Poinsettia star of Belgravia
London’s Belgravia is never short on bling, but it has gained some extra sparkle this Christmas thanks to a giant poinsettia star created by celebrity florist Neill Strain.
Made from 500 individual bracts taken from 150 poinsettias, the installation was created to celebrate International Poinsettia Day on December 12th and to show a different side to this quintessential Christmas plant.
Neill, whose clients include Lady Gaga and Joan Collins, says:” I think poinsettias have a stigma attached to them and people think of them as gifts that you buy for your grandmother for Christmas. We want to show how to use a very traditional flower in a very contemporary way.”
“Also, a lot of people don’t think of poinsettias as cut flowers, they think of them as plants. We’re here to make people see them in a different way,” he added.Poinsettia bracts will last for several weeks as cut flowers if the ends of the stems are seared in a candle flame for about ten seconds before use, he advised.
Neill also created a range of designs for the home to showcase poinsettias’ versatility. These included table settings and wreaths with skimmia, blue pine, eucalyptus, tree ivy and holly and bracts floating in bowls of water.
The star is not the first eye-catching installation to appear outside Neill’s boutique. A Valentine’s Day heart, made entirely from roses, has become an established photo opportunity for romantic couples. Other floral creations have included a giant crown for the Royal Wedding and an enormous Union Jack for the Diamond Jubilee.
Neill Strain Floral Couture is at The Flower Lounge, 11 West Halkin Street, Belgrave Square, London SW1X8JL, http://neillstrain.com/. For more information,advice and creative ideas for poinsettias, visit www.christmas-star.info