As you can imagine, many of my most passionate rants are years in the past, back when we started. You can only inveigh against lawn culture, shake your fist against Big Chem, or rage about cheap resin statuary so many times. Then there the things I’ve ranted against that many people like, including a whole slew of plants that I’ve deemed boring, overused, or just plain ugly. One of these was poinsettia, which abound at this time of year in nurseries and big boxes. (I’ve also seen them as lanky shrubs growing outside in places like Barbados, but that never bothers me.)
However, I must admit that, over the past few years, I’ve been bringing poinsettias home at this season—just for a few weeks. They really have come up with some nice hybrids. I love the soft pink ones, the mottled red and white ones, and the ones with variegated leaves and red bracts (two of these shown above). They look great in groups of three in the one nonworking fireplace—but no shiny foil pot wrappings, please.
I don’t love them enough to try to keep them alive much into January—I take minimal trouble with them in any case—but they’ve become good additions to the rest of my holiday décor, along with a few other little novelty plants (tiny winterberries and something called Frosty Fern) that I use on mantlepieces and other surfaces. I like to be festive with plants and greenery more than anything else.
I still hate poinsettias that have been spray painted and/or sprayed with glitter. That’s still disgusting. And just wrong. You can’t even compost them.