Oh baby! (We've not had some dirty thoughts in such a long time...so be forewarned! After all, wasn’t Santa looking out for nice and naughty?! And isn't that hoary frost on my Euphorbia?!)
It’s that time of year when we’re all rockin’ around the Christmas Tree (or the Hanukkah Bush), having a little egg nog with our Bourbon, and sipping on (more than) a few Pomegranate Martinis. Sip on too many and maybe you might just see that bright red nosed reindeer that Johnny Marks, Jewish-American songwriter, so affectionately called Rudolph, high in the sky!
Or are those red-tips from something else entirely?
Why don’t you just save yourself a not-so-merry little hangover and come on over to my garden instead! Euphorbia x martini Rudolph Waleuphrud is gradually succeeding the Asteraceae family on his way to becoming the star of the winterizing front sun garden—and what a specimen he is! How could he not be?! With Martini in his name and sporty red-tips his game, he offers something for everyone: with circular bracts of joyful apple and lime green florets surrounding stunningly red star-shaped centers in the spring; clumping upright habit of dark green with reddish undertoned evergreen (that is, non-herbaceous) leaves; and red rosettes (like Rudolph's fabled nose!) throughout winter that offer just that dose of holiday cheer we so desperately need during the monotonous pre-snow brown-season, Rudolph adds unexpected joy (unexpected for me, since I fixated on the term “Martini” and conveniently glossed over all other relevant information … “what a lush!” my dear reader must be uttering!).
Rudolph, with your bracts so bright, won’t you guide my garden tonight (and until spring)? [Keep singing...]
Oh how the gardeners love him,
As they shout his name with glee,
Rudolph the red-tipped Euphorbia,
You’ll go down ever so easy!
Uh, yeah, that last line had more to do with my Pomegranate martini than my dear Rudolph…You certainly wouldn’t want to drink him because he is, like all Euphorbias, poisonous—so poisonous in fact that his milky-white liquid on your skin will produce quite the nasty rash!
If he loves you, he’ll do wondrous things before your eyes… like send up this lone and quite unseasonal spike of florets, tempting me towards spring which feels at the moment ever so far away. Any man who brings me cut flowers...well, now... he must be hot for me. (But then again, his red leafed rosettes are not quite as red as the garden guides indicate. True, these things take time, and the process of reddening has only just begun.)
Regardless: I blush with excitement.