I’ve been a bit poorly this week. Two days in bed with a virus. Then one day on the sofa; puppy, Meg, on my feet and Grace cat on my knee keeping me toasty warm. Boy did I feel awful. And you can imagine how panicky I was, with so much to do. You can’t exactly put Christmas off for another week! Anyway, I’m always saying for every down there is an up, and a big cheer-me-up arrived in the post, a beautiful huge bright red poinsettia. It’s the biggest brightest poinsettia I’ve ever seen.
I won this gorgeous plant in a prize draw run by the Garden Media Guild and Marks and Spencers. It has 12 red bracts and lovely healthy dark green foliage. I’ve not had flowers or plants from M&S before, but can say wholeheartedly the quality is superb. The plants come well packed in eco friendly cardboard boxes. This one has a pretty wicker basket hiding the plastic plant pot. Plants are nice and fresh. You can tell by looking at the tiny greenish-yellow flowers in the centre of the bracts. If they are open with still some buds to come, then the plant is fresh. If the flowers have all gone over, then the plant will have been hanging around for a lengthy time and will probably be past its best.
I’m going to keep it in a nice warm room at 13C, water it sparingly with tepid tap water and protect it from droughts. It needs bright, filtered light. A windowsill would be too cold as temperatures are likely to drop overnight.
Poinsettias were one of the subjects we talked about on BBC Radio gardening this week. I do a ten minute tip every week, and this time it was how to buy and take care of poinsettias.
You can listen in here : https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/p07v92c9. The section starts at 1. 14. 47 on the timeline.
We also tip out our new potato sacks to see if we have managed to grow anything for Christmas. I am mightily relieved- and amazed to see we have 42 potatoes – grown from three tubers. We started these off the first week of August using special seed potatoes held back for autumn planting.
I write about growing potatoes for Christmas here : https://bramblegarden.com/2019/08/07/im-growing-new-potatoes-for-christmas/
The section on potatoes follows on from the poinsettia at 1.20.21. Do have a listen in and let me know what you think of the idea of growing potatoes for Christmas. I shall definitely be doing it again next year, but with more bags to have a supply right through January. A little bit of success at something is really encouraging, isn’t it.
Here’s some of my just-harvested Charlotte potatoes. They taste so sweet. There’s nothing like that new potatoes taste in the middle of winter to cheer you up no end.
I don’t have to skin them, just give them a quick wash and cook for a few minutes. Smothered in butter and parsley. Salt and pepper. Delicious!
Links: Garden Media Guild https://www.gardenmediaguild.co.uk/
Marks and Spencers https://www.marksandspencer.com/gift-wrapped-poinsettia/p/p21041358
New potato seed : https://taylors-bulbs.com/new-potatoes-in-december-heres-how/
We used Dalefoot compost https://www.dalefootcomposts.co.uk/