Tuesday, December 8, 2015

It's a red poinsettia Christmas...

Since the 2015 Poinsettia Challenge is my doing I thought I'd take it up a notch and challenge myself to embrace the red poinsettia. You see, while it has been years since I've purchased any poinsettia, the red ones were been taboo even when I did buy. The creamy white or green-ish white ones were just so much easier to love...
Then, to make matters even more challenging, Andrew mentioned that he found poinsettias to be depressing. Not tacky, tacky I could deal with and hope to overcome, but depressing? Yikes! I don't want to depress my husband during the holidays.

Thankfully he had nothing but kind words for the finished display - not depressing at all...

Since I'm still hopelessly in love with my inspiration image (shared at the top of this post) I've been collecting vintage (a fancy word for used) silver for the plants. I love the deep, rich, quality they bring to the bright Christmas colors. I also wanted to integrate wood (an excuse to include a brown color) but couldn't come up with a way to do it that I liked. Then it hit me, conifer cones and (I'm very excited about this part) branches from a monkey puzzle tree (Araucaria araucana)...

Back when I stopped by Peter's garden in October he gifted me a bag of fallen branches he'd collected from a neighbor's tree after a wind-storm. They'd been patiently waiting for just the right time to be used and this was it!

Such a great color and texture.

This image was taken during a rare moment when the sun was shining. The last week here has been very dark, dreary, and rainy. I'd initially put up the grapevine wreath unadorned, but without the sun to light it up it became a dark hole. I'm not in love with the red ribbon but it was an attempt to add color and I guess it works.

Here's the real shocker...I LOVE the poinsettias. Like the OC&K, which I learned to appreciate, they bring a welcome dose of color - and this time of the year we need that badly.

I repeated the brown and red color scheme below the mantle with ribbon and a swag. All the cones and greenery were scavenged on walks around the neighborhood. Winter winds never fail to deliver free branches.

A pair of Tillandsia and a glitter star complete the picture.

Next week I'm challenging myself to do a cut flower arrangement or two. If you're inspired to join the challenge send me a photo (spiky plants at gmail dot com) of your poinsettia creation by Christmas Eve, everyone is welcome to participate!

Oh and the winner of the challenge will receive one of these vintage sticker/bookmarks...as well as the admiration of the millions thousands hundreds dozens of people who read this blog!

All material © 2009-2015 by Loree Bohl for danger garden. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited and just plain rude.

18 comments:

  1. I've always liked red poinsettias (liked, not loved) but maybe that's because I grew up with plastic ones, and only saw real, live ones once I was older. They're so bold! (unlike some of the pink ones which just look faded)

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    1. Have you seen the peachy colored ones? I was told they developed them especially for Thanksgiving. A Thanksgiving poinsettia....oh my.

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  2. I admire the how you decorate differently each year and each year is more beautiful than the last. The red ribbon on the wreath works well IMHO and pulls together all of the other red elements nicely. The whole fireplace arrangement is, again, magazine worthy! Your use of tillandsia in this way is fabulous!

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    1. Thanks Peter...a great deal of the success of this arrangement is due to your giving me the Monkey Puzzle branches, thank you!!!

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  3. Red and green work so well with that fireplace, but I usually stay away from red poinsettias too. I like pinkish ones or I go for cyclamen. But I have bought a poinsetta in prep for the challenge.

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    1. Yay! I can't wait to see what you come up with.

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  4. I love your addition of those monkey puzzle branches. That texture tones down the brashness of the poinsettia blooms. And when the other textures are added in, you've got a winner there.

    Thanks for showing what can be done when you think outside the box. :-)

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    1. Thanks for the comment jdub, "brashness" is the perfect word to describe the bright neon of some red poinsettias. I purposely chose a much darker flowered variety (still brash though!). Funny thing as I was paying for them the nursery owner was telling me how much he didn't care for my selection, he prefers the brighter red. Gotta love honesty...

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  5. I love the Tillandsia swag hanging from the mantel! Best part! In college, my horticulture club raised poinsettias for a holiday sale. We always had tons left over, which we'd raffle off at the department party, and then we'd have more left over. One year I had about 7 poinsettias in my dorm room. Maybe that's why I can't bring myself to pay for one now. My favorite that the club used to raise was this dark maroon color with oak leaf-shaped bracts.

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    1. Thanks! Those two Tillandsia came from the Portland Nursery houseplant sale last year (you have your calendar marked, yes?). And I completely get your aversion to buying poinsettias, especially with your past!

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  6. I always love your mantle creations, Loree, and this one doesn't disappoint.

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  7. Your display this year is anything but depressing or tacky! Looks fantastic. I love the glitter star, reminds me of something in my childhood.

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    1. I think it does me too (the star), but I can't quite figure out what!

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  8. I always buy my girlfriend a white poinsettia. This year, I got two for myself and put them in the bedroom. I've gotta say, I kinda love them. They don't scream holiday like the red, but they're extremely festive, nonetheless. An understated festive.
    Our neighbors behind us have a GIANT monkey tree. I'll have to see if I can scavenge anything after these winds. They are officially fantastic and look great on your mantle!

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    1. I hope you find some branches Mindy, I'd love to see what you do with them! When I got those from Peter he also had a bunch of freshly fallen ones, they were so pliable! I mentioned to my husband I might go out on a hunt for some - to make a wreath. He asked if I was going to wear chainmail gloves to handle them...

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  9. Stunning! Love the monkey puzzle branches. I've seen the peachy poinsettia. Believe it or not, it's really pretty. I'll post today if I can find the photo.

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    1. You mean you didn't just use it for Thanksgiving and toss it?(I joke...that's what I was told it was intended for...)

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