Holidays in the Garden State
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Atlantic Nursery & Garden Shop
Freeport, New York
Each scene at Atlantic Nursery & Garden Shop was unique. A tree bark shower curtain offered an inexpensive backdrop for a woodland holiday, while fabric, wallpaper and a faux fireplace made other spaces cozy. With every bow, wreath and garland throughout the store handcrafted, it was important to display signs to tell customers they can customize.
Sea Girt, New Jersey
Pine cones are hard to price out, but a Fill-A-Bag bar at Barlow’s made shopping easy while becoming a focal point. Mini poinsettias in a festive container made for a quick grab-and-go option, while deciding on a custom bow also was simplified with each ribbon priced per yard and examples of each size on display. A minimal effort photo booth with wood, wrapping paper and evergreens gave people a place to snap a picture and share their time at Barlow’s.
Westbury, New York
From the moment you entered into Hicks Nurseries, you could tell it was Christmas with images and garland off the ceiling to poinsettias at eye level. “The Spirit of Christmas” animated walkthrough was a free activity meant especially for the children in the group, as was Santa’s Mailbox where kids would get mail back from Santa. What looked like window frames made the perfect backdrop for various wreaths.
Manahawkin, New Jersey
Reynolds has a relatively small space but really amped it up for the holidays. A wreath wall draws your attention while still in the parking lot, and then fun displays and poinsettias on a ladder keep you shopping in the greenhouse. The store’s tagline also gained my attention: “A Garden Lifestyle for All Four Seasons.”
Fairfield Garden Center
Fairfield, New Jersey
At Fairfield Garden Center, trees hung from the greenhouse structure, and each post along the way had reminders for tree bags and the company’s 50th anniversary. Adding burlap created living decorations perfect for customers to keep for themselves or give as a gift. Indoors, a huge lighting section allowed shoppers to see what the Christmas lights would look like in or outside their homes.
Somers Point, New Jersey
It’s hard to see green when you first walk into a garden center in November, but McNaughton’s Gardens accomplished this with houseplants and poinsettias. It also partnered with the Gaudio’s “G” Boys to create an animation wonderland in the store for adults and children to walk through for a small fee. Some scenes were sponsored by local businesses and others showcased this year’s Batman theme. In addition to Santa visits, McNaughton’s also brings in face painting and pony rides.
Freehold, New Jersey
With more than 40,000 square feet of Christmas, there was no shortage of things to look at, and buy, at Brock Farms. Two things that caught my eye were the intricate garlands wrapped around every doorframe and the toy soldiers standing at attention to give the Christmas tree lot that little something extra.
Kale’s Nursery & Landscape Service
Princeton, New Jersey
Every area of Kale’s Nursery & Landscape Service received a holiday makeover including the birding department, complete with bird-themed trees, and the ceiling, which had garland and ornaments hanging throughout. A fireplace facade with a box of wood sat right next to Santa’s chair for when he comes to visit the garden center, and fabric on the walls, such as this holly pattern, differentiated each space.
Bob’s Garden Center
Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey
Driving down the street, it was hard to miss Bob’s Garden Center, decked out with bright snowflakes and dozens of inflatables. Once inside, the gift area was beyond impressive, and from that department you had a straight view of a cyclamen display with Santa Claus drawing shoppers into the greenhouse. A large miniature gardening display encouraged an update for winter, while staff were easily accessible with special uniforms for the season.
Looking for more inspiration?
There’s only so much we can fit within the pages of the magazine, but we visited even more stops on hour holiday garden center trip such as those shown here. Get online and visit www.lgrmag.com/inspirationbook for hundreds of ideas from garden centers across the country.