Happy Poinsettia Day!

By an Act of Congress, December 12 was set aside as National Poinsettia Day. The date marks the death of Joel Roberts Poinsett, who is credited with introducing the native Mexican plant to the United States. The purpose of the day is to enjoy the beauty of this popular holiday plant.  Here’s a brief history of the Ecke Ranch here in San Diego County where more than 75% of U.S. and 50% of worldwide poinsettia plants get their start.

Here are some links with interesting and fun facts about poinsettia:


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Dinner Conversation for the Family on Thanksgiving

Do you know the difference between Sweet Potatoes and Yams?  They are both edible tubers; otherwise, they have very little in common.

Just a little educational trivia to throw into the mix when that certain family member starts to steer the topic at the dinner table into those toxic zones of religion, politics or philosophy!     Yams vs sweet potatoes and a little history.

Happy Thanksgiving!  🙂

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Know Your Zone

Plant Zones – are you confused? Me, too. Who can remember all this stuff?!  This should help.

I’m a 10 (in my dreams!) and a 24. More specifically, I live in Zone 10 in USDA Plant Hardiness Zones and Zone 24 in the Sunset Garden Climate Zones. The difference is that the U.S.D.A. maps tell you only where a plant may survive the winter; Sunset climate zones show where that plant will thrive year-round. Sunset also takes other factors into account: latitude, elevation, ocean influence, mountains, hills, and valleys.



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A morning at the Botanical Garden

Yesterday morning I spent a few hours doing Master Gardener volunteer time at the Botanical Garden Building in Balboa Park. Sunday mornings are quiet and it was a treat to hang out in this historic building surrounded by beautiful plants. The place was decked out with red and yellow poinsettias for the holidays which only added to the experience. Built in 1915, this building is one of the largest lath structures in the world.

Holiday spirit at the Botanical Garden

The bromiliads on the west end of the building were very interesting and more appealing to me than I thought they would be. I have not had good luck with bromiliads and have sent a lot of them to bromiliad heaven. At Balboa Park I can enjoy all the varieties they are growing.
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Orchids were pretty, too.
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The people watching was fun. It was quite the entourage of families getting Christmas card pictures taken in front of the poinsettias. A lot of Europeans visited. An entertaining moment came when a little boy ended up in the little pond. He was no worse for wear. His mother was right there and fished him out, but he was covered in pond scum and was not a happy camper. I was tempted to yell, “Clean-up in Aisle 6!” but I kept my mouth shut. 😉

One of the specimens in the building is a Deppia splendens. Native to Mexico, this plant is extinct in the wild, but is propagated widely, so it’s not going away anytime soon. Pretty blooms….

Deppea splendens 'Aguston'

What a spectacular place!

A peaceful Sunday morning

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