Saturday, August 30, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

R-r-red poinsettia

I'm getting picky about poinsettias in my old age. They're everywhere about now, and most of what's out there is pretty pathetic looking. So imagine my delight and surprise to see these during a visit this morning to Longwood Gardens. You know Longwood will have the biggest and best, and despite the excitement over 'Visions of Grandeur,' a creamy yellow-rosy pink one extolled by a freelancer in the paper today, I vote for this one. It's called 'Nutcracker Red,' and it is huge. The blooms are more than a foot across. 'Grandeur' was there, too, and it's really nice; I'm not so stuck on traditional red that I can't appreciate other colors. But most of what I see in that category is washed out, if not when I buy it then certainly after it's been sitting around for a few weeks. Often that's true of the red ones, as well. 'Nutcracker Red' was stunning. Put me in a holiday mood. These days, that's going some.

R-r-red poinsettia

Rosa 'All Ablaze' blazes cherry red in Burke Brothers' Tuscany exhibit, accenting classic Italian elements with bright flowers. (Ron Tarver / Staff photographer)
Rosa 'All Ablaze' blazes cherry red in Burke Brothers' Tuscany exhibit, accenting classic Italian elements with bright flowers. (Ron Tarver / Staff photographer)

I'm getting picky about poinsettias in my old age. They're everywhere about now, and most of what's out there is pretty pathetic looking. So imagine my delight and surprise to see these during a visit this morning to Longwood Gardens. You know Longwood will have the biggest and best, and despite the excitement over 'Visions of Grandeur,' a creamy yellow-rosy pink one extolled by a freelancer in the paper today, I vote for this one. It's called 'Nutcracker Red,' and it is huge. The blooms are more than a foot across. 'Grandeur' was there, too, and it's really nice; I'm not so stuck on traditional red that I can't appreciate other colors. But most of what I see in that category is washed out, if not when I buy it then certainly after it's been sitting around for a few weeks. Often that's true of the red ones, as well. 'Nutcracker Red' was stunning. Put me in a holiday mood. These days, that's going some.

About this blog
Ginny Smith, a Philadelphia native, joined the Inquirer at 1985. After stints as both reporter and editor in the city and suburbs, she’s been happily writing – and learning - about gardening full time since 2006. She’s won two silver medals of achievement from the national Garden Writers Association and in 2011, Bartram’s Garden honored her with its Green Exemplar award for her stories about “the region’s deeply rooted horticultural history, cultural attractions and bountiful gardens.” She plays in her own – mostly - bountiful garden in East Falls. Reach Virginia A. at vsmith@phillynews.com .

Virginia A. Smith Inquirer Staff Writer
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