Thursday, December 31, 2015

The Poinsettia Challenge, so many creative people...

I can't believe the beautiful and imaginative entries that came in answering the poinsettia challenge...you guys are incredible, thank you! Before I share your creations I want to show a few images that came in all the way from Italy, via Shawna Coronado...

Shawna's been over in Rome, visiting her daughter, and doing some poinsettia spotting...

Who knew Romans love their poinsettias so much? (and can have them outside...)

Another friend of the challenge, Debra Prinzing (she of the slow flowers movement) put together a striking arrangement and blogged about it here. She didn't actually email me her entry, but I copied the photo below so you could be inspired by what she put together...

Now on to our official entries! I'm listing them roughly by last name and including a link to that persons's blog/website (if I know it) and the bit of info they sent along with their photo, enjoy...

Linda (Each Little World): "I wanted to use my grandmother's Roseville jardiniere as the "vase" for my Poinsettia and I didn't really want to cut the plant apart as I was not sure what I would end up with after surgery. Thus I opted to keep the plant whole and try to tone down its color and its dominance by adding dried material in shades of brown and dusty pink. Some of this is material clipped from the garden like fern fronds but the statice is from the florist. I added these around the edges of the plant as well as sticking them down into the plant in a number of spots. I also made the pot part of a larger arrangement so the Poinsettia again would not dominate but would be one element of a whole tablescape"

Alison (Bonney Lassie): "It's a Christmas "wreath" made out of a picture frame. The petals on the poinsettia are made from book pages, rubbed with gold stamping ink." (see more of Alison's creative paper poinsettias here)

Linda (Whatsitgarden): Since it was too grey, damp and cold today instead of bloom day posting I stayed in to meet your challenge. I wish the wreath showed up better: juniper beaches with a few snowberries and perscaria blooms. Now the Poinsettia, under planted with two Fatshederas that I rooted up in a jar of water, they needed potting up so, why not? The branches poking outward are from the filbert on my road side, I like the creamy catkins. and the monkey puzzle cone…nicked form a neighbors yard"

Shirley (Rock Oak Deer): "Kokedama Poinsettia, or is that Poinsettia Kokedama? I hadn't planned to enter until my friend Melody gifted me with a tiny Poinsettia plant.  After several tries to surround it with unruly reindeer moss I grabbed some red glitter cord to tame the moss and then it hit me that this was perfect for Kokedama, the artful Japanese method of displaying a small plant simply.  I couldn't find a plain background suitable for hanging so it's been set in an antique silver candy dish against the red entry wall."

Peter (The Outlaw Gardener): " 'Taking refuge from the cold' is a combination of plants more suited to warmer climates  and a few hardy plants and cut stems from my garden.  All are huddled together enjoying the warmer temperatures in the house  and lending their own visual heat to our entryway to warm our hearts as we come and go."

Anna (Flutter & Hum): "Had a little more time today than for the other challenge. Had fun with this one, and made several. Thanks again for the fun challenge, and Merry Christmas! Now, we're going to watch (and probably sing along with)  A Year without Santa Claus - a definite fave!"

Kris (Late to the Garden Party): "This pot and a similar one sit next to our front door to greet guests.  It's contents change with the seasons making it the perfect choice for my entry into the poinsettia challenge. The coral poinsettia featuring rose-like bracts is accented by Acorus gramineus 'Ogon', Coprosma repens 'Evening Glow' and a few Aeonium 'Kiwi' cuttings from my garden. The coral and lime plant colors pick up the colors of the bench cushions and pillows next to them. Another maligned holiday symbol, the gnome, stands alongside as sentry, holding a cutting of Aeonium arboreum (pandering to his audience)."

Nancy, this one showed up without explanation but not without inspiration...

Sheila (Denver Dirty Girls): " 'Holiday Party' is composed of some of my favorite things... Santa and his reindeer, the kid that's not happy with the prospect of a lump of coal because she bit her brother one time too many, Tillandsia snowballs and of course The Christmas Shoe! (The shoe was a gift from a stranger that liked my succulent-filled heels that adorned our fence for an Open Days Garden Conservancy tour a few years back. He didn't tell me why he had them and I didn't ask!)"

Susan (Flower Garage): "Ode to the Pacific Northwest" aka "The Behemoth" checks in at over 6’ long and includes a carnivorous garden,  ferns, mahonia flowers, orchids, schefflera berries, and amazing shelf mushrooms"

Jane (Close to Home): "So the idea behind this arrangement centered upon a poinsettia is that the poinsettia symbolizes the returning sun even to the new buds in its center and its warm red color. The leaves, apple and persimmon, and the dark, barren sand-cherry twigs represent the old year dying. There is transformation from the dead to the living. The title of this centerpiece is “Here Come the Sun”. It represents the winter solstice, dark changing to light, dead changing to living...Here comes the sun, Here comes the sun, and I say, it's all right."

Annmarie: "My name is Annmarie and I live in Colrain, MA, but worked in Brighton MA at Mahoney's Garden Center until recently. I am a gardener by trade and temperament. I have a one and a half year old son named Bo who likes to help me in the garden, mostly by collecting rocks and getting really dirty! We are having weirdly unseasonable weather here on Massachusetts, so I was able to take my design outside!"

So...while you're all winners in my heart there does have to be an actual "winner"...right? I mean that was the promised outcome...
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But...instead of a winner...there are two! (as determined by our crack team of judges - introduced in this post)...Susan and Annmarie!!! Detail shots of their creations...

And in an exciting turn of events the very generous Sean Hogan, owner of Cistus Nursery, has offered up a $25 gift certificate for each of you (lucky!). Congratulations to you both!

