Village Green Featured

January 2023
From the Road: Garden centers provide holiday inspiration By Abby McGarry

Illinois IGCs Village Green and Gensler Gardens have photo-worthy displays for the season and beyond.

There’s no better place to be than home for the holidays, but after moving back to my hometown earlier this year, this Christmastime phrase takes on a whole new meaning. I took the opportunity to visit some IGC favorites from a dozen years ago with a whole new lens. And let me tell you, they have some great ideas for the holidays and year-round.

Village Green

Rockford, Illinois

Get Creative

Village Green Plant BarVillage Green Small Pots Village Green Plant Bar Rules

In fall 2022, Village Green introduced The VG Plant Bar at both its garden center locations. This DIY planting space lets customers create from scratch with in-store materials, or they can bring their own plants from home for repotting. The space is even BYOB, making it a fun group activity.

Ready for Social

Village Green Selfie Station Village Green Selfie StationVillage Green Selfie Station

The VG Selfie Station looks picture perfect for the holidays, but the faux sedum wall and neon lights offer the perfect background for photos during spring, summer, and fall too. Customers choose a prop (if they wish), strike a pose in front of the tablet and ring light, and then choose how to send or share their photos.

 A Community Staple

Village Green Candle Partnership

Village Green partnered with a local manufacturer of soy candles to create its signature scent: Holiday by VG.

Village Green Apparel

Garden center apparel can also be seen around town in a variety of styles.

Village Green Events

During the holiday season, Village Green hosts several events, such as a Holiday Reveal Party, numerous workshops on site and at local restaurants, and pet photos benefitting PAWS Humane Society. 

Beatrice camper book

Beatrice the camper, seen above all decked out for the holidays, has a story all it’s own. Author Lori Helke wrote a children’s book about Beatrice that can be purchased at Village Green, along with a camping journal and logbook.

Container Artistry

Village Green Sugar Plum FairyVillage Green larry's favorite

Village Green provides holiday container recipes with yuletide-worthy names and others that showcase employee creations.

Make an Entrance

Village Green Feature Photo

Gensler Gardens

Loves Park, Illinois

One-of-a-Kind Creations

Gensler Gardens Holiday Containers Gensler Gardens Holiday Containers Gensler Gardens Holiday ContainersGensler Gardens Holiday Containers

Gensler Gardens is a “Santa’s workshop” when it comes time for the holidays, with the garden center staff designing and creating all its arrangements from scratch at a variety of price points, from small evergreens for the perfect hostess gift to wreaths to hanging baskets to large centerpieces.

Snap a Photo

Gensler Gardens Holiday Photo Opportunity

A showstopping sleigh surrounded by poinsettias, packages and trees welcomes customers into the garden center and provides a great photo opportunity for customers shopping anytime during the season or attending the Holiday Open House. 

Gift Displays

Gensler Gardens Gift Department Gensler Gardens Gift Department

Gensler Gardens Ribbon

Gensler Gardens’ large gift department for the holidays has visual interest from floor to ceiling, while artificial trees inside are adorned with the handcrafted bows that can be found on live material as well.

Embracing Whimsy

Gensler Gardens CeilingSanta Tree Gensler GardensGensler Gardens adds fun elements from floor to ceiling including “elf surveillance” above the cash wraps.

For an enhanced reading experience, view this article in our digital edition.

Abby McGarry

Abby McGarry is the editorial director of Lawn & Garden Retailer and GPN. She can be reached at [email protected].