Enjoying poinsettias

Beckie Fox

Poinsettia (Photo by Brendan Adam-Zwelling)

Poinsettias are ubiquitous at this time of year. They’re available everywhere — grocery stores, nurseries, florists, big box stores, fund-raisers for charities — and that means they’re often considered a holiday decorating cliche. How unfortunate because poinsettias are easy to care for and come in a variety of colours from vivid scarlet to creamy ivory and every shade in between. (I’ll pass on the glitter-dappled blue versions, though.)

“Caring for poinsettias” provides advice on how to keep poinsettias lively and bright.

Poinsettia (Photo by Brendan Adam-Zwelling)
Poinsettia (Photo by Brendan Adam-Zwelling)

While we’re on the subject of poinsettias, please know that they’re only mildly toxic to cats and dogs — not poisonous. If your pet nibbles on a leaf, the milky sap may cause irritation. An ingested leaf or two may bring on an upset tummy. Certainly, pets and poinsettias can co-exist in the same household.

Forcing hyacinths

Forcing bulbs — creating the right conditions for spring bulbs to bloom indoors in winter — is a satisfying enterprise for the months ahead. Hyacinths are one of the easiest, and The Laidback Gardener has detailed instructions on how to get them going.

Charmed by birds

A photo essay in The Guardian by a retired photographer is a charming diversion. “I’ve spent most of my working life photographing people and places,” writes Denis Thorpe. “Being locked down has forced me to take a closer look at my surroundings.”

Virtual tour of the world’s grand conservatories

The era of colossal conservatories built by wealthy families is long gone, but fortunately many have been conserved in Europe and the U.S. This article by Architectural Digest offers a delicious peek at some of these grand beauties featured in the recently published The Conservatory: Gardens Under Glass.

Jobs for black pots

File this away for next year when you’re out in the garden. It’s a list of nine ways to use those black plastic nursery pots we all accumulate. Using them for quick, instant frost protection in early spring and putting them overtop of plants when applying mulch are my favourites.

Newsletter on holiday haitus

Garden Making’s newsletters will be on haitus for the next few weeks. I’ve enjoyed our Friday meetups here, and look forward to sharing more gardening news and ideas next year. Even though most of us can’t be out in our gardens, I hope you find time this winter to make plans and dream big for next season.

Best wishes to all of you, and a warm thank you for your support and enthusiasm. Look for your next newsletter in January.

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