I always have several poinsettias in the house at the holidays. I no longer bother with a Christmas tree (I display my Dickens Village instead, which is a whole other story) but I gotta have those poinsettias. My favorite is still the traditional lush red. But I also indulge in the new varieties.
This year I gave my mother a red with yellow speckles. I also bought a white poinsettia that I am looking at now in my upstairs office. A plant with leaves of red on the perimeter and pink in the center adorns my coffee table in the living room.
The traditional red I always buy met a fate too horrible to think about. The recent windstorm which caused a huge power blackout over much of the Los Angeles area also claimed the poinsettia I had placed at the bottom of the steps outside my front door. I opened the door to find my neighbor was cradling it in his arms like a baby. I was going to rescue my plant, I said. I think it’s too late, he replied.
He was right. I put what was left in six vases but they wilted the next day.
But as the title of this blog says, poinsettias are not just in pots. In my walks around my neighborhood in Culver City I discovered this beautiful poinsettia tree growing in a yard. I like to think this started out as a Christmas poinsettia given as a gift. Why not? One of my poinsettias lasted three years but I had to put it down due to some kind of blight. It was sad.
The first time I met a poinsettia was in Florida. My parents and I had just arrived from England. We attended a party at somebody’s house. They had a bright pool anteroom filled with pots of poinsettias they had collected over the years. There was no need to take a photo as decades later that scene is emblazened in my mind.
My favorite place to buy poinsettias is at Armstrongs Garden Center in Westchester just south of Culver City. I buzz over there around Thanksgiving every year as they have the best selection for the best prices in my humble opinion.