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London celebrates finale of nationwide Poinsettia Festival

East London’s famous Brick Lane has enjoyed a poinsettia takeover this week as new London florist duo Princess & Kō have covered the entire front terrace of the area’s popular bar with eye-grabbing poinsettia displays. It’s all to celebrate the grand finale of the UK Poinsettia Fest, a nationwide celebration of the classic Christmas plant.

Poinsettia Fest is an initiative by the UK strand of Stars for Europe; a PR and marketing initiative which promotes the seasonal crop.

For the weekend’s finale, florists David and Elias of Princess & Kō used over 300 crimson poinsettias to create the display on Brick Lane. Their designs acted as a stage for an eclectic mix of live music while the bar celebrated with a special tequila-fuelled #PoinsettiaFest cocktail, since both the plant and the drink hail from Mexico.

Live music was hosted by UK vice-champion ABH Beatbox and featured Latin guitar, Celtic fiddle and jazz sax; all putting the spotlight on poinsettia, giving a modern interpretation to the classic Christmas plant and appealing to young urbanites.

Stars for Europe
Originally founded by European poinsettia breeders Dümmen, Syngenta Seeds, and Selecta Klemm, Stars for Europe began in 2000 with the aim to promote and ensure long-term European poinsettia sales with activities taking place in 16 European countries, some aided by EU funding.

Last year the UK leg of Stars for Europe reached over 380 million people between October and December, through a number of communication channels including newspapers, websites, social media and a range of experiential activities targeting a cross-section of society.

2016 Poinsettia Festival
This year Poinsettia Fest debuted with a number of crafty DIY demonstrations with top florists at garden centres in Edinburgh (Pentland Plants), Staplehurst, Crowborough and Gravesend (Millbrook Garden Centres), Cheshire (Fryer’s Garden Centre), Devon (Fermoy’s Garden Centre) and London. London’s Clifton Nurseries teamed up with celebrity florist Larry Walshe, who decked-out their gorgeous glasshouse from head to foot with lavish poinsettia displays for special events and which remained in place throughout December.

Competition for garden centres
All UK garden centres are still being encouraged to join in with the festivities by entering a #PoinsettiaFest display competition. Stars for Europe are offering an experience voucher worth £500, claimable on a huge array of different activities, to the garden centre with the best in-store poinsettia display. To enter, send photographs of your poinsettia display or poinsettia POS idea (e.g. posters, A-boards, etc.) to Stars for Europe at [email protected], with your name plus the name and address of your business.

Poinsettias for schools
As part of the campaign Stars for Europe also regularly collaborate with The Sun newspaper (circa 5 million readership) to deliver around 1,200 poinsettias to children at 10 different primary schools across the country. Schools apply to win the plants with an alert in the paper, and Stars for Europe then organise the delivery, plus discuss photo opportunities with The Sun’s gardening team, who visit schools during their nativity plays where they’re given out. On many occasions, the children take their plants to their local retirement home where they give poinsettias as gifts to the elderly.

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