep one from one year to the next and as disposable plants go these aren't so good, just standing there dropping bottom leaves every day. The botanical garden here has a four story "tree" of poinsettias and it's spectacular.

I took advanage of the warm weather to pt up a little outdoor tree by the entryway but no snow, no Christmas tree yet. But city is starting to sparkle a lot like Christmas, snow or no.

Endment said...

Great Photo of Pointsettias!
I actually do like them in mass but don't have enough room to use them...
Gifts--- Haven't finished addressing my cards from 2000 yet... (well that may be a tiny exageration - but not much)
Sure do like e-mail and telephone.
Around here the spirit of xmas has been dampened by all the commercialism.

NatureWoman said...

I love a large arrangement of poinsettias in a place where they will thrive through the holidays - like a couple of the conservatories here that I like to visit.
Yesterday I saw SUV's driving from my town to other towns with real X-Mas trees sticking out the back - it looked weird as it was bright and sunny and 60 degrees F.
I don't have a single gift in the house yet. I don't know how people that move from cold climates to warm climates get in the mood for X-Mas!

Mary said...

Christmas is all around...I've seen many cars with trees strapped onto the roofs and homes are decorated already. The temps dip to mid 30's at night but the days have reached 70 since Thanksgiving here. I'm not in the mood yet, being a Marylander - I need cold to put me into the spirit. I have two body bags in my dining room (not loaded with bodies - they're loaded with Christmas trees). I love to decorate but I keep walking past them, wearing a t-shirt and sandals. I guess I'll assemble them this week and decorate them, and bring the decorations out for the whole house and outside next weekend. As far as my feeling about Poinsettias, they bring Christmas spirit in a traditional sense, but they are messy and a challenge to grow. One year, I kept them until Spring and planted them outside and they thrived until the following Fall season. They are tropical and need warmth in the winter. I am longing to have the spirit, but not until I need gloves to decorate outdoors.

bev said...

I haven't bought a poinsettia in a long while. As for holiday preparations - I must confess that I don't really do anything special anymore. My family pretty much stopped doing anything for Christmas after my Dad died. We now do very little in the way of gift giving too. However, Don and I do like to go out snowshoeing in the woods most days over the holidays - that's become our "new tradition". It's actually the best way I can think of to enjoy the holidays as I love the look of conifers blanketed in fresh snow.

Deb said...

Oh heck no...I'm a last minute type person, although I'd like to somehow eliminate the stress that inevitably causes.

lené said...

My mother had a poinsettia that she kept as a houseplant. It eventually grew to be as large as a small tree. I've never seen anything like it.

LauraHinNJ said...

Vicki: Don't you like the blue ones?

;-)

I too love to see them in a large display, but who has the room (or the patience to clean up all those fallen leaves?)

Endment: Last year was the first year that I didn't send Xmas cards (other than to my bunny friends). Really, they're such a waste of effort!

My DH and I were married the week before Xmas so were away on our honeymoon - it was one of the nicest holidays ever! No gifts, no rushing, no BS. It was really wonderful!

Naturewoman: I love those big displays you mention - just a mass of color! I haven't bought any gifts either, other than Letters from Eden for two friends. I'd better get on it soon!

Mary: lol! I agree - it should be cold. We have this pathetic poinsettia at work that one lady coddles along - I never thought of putting them in the ground - although mine are toast by the time it's warm enough.

Bev: I think it's important to find the traditions at Chrsitmas that are meaningful - being out in the woods with someone special sounds like a great way to spend the day! I like to sneak out of the house after everyone's gone to bed on Chrsitmas Eve and just listen to the quiet. I keep hoping that the animals will talk to me, like the legend says, but it hasn't happened yet. ;-)

Deb: I'm with you. Every year I promise myself that I'll have my act together next year, but never do.

Lene: That must have been something! Do green thumbs run in the family?

bunnygirl said...

Sixty degrees isn't cold? Them's fightin' words here in the South! ;-)

Susan Gets Native said...

I am not one of THOSE people, but I wish I were sometimes. I did buy one thing for my MIL in August because it was on sale...
I don't like poinsettas. I have to keep them way up so the cats don't poison themselves, and then the plants just sit there raining leaves onto the top of our entertainment center and no one can really see them up there anyway...blah blah blah.
I've read that in warmer climates, they can get TREE size. That would be cool to see.

ruth said...

My mom has a large poinsetta hedge in her garden in Mexico with double red flowers. It is beautiful when in bloom. I associate these flowers with warmer Christmas locations where they are natural.I prefer pine and cedar for decorations in Canada.

LauraHinNJ said...

Bunnygirl: lol! And I think anything over 85 is just about unbearable!

You'd be a good person to answer the question of how to get into the Xmas spirit when living in a warm climate; you grew up in the east, right?

Susan: I'm pretty sure that bit about poinsettias being poisonous is untrue. It's the Easter flowers you have to REALLY be careful of with cats.

