poinsettia hangover

I was up early with the possums this morning after Christmas.


Seconds before we startled each other, my attentions had been directed at the Euphorbia milii, or Crown of Thorns, on the other side of the hedge.


A couple neighbors have outlined their front lawns and walkways with extensive potted collections of this euphorbia. An interesting choice for a collection.


Apart from the very scary thorns, I suppose I can see the attraction. Tough, drought tolerant. Blooms in an array of colors.


What really had me up early, prowling the still-drowsy neighborhood like my possum friend, was another euphorbia, the large poinsettia trees a couple streets over.


There’s a rare, concentrated mood in a neighborhood just after a holiday, just beginning to dissolve away until it rebuilds next year, but still palpable, especially before sunrise. Most days, it’s anyone’s guess what occupies my neighbors’ hearts and minds. The possible range of concerns is too vast to fathom. Whether we’re happy, sad, or indifferent to the winter holidays, they have the unique ability to narrow that range for a brief time, and that overlap of shared concerns can be very warming indeed.


Think of these poinsettias as visual “hair of the dog” for the holidays.


Although belated, the very warmest season’s greetings!

This entry was posted in Plant Portraits, pots and containers, The Hortorialist and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to poinsettia hangover

  1. Pam/Digging says:

    And a happy New Year to you, Denise!

  2. That is a beautiful tree (or trees), how large is it? I don’t think I’d want one in my garden but sure would love to have one in the neighborhood.

    Hope you and your family had a wonderful holiday and the best for you in 2012!

  3. Grace says:

    Your possum friend–I’ve never seen a black and white version before. He’s quite handsome in his own right. I do love those poinsettias. Gorgeous photos!

  4. A poinsettia tree is a surprising concept. I guess I always imagined them as a small-to-medium shrub. Maybe this one was originally domesticated, then released into the wild. Another fun example of what California living can bless you with.

    I hope your Christmas was blessed with warmth and joy, Denise!

  5. David says:

    We have resident opposums in our garden as well although I don’t usually say ‘I woke up with the opposums…” That was funny.
    And since they don’t bother the garden or the chickens, so they can stay.
    I love that Poinsettia tree and yes, Season’s Greetings and have a Happy New Year. Nice post.

  6. Denise says:

    Pam, happy new year and good luck with all your exciting projects.
    Loree, this is more a multi-stemmed shrub than a tree, about 8 to 10 feet, but very lanky so it gives a tree-like appearance.
    Grace, I so seldom see possums, I didn’t know this guy was in a fancy tuxedo!
    Jane, I was surprised how well they bloomed this year. They get totally neglected. Euphorbs are a tough clan!
    David, I guess it’s a variant of waking up with the chickens. In any case, we were the only ones out and about.
    Happy new year to all of you. You made 2011 such fun.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *