December 2, 2010

I hope that everyone had a blessed Thanksgiving! Hard to believe it is December already, but because we awoke to a half-inch of snow this morning and it stuck around all day, it’s sinking in pretty quickly. Nothing like a little snow to put you in the mood for the holidays!

While my folks were here for the turkey celebration, we hit up a few of our favorite local garden centers in hopes of finding some good holiday bargains. The first store (Sewickley Creek Greenhouses) has been a relatively new find of mine even though it’s super-close to my house. They have beautiful annuals and perennials during the growing season and when I saw an ad (with several holiday coupons included!) in our local paper, I decided we had to make a trip. So glad we did! The place was filled with decorated trees, ornaments, classic kids’ toys, greens, wreaths, candles and lots of terrific hostess gifts. I bought some garden-related ornaments for a gift exchange I have in a few weeks and some toys for my nieces.

Our second stop (Quality Gardens) is another new find of mine. In late summer, I was at the paint store to pick up some wallpaper border for my son’s room when I saw a pick-up truck in the parking lot with some gorgeous, old, wrought-iron fencing in the back. I was a bit worried that it was headed off to the dump, so I waited for the guy to come out of the store in hopes of convincing him to let me have the fencing rather than taking it to the scrap yard or worse! When I asked him about it he told me he was taking it to this nursery that uses unusual salvaged building materials in their displays and about all the interesting plant material they have, as well. 

I visited once this fall and got some terrific end-of-the-season garden bargains. My mom and I were excited to go back and see what they had for the holidays. While they didn’t have a ton of ornaments and decorations, they did have an entire greenhouse filled with poinsettias, cyclamen, succulents, kalanchoe, houseplants and bonsai trees. So beautiful! And, to make the day really shine, all their glazed terra-cotta pots were half off! I ended up getting two new square, brown pots for our back patio and a lovely celadon-green planter for a friend’s Christmas present.

Spending Black Friday at these two garden shops was way, way better than heading to the mall. It really put me in the holiday spirit without breaking the bank. If you haven’t seen what your local nursery has for the holidays, head on over. Even if you don’t buy, I guarantee you’ll leave with a sense of peace that can only come from being in a glasshouse surrounded by green (and a little red, too!).   

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