It never fails. Every year, a plant that I’ve dismissed with contempt in seasons past manages to weasel its way into my good graces by displaying attributes I never seemed to appreciate before. I still don’t like the crazy glittery and painted ones—and fail to see how they’d enhance anyone’s holiday décor—but some of the newer poinsettia colors are really beautiful. In spite of everything, I couldn’t resist.
The gateway drug was a pink variety I found at the wonderful Lockwoods, a sophisticated nursery we are lucky enough to have here. It opened my mind to consideration of the other varieties around it—greenish white, dark maroon, deep rose … and so on. (They all have names, but I don’t care about them enough to know what they are.)
When buying poinsettias, you need to go all out—get 3, 6, or more for a banked display. Just like swaths of perennials, these ubiquitous creatures look their best when displayed en masse.
I also like the tree forms, though I didn’t see any this year. The double forms are pretty, but kind of lanky. My mother used to practice an elaborate methodology for saving the plants over to the next season—I feel certain it involved some kind of basement dormancy—but that’s just crazy. Into the compost they’ll go, along with the dried-up evergreens. I’d want to have room for the newest colors—well, some of them. A horticulture center in Ontario has one that looks like a ketchup chip (ketchup-flavored potato chips are another Canadian specialty). Red-dusted poinsettias and ketchup-flavored chips. No and no.