Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Poinsettia Challenge is on!

As with my change of heart on ornamental cabbage and kale I remember the exact moment that I realized Poinsettias have potential. It’s when I saw this…

It's the work of Justine Hand, and it appeared on Gardenista last December. I was instantly smitten!

Inspired by this gorgeous display, it’s time to take the Poinsettia out of the grocery store, unbind it from the garish foil wrapper and let it shine!

Well, unless foil and glitter is your idea of beauty in which case….more foil! More glitter! Just no office-cubicle Poinsettia that has been (barely) living-on stale air and florescent lights for 5 years since that great office party when you finally hooked up with the, oh wait. Sorry. Family blog…

Anyway… like last time I’m counting on you to come up with your interpretation of a Poinsettia display done right…

Does that mean a cut flower arrangement? Great! (just make sure you read the tip about searing the stem on that Gardenista post! “A seared poinsettia stem will prevent the sap from bleeding, and still will allow the plant to draw water”).

Does that mean potted plants en masse? Super!

Are you one of the lucky birds who lives somewhere that Poinsettia can go outside? Do it!

The goal here is pretty much the same as last time, take the lowly grocery store "token Christmas plant" into the modern era and give it a new look, a designy twist. For a little Poinsettia inspiration I visited Marbotts Nursery in NE Portland, they've got a beautiful selection, every size and (natural) color...

(there's one in every crowd - that's a branch too, not a separate plant)

The challenge is on as of today! Send your image to spiky plants at gmail dot com (***update: please include a little info on your entry, a title if you want...a line or two telling us what it's all about***). The contest will close on Christmas Eve, I’ll post the entries during the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. During that time the judges will get together (as schedules permit) and the winner will (hopefully) be announced the first week of January. I'm still trying to track down a suitable prize, I've got an idea but it's proving a little harder to find than I imagined....stay tuned for more on that...

And just in case you're wondering...the Poinsettia's botanical name is Euphorbia pulcherrima and grows to be a tall shrub/small tree (3-15 ft tall, 3-7 ft wide) in Mexico and Central America. According to the Missouri Botanical Garden: "Contrary to conventional wisdom, poinsettia plants are not a poisonous plant. A Ohio State University study showed that a 50 pound child could eat 500 bracts and might have a slight stomach ache. However, the white sap can have allergic properties, especially for people who have latex allergies." Still - it's probably better to keep your kids, and pets, from munching down on your Poinsettia display, fix them a nice salad instead.

Oh, who are our judges you ask? The opinionated bunch from last time will be returning (NathanHeather and Wes) and (drum roll) the talented Kate Blairstone will be joining us this time! Kate (in her own words) creates "badass floral illustration and design" and she's also "a gardener, textile hoarder and printmaker" plus she's a social media whiz and a way cool lady. You really should click on this link to see her stunning work.

Now I'm busy purchasing my Poinsettias and dreaming up my mantle display which I'll share next week. I can't wait to see what you do!

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

38 comments:

  1. Oh, goody. Now I can go poinsettia shopping. If anyone comes across the very old-fashioned, very tall, double kind that grows outside in southern California, I would like to know where to get one in a pot or a cutting. It would fit the age and style of my house perfectly. Meanwhile those are some beautiful new-fashioned cultivars you've shown us, Loree.

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    1. I remember the plant of which you speak, my grandma always manged to have a few. Or wait...maybe hers was a "fake" velvet version of said plant. My memory is foggy about plants way back then. I do remember those luxurious double bracts. I hope you find one!

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  2. Hey, a challenge I can easily take on, as my only Black Friday deals were a pair of poinsettias for $0.99 each. Not sure how much creativity I have left in me right now though...

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    1. Ah come on...you've got the creativity! (just maybe not the time or energy). I hope you participate.

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  3. Love those variegated ones! The pure white are pretty snazzy too.

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    1. In the 90's when I would occasionally buy a tiny Poinsettia at Molbaks it was always white. No red. Red = bad. I'm making myself use red this year. Are you going to play along Alison? (I bet you can order them online...)

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  4. LOVE LOVE LOVE! You have one of the best blogs around and the poinsettia point - well taken! Excellent idea.

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    1. Ah Shawna, thank you for the kind words! I do hope you'll join in the Poinsettia fun?

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  5. Now, this is a challenge I can do something with! While ornamental cabbage and kale are only now appearing in the local garden centers (they must have trouble surviving 90F temperatures), there's NEVER a shortage of poinsettias. The 2 pots nearest my front door are also begging for a transformation. The plants will survive here in the ground here - my neighbor has a tree-sized specimen in her backyard.