(but wait, there's more)

We also have a pair of "runners up" whom I want to acknowledge: Peter and Anna...

Thanks again to everyone who sent in an entry for the Poinsettia Challenge, I had a blast and hope you did too. I'm going to take a couple months off from this "challenge" business but be back again with a new one in March or so...it's just too much fun not to keep going, hope you agree.

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

30 comments:

  1. Lots of good ideas here! I like that so many used the softer colors, so pretty.

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    1. I was kind of surprised at the number of "autumn leaves" (or the like) entries...very interesting!

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  2. Congratulations to the winners! Thanks so much Loree for hosting such an interesting and challenging contest.

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    1. Thank you Shirley for sending your creation in. I really liked it's minimalism, and since I've done something similar (the Kokedama part) for my post holiday mantle I understand just how hard it is to get that moss to look good!

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  3. So many beautiful creations! Congrats to the winners, and thanks to you for running it and to Sean for his support.

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    1. And thank you for pushing me to tackle the paper flower thing! You know I'll be sharing my creations, unless they totally suck...

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  4. So awesome - I'm still looking over them - again. I like the here comes the sun piece too. I wonder how it's put together.

    Also almost all of the foilage of which there is a lot ;) in the log arrangement was foraged from my garden/collection, including the Carnivors. This may be a given... but wanted to add because it's so much fun to 'forage' in my own yard for textures, not for flowers though I did find some of those too. When I started my garden it was all because I wanted a 'cutting' garden and now I have pretty much the opposite ;) a cutting garden of texture and foilage. I look at plants and design in a whole new way. Again the extraordinary plants from Xera and Cistus continue to outdo anything available in the market even though difficult to see in these shots ;) And their plants continue to delight and amaze all of the senses.
    Turns out the most difficult thing was photographing it and getting any of the detail that took forever to create. This was my first log arrangement and I learned so much.

    Thanks for taking the holidays to another level ;) so fun and heartwarming to see all the pretty pieces everyone made.

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    1. Winter solstice sun piece: All foraged ... like yours ... set on a serving platter with a rim ... worked in a circle outside in ... poinsettia is seared and set in water in a ramekin in the center

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    2. Thanks for the details Jane!

      Susan you're gonna laugh when you see my holiday replacement mantle decor...I used a Manzanita log/branch that a friend gave me. After the Monkey Puzzle cones in the holiday mantle-scape I needed something long and dark to tie the new pieces together (the cones were no longer doing it for me). My log is bare...unlike yours!

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  5. All are so delightful and inspiring. I loved reading the additional info on the reasoning behind the combinations...so interesting!

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  6. OMG! I love the challenges that you do as they motivate me to try different things and seeing all of the entries in the wrap-up post gives me so many magnificent ideas for ways to play with plants! All of the entries are really cool. Now, where to find a giant ruby slipper... Congratulations to the winners and thanks to Sean for being so generous! May your new year be filled with beauty, wonder, love, prosperity, happiness, and peace (or at least prozac.) XO

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    1. Thanks Peter, your comment is exactly what I was hoping these challenges would do for people, I know they have for me! Same to you for the new year...and I'll be watching Goodwill for a ruby slipper (or two) for you!

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    2. Hey Peter... I have an extra! One is probably all I need and there are so many possibilities ;)

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    3. Oh Sheila, I just found this comment. Thank you for your kind ruby slipper offer but they show up at thrift stores every now and again probably for less than it would cost to send one.

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  7. Oh how fun! I'm honored and pleasantly surprised to be a runner-up - there were so many great entries. My hat's off to Alison for her paper poinsettia - that's in a creativity class by itself... I also love Susan's Behemoth - especially the detail shot. More of those please - I bet it would take at least 10 close-ups to cover the entire thing. Very cool... :)

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    1. Did you see Alison's other post about her paper flower creations? She's been busy! And yes...so much detail in Susan's creation...any single foot of it could keep me busy for hours.

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  8. You do realize what you've done?! These are so inspiring that I can see myself buying poinsettias for years to come so I can try some of these ideas. Particularly impressed with the ones at opposite ends of size scale.

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    1. Yay! I love that, thanks Linda. And I hadn't even thought about it but you're right, we have one that probably measures 6" and one that measures 6'...cool.

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  9. Damn , tossed mine in the bin ;)

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    1. As a reaction? Or because the holiday is over?

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  10. How marvelous to see what people came up with! I'll revisit this next year for inspiration for sure. I loved seeing this & your ornamental cabbage challenge -- well done everyone for their designs, and to you for breaking some (often undeserved) plant stereotypes. Happy New Year!

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    1. Thanks Kate, Happy New Year to you too!

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  11. I LOVE the background of Anna's arrangement...that photo is magazine worthy....and the outdoor setting of Annmarie's.

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    1. Right? Makes me want to demand a house tour!

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  12. THANK YOU! I had so much fun with this challenge,the designs entered were stunning-lots of creativity and out of the box creations!! Happy New Year, everyone!!

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  13. What a fun challenge! Playing with a poinsettia was a first for me since it's never been my fave plant, but Loree, once you gave the hint about snipping the stems it opened up a brand new door for opportunities! I had a blast giving my weird side a little freedom, can't wait for the next one!

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  14. You did a great job boosting this challenge, Loree, and the results show it. I wouldn't be surprised if a poinsettia grower tries to put you on retainer next year!

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  15. Loved this! I'm finally back from Italy and was super-excited to see you included a few of my photos. Congratulations to all on being so creative!

    Shawna

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  16. I´m late to comment but I think all the creations are wonderful. Susan´s arrangement is amazing!! with tillandsias and moss and... just beautiful.

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