|Poinsettia Christmas tree
That's how one gets such perfect looking plants for the Christmas tree, made of poinsettias on a special metal frame.
|Standard poinsettia towering above the rest
At the end of the season, some of the poinsettias are saved for propagation, and some are grown on as standards. They go through a dormant season in which they do not like water much: it is an art to get the balance right so as to keep them alive!
Chrisanthemums go through a very similar propagation process, starting in June when cuttings come in. This year the chosen cultivars are from the 'Perfection' collection, which is bred locally to Woking. Potted four per pot, they are grown to get a single flower per stem, so thinning is required: 5 times during the growing season! P&D are always a problem in the enclosed environment that greenhouses are, but chrysants are a particular concern because, on top of whitefly they suffer from white rust. Also, they are subjected to growth regulation treatment to get uniform height and to stiffen the stems that must bear such heavy flowers: perfect displays demand the adoption of rather extreme measures...
Anyway, we all helped decorate the various sections of the glasshouse, where kids activities for Christmas will be inspired by the Narnia world, and I specifically worked arranging the chrysants' display.
The team was impressed how the look and feel of the place changed by the time we finished, and we definitely all left in a Christmas spirit!
|Chrysants display taking shape