'We're pretty festive,' greenhouse grower says of 50,000 poinsettias
BROOKFIELD, N.S. -- It's not Christmas season until the poinsettias hit the market.
While this flower is native to Mexico, it's getting festive at Forest Glen– a family-run greenhouse in Brookfield, N.S.
Starting Friday -- Forest Glen Greenhouses has opened its doors to anyone looking to walk through this winter wonderland and pick out their perfect poinsettia.
Nestled within the rolling hills of Nova Scotia's Colchester County is a collection of poinsettias that would impress Santa himself.
"We grow roughly 50,000 plants and they come in in July, so they're a long crop for us," said Judy Thompson of Forest Glen Greenhouses.
Forest Glen Greenhouses has been supplying a local grocery giant with the festive flowers for 25 years.
The plant has been a Christmas staple for decades, and legend has it, a poor Mexican girl picked a handful of roadside weeds to give baby Jesus. Once she placed the bouquet by the nativity the weeds suddenly turned into beautiful red flowers.
To this day, the bright red colours fill many homes over the holiday season.
"We're pretty festive starting right after Remembrance Day and this weekend really kicks it off for all of us here," said Megan Thompson Whidden of Forest Glen Greenhouses.
The Thompsons started opening their greenhouse to the public 11 years ago. For one weekend of the year, people can come pick the perfect poinsettias. Since then the annual event continues to grow with thousands of people coming every year.
"When we work with them every day you don't appreciate the beauty within so to hear the comments of the people wandering through and how overwhelmed they are," Thompson said. "It's the start of their Christmas season to come here and wander through the poinsettias; you see it from a different light."
Red poinsettias aren't the only colour available here, but they're the most popular, taking over 90 per cent of production.
The Thompsons began shipping the plants last week, and they'll continue to do so until mid-December.
"We're a smaller group at this time of year so we turn the Christmas music on," Thompson Whidden said. "We package the poinsettias almost like a Christmas gift with wrapping and sparkles, so it really gets us in to the Christmas spirit."
Walking through the greenhouse is like walking in a winter wonderland of a different sort -- rows upon rows, of pretty poinsettias.