|Trees & Lights|
They do like Christmas trees at Wickman's. This photo is actually from 2005. We just thought you might like it.
|All Kinds of Goodies|
This year it's a corner chockful of ducks, rabbits, pots, plants, lamps, butterflies, stars, and much, much more, all around the Christmas Tree.
|Redder Than Red|
It may be well be that 'Orion Red' is the reddest of the poinsettias. In any event, it's a vigorous grower, grows in a nice, compact shape, and is terrifically popular as a holiday decoration.
|A Muted Red|
We think this poinsettia might be "Novia Red" or "Mars Red." Varietal differences are important to growers but not so much to ordinary folk, who normally buy for the eye.
This remarkable poinsettia is Monet Twilight, a favorite of many, and please include us. We love it and we also like that its coloring is often described as "cream with raspberry flecks."
With our flash, the uppermost flowers of the light poinsettia are a bit washed out, but the smaller leaves of cream with the pink blush show the true colors of the variety called Puebla. We know, the "flowers" aren't really flowers, they're bracts, modified leaves that encircle the true flowers. In poinsettias, the true flowers are eensy-bitsy, you might say.
We'd never seen a large poinsettia with a prettier shape or neater blossoms that this one. We think it's 'Orion Red' and love the way it's overflowing its container.
|A Winter Rose|
It's said about this unique poinsettia that people either love it or hate it. To be sure, it's anything but traditional. Its bracts are curved inward and more globular than flat, like other poinsettias. Their rose-like character accounts for the variety name--Winter Rose.
In the poinsettia world, it gets no whiter than the Whitestar.
|A Burgundy Poinsettia|
Among the more unusual new poinsettia hybrids is this prize with burgundy colors. It's name? "Cortez Burgundy."
Poinsettias with pink and white marbeling always have "Marble" in the variety name. This one is Jester Marble. Interesting, no?
Silverstar Marble is another pink 'n white beauty, with creamy-edged pink leaves and variegated foliage.
|A Green Poinsettia?|
We're not sure what causes it, but the bracts of this poinsettia are a very pale green. There is a green variety called "Limelight," but this isn't it. We understand that some poinsettias go through a green phase while growing. In any event, we like it.
|Christmas Cactuses, er, Cacti|
Wow. Look at these. Have you ever? Christmas cacti have so many botanical names we won't get into it, but we can tell you that they're members of the Zygocactus family and are really epiphytes, plants that in their native habitat grow on other plants but are not parasitic. They do so well in containers (if given sufficient water and protected from drafts) that they're sometimes passed down from generation to generation. So much for that. What really matters is that modern hybridizers are, as you can see, producing breathtaking colors.
We've no idea of the varietal name for this prize. We just loved its subtle blend of pale pink, white, and salmon.
Wickman's also grows some gorgeous orchids.
Just as we were leaving Wickman's greenhouse, we noticed this remarkable little planting of cyclamen. A nice touch, no?
|A Tree With a Story|
The Christmas trees Wickman's Garden Village sells each Christmas are Fraser's Firs (A. Fraseri), according to manager Nikki Petitt. Fraser's Firs are considered outstanding choices for Christmas trees by virtue of an exceptional fragrance, neat and attractive appearance, and the fact that they keep their soft needles longer than other conifers. Note: The Fraser's Fir native range in the southern Appalachian Mountains is so limited that their native survival is gravely threatened by a combination of acid rain and the Wooly Adelgid sucking insect. Ironically, the tree's commercial farming to provide Christmas and landscape trees very well may save it from extinction.
The time-honored, traditional poinsettia.