Ruth: Your mom's poinsettia hedge (wow!) sounds spectacular! I like the pine and cedar garlands also - I go more for the *green* at Xmas than the *red*.

Rurality said...

I'm one of those people who would be happy enought to just skip the whole thing. I do like poinsettias, although I've never bought one for myself.

Lynne said...

I do like the multi-colored poinsettiias like the ones in your photo, but house plants and I do not get along! My MIL has several that she has kept beautiful for several years. Last year we did most of our shopping through the internet and it was GREAT!! I hate crowds but I enjoy finding gifts. It releived so much of the stress for me.

-llm. said...

I love poinsettias but I've decided that they are one plant that I'm just as happy with the fake ones as the real ones. I hate throwing them away but I can't keep them alive and get them to do their poinsettia thing again anyway. I usually buy two or three (to shove together that way) before our big holiday party for the front porch but no they are not plants that I want to try to master.

I'm not in the Christmas spirit either. Normally I'm the first one playing Christmas music and all that -- yesterday I caught myself rolling my eyes at the Christmas music at the grocery store. Oh dear! Hopefully after my schoolwork is completed it will hit me hard! :)

Pam/Digging said...

Yes, I'm one of "those people" who shop throughout the year to avoid the hassle of shopping at Xmas time. I really don't like those crowded stores. Don't care for poinsettias either.

I do love Xmas, though it can be hard to get into the spirit on 80-degree days. It's been that warm here all this week, and many a time we've gone to the Xmas tree farm in shorts and T-shirts to cut down a Xmas tree.

We're planning to get our tree this weekend, and we should be in luck. A blue norther is expected to drop us down into the 30s by Thursday, with a high of 56 on Saturday. That feels cold to us Southerners!

GreenmanTim said...

My mother used to have an iron-clad rule that there would be no holiday music in our house before either December 1st or the 1st snowfall. One year we got 23 inches on October 4th - devastating the trees for miles around and her prohibition in the same blow.

Buying your tree more than 2 weeks before the big event is a great way to have a dried out, needle-dropping mess before New Year's.

Pam in Tucson said...

I'm doing my gift shopping via the Internet this year. Can't stand the crowds in the stores. We have neighbours putting up Christmas lights already, but I believe it's way too early to start decorating. It takes away all the excitement and anticipation, especially for the children. I think there should be an unwritten agreement that holiday decorations can't appear earlier than a week before a holiday. We won't put our tree up until Christmas Eve and we'll take it down on the 6th of January (Twelfth Night) as my family did in England when I was a child. As for poinsettias - I like them en masse and your photo is really quite lovely. In 1983, I saw 10-foot high blooming poinsettias growing wild in the high forest in Taiwan. Now that was impressive!

Anonymous said...

I buy those tiny pixie size plants and put them in my windowsills instead of candles. We only decorate with natural things-- greenery, bowls of cones, and berries.

It is warm and wet here today, too. Sure doesn't seem like almost December. I did see a load of Christmas tree go by this morning, though.

Sandy said...

That was me!

Simone said...

Mama likes the poinsettias. She even buys 'em sometimes but won't let me eat any. Hrmph.

LauraHinNJ said...

Rurality: I can't imagine skipping the whole thing, but know a few people who do. For different reasons than yours, I'd imagine. All the hype is too much and defeats the point.

Lynne: I love giving gifts of course, but struggle with ideas! No one I know really needs anything - and if there's something they want they go and buy it for themselves. I don't like buying stuff just to have something to give - seems foolish!

-llm: We usually end up with a few sent as gifts, which I enjoy while they look nice then I get rid of them! You know some radio stations have been playing Xmas music non-stop for the last week or two - what's up with that?

LauraHinNJ said...

Pam: I envy *those people* really - it lets you enjoy the season without the stress of crowds and craziness.

I'm not sure what we're doing for a tree this year - if we'll buy fresh or put up the artificial tree. I like to wait until just before Xmas either way.

Tim: Yes, but some people put their tree out right after Christmas. December 1st seems really early to me, but growing up we did everything on Christmas Eve. My father told a story of buying the tree once on Xmas morning, although I don't remember that.

Pam in Tucson: Yes, I agree. Santa decorates the tree at my brother's house - I'd imagine his daughter is very surprised in the morning! Thanks for the compliment on the photo - would love to see these big poinsettias everyone is talking about. I love hearing about the different ways people celebrate the holidays.

Sandy: I love natural decorations. We tend to do something a little different each year, sometimes put up more than one tree.

Simone: Stick with carrots and hay - poinsettias are for humans!

Julie Zickefoose said...

Laura,

I hate poinsettias. Yesterday I saw some in Kroger--white ones that had been spray painted blue with glitter added. Ooooh, that was bad on top of bad.
MUST have that wreath feeder for whole peanuts! Wherever did you find it? And I adore blue jays, too, especially for their lilac tones. Your blog is moodily bewitching.