Monday, November 24, 2008
Remember the 1992 Barcelona Olympics, and the USA Dream Team? At the time, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson and Charles Barkley showed the world just how far ahead the U.S. was in the realm of basketball. If there was a garden center dream team, Homestead Gardens would be in the starting five and in line for a gold medal.
The size of Homestead is one thing, but it's what they're doing under their roofs that's something worthy of it's own HGTV show.
When you walk through the front doors, the first thing you notice is a runway of main-aisle that gives you an unobstructed view all the way to the back door. Dave Hanger, Homestead Gardens General Manager, said it gives the retail space a racetrack layout, which leads shoppers to everypart of the interior property. He compared it to Target's main, 15 foot aisle that runs throughout the store.
The space at Homestead Gardens is second to none and makes for a breatheable experience. And that space doesn't interrupt their holiday offerings.
Scott Daley is the resident creative genius. Hanger said that Scott is just "unbelievable with some of the things he's doing around here." A great example of this is the half taxi cab. Found in the Department 56 section, some Homestead workers went down to a junk yard and found this car. They had them cut it in half before they hauled it back to the store. A fresh coat of paint and voila...an instant display fixture meets conversation piece. Vintage chairs, freezers, tables and ovens can also be found in their displays.
Besides everything else going on during the holiday, Homestead's toy train track is a big ticket. With a full-time conductor on hand, "On weekends it's sometimes three deep in here (around the track)," says Hanger. "Sometimes you'll see three generations come in to watch the train."
Sunday, November 23, 2008
It may have been the cloudy day. It may have also been the “getting ready” transition between seasons, but Valley View Farms looked a little bare from the outside, which ill-prepared me for my first couple steps into the store.
It was like Clark Griswold’s house inside-out.
Ceilings were lit from corner to corner. And the rotating artificial trees decked in an assortment of ornaments and lights were an added touch that didn't/won't go unnoticed.
I’d be interested to see what it would look like if they turned down the normal house lighting a little. I bet the Christmas lights would pop even more, and save on the electric bill along the way.
Don’t let the title fool you, Bucks County’s Bucks Country Gardens does Christmas big, but they also do a lot of the little things. Not to mention, their barn turned retail center is a perfect place not to get lost.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
There are those places you come across in life where you just feel comfortable and safe.
Feeney’s is one of those places.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Not even a year old, it’s only natural for Terrain to have a couple hiccups in the growing process, right?
Pier One dressed in an expensive flannel shirt. That’s my initial take on Terrain. And I mean that in the nicest way possible.With live garland wired and streamed over the main walkway, it was easy to see that “rustic” oozes out of everything. And isn’t it funny that this is considered cutting edge?
There’s about 75 of us on this tour of Southeastern Pennsylvania and beyond. We’re split into two buses, and GCA’s Shanan Molnar wasted no time informing us that we were on the official “fun bus.” With Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer playing on the radio, the tour’s very first stop started at Waterloo Gardens in Exton.