Poinsettia show floods Botanical Gardens with color

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) –  The Buffalo and Erie County Botanical Gardens are always full of life, and this time of year, they’re even more bright and merry.

The annual poinsettia show runs from Thanksgiving to New Years. Director of Horticulture Jeff Thompson is one of the staff members who decides on the designs.

“It’s always kind of a happy time, people are really excited to see this kind of display, it puts them in the spirit,” he told News 4. “As soon as we get the structure up, we start bringing the plants in, and we flood the place with color,” he said.

The show features more than 3000 poinsettia plants. They’ve been here since the summertime waiting to make their debut.

“The poinsettias actually arrive here from a local grower in July. So we grow them all the way from up until the point where the show starts. They use the plants as a base, and then bring different themes into each room of the building,” Thomson said. “This is a show we really look forward to doing because there is such a great amount of plant material that we get to use for our pallet and really design some interesting things.

There’s a giant snowflake mobile in the palm dome when you first walk in. A few rooms down, you feel like you’re in a tropical version of the North Pole.

“It’s kind of a magic little room for families and children. This will be the room that Santa Claus is in as well.”

Later on, you’ll see colors you’ve probably never seen before.

“We used a new variety of poinsettia. So you can see there’s a marbled kind of look to this poinsettia,” Thompson said.

You’ll be enchanted by moving train sets and a mini world of Harry Potter. Then you’ll laugh when you get to the cacti house, where the prickly plants are all decked out and saying, “feliz navidad!”

Jeff worked hard on this display, but he still feels the magic every time he sees it. And he hopes visitors will too.

“That’s what we shoot for,” he said. “That’s what we’re really trying to do, is get the people inspired. You know, this year there’s no snow, and it doesn’t really look much like Christmas, so, every year, we have Christmas here.”

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