    P.S. Have you noticed that Garden Rant's current post is also on poinsettias? It appeared just under your post in my blogroll this morning.

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    1. Yay! I was hoping you'd be able to put your spin on the challenge Kris. And thank you - I hadn't seen Elizabeth's post on Garden Rant yet. I zoomed right on over there and left a comment.

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  6. Hooray for another challenge! Love the arrangement you showed first. I'd never thought of poinsettias as cut flowers before but that sure would help with the guilt of getting rid of the plants sooner. Mine usually stick around most of the winter because they're still looking good even though we'e usually tired of them.

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    1. It's been YEARS since I bought a Poinsettia, but since a switch is usually flipped in my head on December 26th - must get rid of all Christmas decor immediately - I suspect mine will be going into the yard waste bin rather quickly.

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  7. I also love the arrangement in the first picture, like Peter. I´ve never liked poinsettias too much but I like the variety you show in this post.

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    1. Are they common in Spain Lisa?

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    2. Yes, the red ones are very common in Christmas.

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  8. Uhoh, I was thinking about getting a Poinsettia this holiday. Now I guess I will have to do it. Too good an opportunity to let pass.

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  9. I got my allowed dozen from Home Depot again this year. Ninety nine cents. It's the deal of the year. I plop half of them down in pretty containers for home, and the other half go to teachers and neighbors, ugly foil removed and pots wrapped in craft paper with red and white bakers twine. Nothing worthy of a contest, but as a whole for Christmas decorations, I love them.

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    1. 99 cents! Wow, that's a steal - you and Alan (comment above) must shop at the same place. Please consider sending a photo of one of your Poinsettia at home, every image I've seen on your blog tells me you've got a beautiful home and a ton of style...perhaps one of your "plops" is challenge worthy?

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  10. This challenge is way beyond me, but I'll be curious to see how many different kinds of poinsettias will make an appearance. I used to lean towards the gaudy varieties, but recently I've gone back to basics: just red, or even green-and-red leaves.

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    1. I think you're selling yourself short Gerhard.

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  11. Hmmmm...thinking... We usually have a few Poinsettias around the house. I'll give it some thought. I love to see the entries!

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    1. Hope to see an image from you Beth!

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  12. Ok, I'm in! I love poinsettias, but I struggle to keep them going in the house over the holidays. I usually buy them late and (gasp) toss them early. But I can't resist a challenge, so they are now on my shopping list for today. It will be your fault if some decorations don't go up or we're short on appetizers for our party because I've been frittering away time feeding my competitive nature!

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    1. Sounds like it's a good thing I'm hundreds of miles away...so your family can't hunt me down! (look forward to seeing what you come up with!)

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  13. I have not yet gone through "the change" and could not get over the "willies" to buy a poinsettia at all. But I must admit that as cut flowers they do look intriguing! Than you for pointing us towards Kate's blog. It IS amazing.

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    1. "the change"....haha, you had me snorting my coffee. Glad you clicked on the link, Kate's up to great things!

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  14. I'm looking forward to seeing what people come up with for this one. I probably won't join in this time, but I thought the same about the last challenge. Perhaps I'll find another oddball and inspiration will strike.

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    1. "Perhaps I'll find another oddball and inspiration will strike"...I hope so!

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  15. ok, I have not bought a Point in at least 20 years...but I have been making copious notes on the ingredients of my challenge display. At this moment it may feature one stem of every plant in existence. I'm afraid it may also involve trespassing in corporate parks with pruners.I have no shame.

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    1. OMG...you've got me very curious about just what you're planning!

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  16. Glad to say we are in the same camp when it comes to poinsettia. I like the old-fashioned bright red ones. My son lived in Ecuador for a while where they grow like shrubs.

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    1. My Huntington post last week featured one of the big guys, I love it - but I'm just not sure I could live with it year round.
      http://www.thedangergarden.com/2015/12/huntington-fridays-sequel.html

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  17. You leaked this idea earlier so I had my eye out on the last trip to Freddy's. Last year they had some swell orangeish ones but nothing I could identify with this time. Your lead photos make white look like an option...we shall see.

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    1. Fingers crossed that you find something that inspires you!

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  18. A little inspiration for this challenge
    http://www.debraprinzing.com/2015/12/11/celebrate-poinsettia-day-with-an-incredible-living-poinsettia-dress/

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    1. Thank you so much for the link and the mention! How had I missed International Poinsettia Day?

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  19. Last year's poinsettia refused to die. It's a pitiful thing with some tiny reddish leaves and a promising bud or two. Once I set it in a big gold pot and surrounded it with Schlumbergeras and a Pelargonium or two, it looks so much happier and festive.

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