Hortense Hoelove has returned just in time to answer a few questions of the season!
Dear Hortense Hoelove,
I recently sent some flowers to someone to cheer them up. While deciding what to order, I looked at some arrangements which included lovely foliage plants with cut flowers mixed in and thought how if I ordered those, I might be asked to take the foliage plants at some point. You see, the recipient isn’t one to have a bunch of houseplants, so she would be looking for someone to take the plants off her hands once the cut flowers had wilted. Thus, ordering a planter seemed like it would give me something, too, eventually.
Is it wrong to think this way?
I can certainly understand your desire to put yourself in a position to get some “free” foliage plants. However, this kind of plant lust could backfire on you. After all, what if the recipient decided to give the plants to someone else instead of you? I would stick with giving flowers that you think the giver would want to receive and go buy your own houseplants.
Is there a holiday decorating scheme or occasion for which painted poinsettias would be appropriate? I’ve seen some for sale this past week and have been trying to think how or when to use them, and I keep drawing a blank. I figured if anyone would know where and how to use painted poinsettias, it would be you, dear Hortense.
No, there is no decorating scheme or holiday occasion for which a painted poinsettia is appropriate. Poinsettias should be enjoyed in their natural colors, which basically are anything in the “red” color spectrum, ranging from red to pink to cream.
Seeing red over painted poinsettias,
Real or fake?
Real or fake what? I can only assume that you are referring to Christmas trees when you ask that question at this time of the year. While I generally like to see real trees, I understand the convenience of artificial (the term I prefer over fake) trees and I admit that I have one. They do have some advantages – they don’t dry out, don’t require you to keep them watered, and often come with the lights already attached. However, what do you do with them when you grow tired of them? You throw them out and then forever more, they exist in a landfill.
Real trees, on the other hand, are a renewable resource that can be composted after the holiday season. However, they can dry out prematurely, becoming a fire hazard, and require watering for as long as they are inside. They also never come with lights installed. In addition, some people with allergies may not be able to enjoy a real tree indoors.
In the end, each person needs to weigh these factors for themselves. If you do decide on a real tree, follow the Christmas tree buying advice from the Hoosier Gardener, and remember…
Whether real or fake, a Christmas tree isn’t fully decorated until it has a little hoe on it.