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Red, white & blue; Park Greenhouse has a poinsettia for you
Sharon Fields, Rosemary Hein, and Linda Medler of Del Webb at Woodbridge in Manteca avoid the shopping rush for poinsettias at Park Greenhouse Nursery in Ripon last week.

When it comes to buying plants, Rosemary Hein of Manteca has one basic requirement: quality.

"It's the quality of their plants," she said, which is her main reason for patronizing Park Greenhouse Nursery in Ripon.

"They are beautiful!" seconded Hein's friends Sharon Fields and Linda Medler. The three are from Del Webb in Manteca and are regular customers at Park Greenhouse.

The wholesale and retail business has been a part of this quiet city, known throughout the Golden State and the United States — as well as the world for its annual Almond Blossom Festival in the spring — for more than half a century. As a retail business, its popularity peaks during the holiday season, specifically, during Thanksgiving and Christmas for one particular reason: its poinsettias. If you happen to purchase one at a store near you such as Home Depot, chances are your plant was grown at Park Greenhouse.

While the red variety is always the biggest seller, there are several others that are visually satisfying in terms of color, arrangement, and presentation. There are seven colors to choose from this year, ranging from salmon, blue, white, pink, and of course, the traditional red.

Those looking for glitter to match their Christmas lights indoor and outdoor will find these selections with sprayed ice crystals among the salmon and blue poinsettias. Dish garden presentations are a really big hit for customers this year. As far as varieties are concerned, it's the Jubilee Jingle Bells that mark their first appearance this season.

This week is the best time to buy your poinsettia plant decorations, as is always the case every year. The nursery is holding a special sale starting Wednesday through the weekend. Chances are, the poinsettias will be sold out if you wait until the last minute.

The special sale will be held Wednesday through Saturday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. for poinsettias and gifts. The store is closed on Sundays.

Park Greenhouse Nursery is located on West Ripon Road just before you get to the city proper on your way to town.

You can also reach the nursery by taking the Jack Tone exit off of Highway 99 and turning right then traveling to Main Street at the signal. Main Street turns into West Ripon Road. The nursery is a half mile from the signal on the right side of the street.