Wednesday, December 25, 2013

After Christmas Shopping- Merrfield Garden Center

This may be a little crazy, but I often finding myself thinking about next year's Christmas on Christmas Day. This mostly comes in the form of trying to decide what decorations I'm going to buy at 50-70% off at the sales on Dec. 26th. Please tell me you already know that all Holiday decor always goes on sale for massive clearance prices the day after Christmas. It's one of the Great Shopping Truths handed down from mother to daughter like grandma's fine china.

So I often spend the afternoon of Christmas Day dreaming about what version of Christmas my home will take next year.

The place I always want to hit first to fulfill this fantasy is Merrifield Garden Center in Fair Oaks. 

This is a huge plant nursery and if you want really high quality plants or trees, they are a great place to shop, assuming you have a good budget as well. I'm not saying they are over priced, just that their prices are over my non-existent budget. Most of the time, I come to look and dream.

Fortunately, I think there is a lot of value in dreaming and having lovely things to look at. Merrifield also hosts an annual festival of trees in their main shop. It is a cornucopia of gorgeous, designer trees just dripping with beautiful things and great ideas. I always take my kids, because it's just that magical. Plus, they have free popcorn in the greenhouse. If you're gonna bring your little people, make sure they are old enough to "look but not touch," as a lot of the ornaments are glass and there are things to grab everywhere. 

Let's go inside, shall we?

This will be a tour of things that inspired me, as I had to pare down the 85 pictures I took somehow. 

There were many things I loved about this display, mercury glass garlands, shimmering ornaments, frosted gold musical notes, glittering white bottle brush trees, but my favorite things was the sheet music attached to the ceiling! Some had been tea stained and others had been left white. I just thought it looked super cool.

As much as I can appreciate the white with gold look, it never really calls to me for my own home. But this tree sure did. I have a complete weakness for peacock blue. Especially if it involves glass, feathers, or anything iridescent. And if you add moss? Are you kidding me? Total bliss. Sorry about the image quality here. My iPad struggles a bit indoors at night.

Best ideas to take home here: Moss covered chandelier.

You'd have to be careful not to create a fire hazard, but I bet a box full of dry moss, an ugly old brass chandelier painted in a linen color, and a glue gun could go a long way towards making boring builder grade into designer chic. Just be careful not to get the moss too close to the bulbs in any direction.

And I thought this was the cutest idea for an old wooden spool. Wrap with lace or a vintage crochet sampler, add some trim to the bottom, a bird on the top, and you have the cutest nest ornament ever! I am totally making one of these.

There are great ideas for staging your stuff everywhere too. This is a completely different look, way more formal, but I love how the two different frames compliment each other. I would not have thought to put an oval and rectangle frame together as a pairing, but I love it! And look how pretty, yet subtle the teal enamel frame looks against all the other neutrals. And I like the mix of gold and silver metallics with the shiny, clear glass and matte mushroom tones. 

All kinds of ideas to take home for free, if you just look for it.

How could you not love the candy room? My kids spent quite a bit of time here.

Even the candy covered lamp shade looked good enough to eat. 

Apparently I have a bit of Victorian in my soul, banging around with all the rustic modern stuff. This tree, with it's combination of peaches, golds, and raspberry reds
 just made me weak.

'Sigh'. So. Lovely.

Different looks yet again, but they had the best ideas of ways to display large ornaments, which I always want, but never know what I'd do with.

 I love the way this looks with the ornaments strung from ribbons, hanging off a ceiling rack 
in front of a mirror for double the impact! You could even just hang a few ornaments from the wall above the mirror with push pins or command hooks and still take advantage of
 the mirror view.

Ornaments were just piled in bowls and in multi-level display racks. I loved all the sparkling. Imagine how pretty that would be in a smaller version in the center of a kitchen island.
Hmmm..I have a few of those in my house I might use next year.

For those with a more nautical penchant, they always have a beach themed tree:

I really like the shell encrusted chandelier and the cone trees made of mother of pearl shells up on the shelves in the top middle of the photo. The sea glass tufts as the crown of the tree are sheer brilliance. The idea of using netting as garland is really cool too.

This room was a dream for my friend Amy, who drug my sorry tail up here to "find Christmas" when I was all stressed out earlier this season. Thank heavens for sweet friends who call when they don't even know you're sad. Thanks Amy! You're the best.

So very pretty.

The next room over was filled with amazing DIY ideas.

I totally want to try these rolled magazine page ornaments. 
Although I think I'd rather make stars or flowers, than doves.

You could leave a basket of hand rolled balls of twine out all year. And there are plenty of sticks inside and outside my house, just waiting for a miter saw to slice them up into bits for ornaments. What did we do before glue guns?

For some reason, I was completely taken with this wire mesh Christmas tree. I kept wanting to weld vintage bottle caps to it like ornaments. Go figure.

There is just something about a basket full of velvet ribbon on wooden spools. 
And you all should be very proud of me. See that one last spool of ruler ribbon? I really, really wanted it, but didn't know what I would do with it. 
So I walked away from it. 

I loved this idea for vintage silver wear. They drilled holes in it, added wire and ribbon and beads, and made it into ornaments. It would be really pretty hanging in front of a window or from a garland.

Merrifield doesn't just offer eye candy and great ideas. They have anything and everything you need to turn your home into the winter wonderland of your dreams.

There's a whole room full of ribbon in any style or color or fabric you could think of.

And knowledgeable, capable employees to make your bows for you. This is Karen and Katheryn. They can make anything out of ribbon. Plus they know where everything is and they deserve a shout out just for being so nice to my kids. Thanks for making the evening magical, ladies.

There is a wall covered with faux wreaths and another one of garlands. The real stuff is in the greenhouse just behind the tree displays. You really can get anything you want here.

But the real reason to come shop at Merrifield year round is the plants.

They have anything you could ever want in their greenhouses. 
You could get blissfully lost there, just wandering the aisles of greenness.

Maybe I should amend my Christmas list to include this orchid? What do you guys think? 
A little too late? My birthday is in February. I could always wish for it then.

Once you have made all the tough decisions about what stays on the shelf and what goes home with you, head to the registers where your able bodied cashiers like Bree and Andrew here will wrap everything up for you. 

One thing I have noticed about the employees here, they actually want to help you. I have been coming here for about 7 years now, and I have never once met an employee that didn't know their stuff. Which I think is a fairly impressive track record, considering I am an avid detailed question asker.

Sadly, this little guy had to stay, so if you are wanting to provide a nice home to a sweet little owl, do I know the bird for you.

I won't be able to make it this year, as I will be hanging with more family than I know what to do with, so have fun shopping without me, kay? Even if you just go to day dream.

You can find out locations, directions, hours, etc on Merrifield's web site, here.

BTW, they have no idea that I wrote this post and I was in no way compensated for creating it, other than my free bag of popcorn, which is a perk available in the green house year round for anyone.

Until next year, Happy Shopping and Happy New Year!

CM Shaw


  1. What gorgeous photos and so many ideas! Merrifield is my favorite nursery but I don't get to go very often, so thank you for the beautiful tour and for making my Christmas even after Christmas! :) --E

  2. So happy that we met in 2013! Here's to a wonderful, wonderful 2014! Can't wait to follow along with all your projects!

    Happy day to you friend!