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Kids have Palmer Home greenhouses decked in red

 

From left, Chloe, 14, Kimberly, 16, Carl, 15, Trip, 15, and Ann Grace, 12, check some of the 3,700 poinsettia plants Wednesday they help tend at Palmer Home's Hope Grows greenhouses in Columbus. Plants are now available for purchase at the greenhouses or online.

From left, Chloe, 14, Kimberly, 16, Carl, 15, Trip, 15, and Ann Grace, 12, check some of the 3,700 poinsettia plants Wednesday they help tend at Palmer Home's Hope Grows greenhouses in Columbus. Plants are now available for purchase at the greenhouses or online. Photo by: Deanna Robinson/Dispatch Staff

 

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Stephanie and Casey, both 16, pull plastic covers over poinsettias at Palmer Home Wednesday. The plants are completely shaded at night for eight weeks beginning early October.

Stephanie and Casey, both 16, pull plastic covers over poinsettias at Palmer Home Wednesday. The plants are completely shaded at night for eight weeks beginning early October.
Photo by: Deanna Robinson/Dispatch Staff

 

Mary Tuggle

Mary Tuggle

 

 

Jan Swoope

 

 

Palmer Home for Children's 11 greenhouses on the Columbus campus are adorned in festive red, each filled with hundreds of poinsettias grown for the Christmas season. In all, they total 3,700 plants available for purchase for everything from a thoughtful gift to sanctuary decor. The major fundraiser helps provide a nurturing, Christian residential environment for children. 

 

"This was just dirt when we put it in here," said 15-year-old Carl, lifting up one of the full, showy plants in its 6 1/2-inch pot. He's one in the team of teens who have tended the poinsettias that first arrived in mid-August as cuttings only a few inches long. Palmer Home Greenhouse and Garden Manager Mary Tuggle oversees the operation that teaches the students not only horticulture, but responsibility, too. 

 

"It good for learning patience and commitment," said Trip, 15. He's up soon after 5 a.m. every morning to join other helpers in pulling back long, black plastic covers that cloak the plants every night from street and car lights, for best development.  

 

"Starting around the first of October, they're shaded for eight weeks, from dark to daylight," Tuggle explained. "The students have to be here every night and every morning at dark-thirty, seven days a week. They take ownership: It teaches them team work, job skills, to be on time, to follow up -- it's life skills." 

 

All the diligent control of light, water, fertilizer and air circulation has produced the mass of poinsettias available at Palmer Home's Hope Grows greenhouses near the corner of Ninth Street South and 11th Avenue South between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, or online at palmerhome.org/poinsettias/. Plants are $18 each, available in a choice of gold or moss green foil.  

 

"We can deliver to any site within a 120-mile radius of Palmer Home's Columbus campus with a purchase of five or more plants to a single location," Tuggle said. "If you want a dedicated delivery, we'd like to have the order by Thanksgiving so I can plug it in while a truck's going that way."  

 

Free deliveries may be requested for the weeks of Nov. 27-Dec. 1, Dec. 4-8 or Dec. 11-15. 

 

For more information, visit palmerhome.org/poinsettias/ or contact Palmer Home at 855-672-5637.

 

Jan Swoope is the Lifestyles Editor for The Commercial Dispatch.

 

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