January 2017
Red, Green and Evergreen By Abby (Kleckler) McGarry

Independent garden centers in Louisiana and East Texas were ready for the 2016 holiday season. See ideas from these retailers’ Christmas shops and greenhouses before you plan for 2017.

Ellis Home & Garden

Bossier City, Louisiana

At this Ellis Home & Garden location, live trees were visible from the busy street with the “Ellis Tree Farm” set up in the parking lot.

Each tree was given its very own name, a fun component to the shopping experience especially when young ones come along for the ride. The store also offered shoppers the option to have their trees delivered for $30 per tree.

Inside the store, Ellis Home & Garden also does a huge artificial tree business, and there are plenty of holiday-themed plants for impulse purchases.

Classes take place year-round at this location, but they are extra popular around the holidays. The design team leads classes, which customers pay for in advance and normally walk out with double that value of merchandise. The idea is to get people to return.

Akin’s Nursery and Landscape Co.

Shreveport, Louisiana

Akin’s Nursery and Landscape Co. was prepping for its Red, Green and Evergreen event when Lawn & Garden Retailer visited. The event has live trees, poinsettias, holiday deals and a visit from Santa.

The garden center entrance was full of holiday merchandise with a new shipment of pottery catching the eye right as shoppers walked through the front door and tabletop trees with ornaments underneath to get people to shop right away.

Throughout the store, Paperwhites bulbs that just need water were wrapped in festive ribbon and positioned as perfect grab-and-go gift options.

Ellis Home & Garden

Longview, Texas

At Ellis Home & Garden stores Christmas starts to appear as early as June. Separate vignettes were created to look like different rooms shoppers would find in their homes. From whimsical styles to traditional decorations or typical Southern designs, there was something for everyone.

The custom designs team, Designs by Ellis, transformed trees, faux fireplaces and mock porches to provide inspiration for all areas.

Signage throughout promoted Ellis Home & Garden’s newest offering for 2017: interior design services, where the staff would go out and decorate a customer’s home.

Customization was also key with the company’s free holiday giveaway meant to increase a customer’s ticket (over $100). Each designer signed the bell swags they crafted to add personalization.

Garrison’s Home & Garden Showplace

Shreveport, Louisiana

In the gift shop area of Garrison’s Home & Garden Showplace, an arbor acted as an entry point to holiday-specific ideas.

One of the company’s latest additions is its miniature gardening tabletop display, which they changed out for the season.

Also, to help solve the challenge of small inventory, Garrison’s put like pieces together in separate drawers. The staff could easily change the chalkboard fronts depending on the time of year and the inventory in stock.

Ellis Home & Garden

Shreveport, Louisiana

Ellis Home & Garden operates a number of temporary locations throughout the year. This location in particular is open for the months leading up to Christmas, again in spring and then around New Year’s Eve and the Fourth of July for the company’s fireworks business.


Televisions throughout the store showed how to create the perfect wreath, set up the perfect light display or execute a number of other product-specific demonstrations.

Also, signage throughout every Ellis Home & Garden location notified shoppers of a $500 shopping spree to be drawn on Dec. 1. The company got many people to provide email addresses for its loyalty program (a requirement for entry) and also drummed up huge buzz on the company’s social media channels.

Lex Plant Farm

Shreveport, Lousiana

Christmas trees were just arriving as Lawn & Garden Retailer visited Lex Plant Farm. The staff was putting together their own stands and bowls for the trees.

Also, Lex Plant Farm thought about other items that could make great holiday gifts. Surrounded by pecan orchards, it makes sense that people come to the garden center to buy the nuts.

Looking for more inspiration?

Lawn & Garden Retailer saw a lot more than just holiday ideas when visiting Louisiana and East Texas. Take a look at this photo captured at The Home and Garden Center of Longview, Texas.

Visit www.lgrmag.com/inspirationbook for hundreds of ideas from garden centers across the country.

Abby (Kleckler) McGarry

Abby (Kleckler) McGarry is the managing editor of Lawn & Garden Retailer. Contact her at [email protected].


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