Gladness in the Flames

November 27, 2015

“We must have the stubbornness to accept our gladness in the ruthless furnace of the world.”
— Jack Gilbert, poet

Poinsettia, sometimes called Mexican flame leaf

Poinsettia, sometimes called Mexican flame leaf

Poinsettias at Swansons Nursery, Seattle

Poinsettias at Swansons Nursery, Seattle




“It is Christmas in the heart that puts Christmas in the air.”
— W. T. Ellis

Poinsettias for sale at Swansons Nursery

“Christmas waves a magic wand over this world, and behold, everything is softer and more beautiful.”
— Norman Vincent Peale

I try not to get stressed with all of the messages crying buy, buy, buy during the holiday season.  But I have to admit that I appreciate the colors, lights, and scents of baking and pine trees during this most dark time of the year.  I can hardly imagine what December would be like without the glitz, commercial or not.

So I made a pilgrimage to Swansons Nursery in Seattle to feed my eyes on the reds and greens of the season.  The poinsettias alone offer such a variety of colors that put Christmas in the air.

Pretty pink poinsettias

Red poinsettias speckled white

Mostly white with a valley of pale pink

Pretty in pink

Poinsettia display at Swansons Nursery

“It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas,
Everywhere you go . . .”
— Meredith Wilson

It’s fun going to nurseries to see all of the holiday greens and home decor items.  Here are some more photos from Molbak’s Nursery.

Flocked pinecone and pine needles

Ribbon candy ornaments

Poinsettia teapot


Molbak's Annual Festival of Poinsettias

Molbak's tree made of poinsettias -- a great spot for holiday photos

 Molbak’s Nursery in Woodinville hosts an Annual Festival of Poinsettias, with over 25 varieties of these traditional holiday flowers.  It’s a lovely destination guaranteed to lift your spirits with color during the dark days of November and December.  I’ve already gone twice this year.

Here are just some of the poinsettia varieties I captured in photos and watercolors:

Watercolor sketch of poinsettia petals

Red Glitter poinsettia

Strawberries and Cream poinsettias

I didn't get the name of this creamy poinsettia.

Carousel Dark Red

Ice Punch Marble

Prestige Maroon

Christmas Angel Marbella

Watercolor sketch of Christmas Angel Marbella Poinsettia

The local nurseries are especially festive this time of year.  Here are some photos taken at Swanson’s Nursery in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle:

Shopping for a wreath

Live reindeer at Swanson's Nursery

Camel at Swanson's Nursery

Pink poinsettias

White poinsettias

Red poinsettia

Santa ornaments

Red ribbon

Young shopper at Swanson's Nursery

Season's greeting sign

Poinsettia Festival

December 16, 2009

Red poinsettia at Molbak's Nursery

Red poinsettia

Pink poinsettia

Pink and white poinsettias

This weekend I made a trip to Molbak’s Nursery in Woodinville with my sister and brother-in-law.  The nursery is thoroughly decked out for the holiday season, and it is a very worthwhile destination for a holiday excursion.  I particularly enjoyed the tables full of poinsettias in many colors of red, pink, and white.  We don’t have poinsettias in our home because we don’t want our cat to chew on them, so I tried to get my fill of their beauty while I was at Molbak’s.

Botanical print of poinsettia

When I got home, I searched the internet for botanical prints of poinsettias, or euphorbia pulcherrimas.  I found this one at