Be Inspired

Be Inspired



I am finding it hard to believe that Christmas is 12 days away, today is Hanukkah, and that Natureworks will only be open for 11 more days in 2017. Wow! I arrived home in a snowstorm Saturday night, completely exhausted and relishing my two days off after a very busy week of designing and working with greens. After sleeping in on Sunday morning, I finally set up my own Christmas tree (which had been outside, stored in a bucket of water for two

Buddy loves our Christmas blanket. He is contemplating the big fir in the living room and thinking hmmm…

weeks) and strung it with lights. Then I sat with it for a night to be sure my new cat Buddy didn’t feel like climbing it!Monday I started hanging ornaments, and will continue with this delightful process for the next few evenings. I lovemy ornaments. There are so many memories stored in those boxes. Ornaments remind me of people, good times, even eras in my life. Some were given to me as gifts by special friends or employees. Some were made by hand by my godson, or even by my mother and her knitting club ladies back in the 50’s. Every year I buy at least one or two new ornaments, keeping with my theme of icicles, stars, snowflakes, and vintage glass. But it’s the yellow origami chicken folded by 5 year old Bobby down the street in the late 70’s and the felt stocking made by my Great Aunt Jo when I was a child that make the tree personal.

Monday afternoon I headed out to do my grocery shopping and realized that I would only have ONE Monday left to finish my Christmas shopping. Yikes! I was quite tired still, and was thinking of heading up to West Hartford to shop, but then I decided to keep it simple. I went up to town and actually finished my shopping locally. Ta da! Not only was it relaxing, I felt like I was keeping it real and keeping it meaningful to seek out gifts from the merchants I love and shop with all year.

Where else will you find arrangements like this but at Natureworks? Shop local!

The same can be true when you visit Natureworks. Sure, you may have to brave the mall for the latest version of an electronic gadget, but in many cases, I see people shopping the way I do, wandering around, seeking inspiration. My life at this point is pretty simple- my parents are gone, my nieces and nephews really just appreciate money, I have a small immediate family to buy for and they are easy. But what I observe with my co-workers and Natureworks shoppers is a much more complicated scenario as they seek out gifts for teachers, bus drivers, coaches, hairdressers, tutors, grab bag gifts, and so much more. That’s where we can help. We LOVE to personalize gifts. Why not fill a box with smiling acorn ornaments and give someone Doug Tallamy’s bookBringing Nature Home? In it he explains how oak trees are the most important tree you can add to our landscape because of the native insect life it supports.

Let us wrap a special gift with an ornament instead of a bow. That way, the recipient will think of you each time they hang that ornament on their tree, just as I think of my Great Aunt Jo or my godson.

We have had people walk in and order custom terrariums for 4 or 5 people on

their list. All a little bit different, to fit the recipient’s personalities. We have helped folks pick out an ornament collection for their newly married child who is setting up their home and putting up their first tree. We have customers that buy an ornament for the same person every year, continuing a tradition that makes gift giving easy.

Giant martini glass planted with a woodland theme? Yup, we can do that. A planter filled with succulents, embellished with seashore ornaments? Easy. Visiting someone in a convalescent home? We can create a small arrangement that will fit perfectly on the bedside table and bring the fresh scent of evergreens into their world.   
This year, I am thrilled to see that indoor plants are BACK. If you stick around long enough (in my case 34+years), everything comes back around again I guess! One of my joys is to watch my staff learn about houseplants and match them with pretty containers. They are even mounting staghorn ferns on bark and hanging things with macrame hangers!  
Houseplants offer so much, especially at this time of year. First of all, they provide you with an indoor garden and keep you in touch with growing things. They give off oxygen, thus promoting health. Diane says “don’t forget to mention that houseplants in your bedroom help you sleep better!” We are stocking a nice selection of today’s modern books about caring for and decorating with houseplants- combining a plant, a pretty pot, and a book together will set someone up for a winter of delight. Why not throw in a few bulbs for forcing- that is also a wonderful winter activity.  
Our new motto is:  
 Pick a plant. Pick a pot. We will pot it up for free in our wonderful, organic potting soil.  
We also have many paperwhite narcissus bulbs and Amaryllis bulbs already paired with pretty containers. We can create a customized gift box of bulbs for winter forcing- top sized bulbs, high quality soil, decorative rocks, and the container of your choice.  
I often point to a wreath or a swag and tell my customer exactly where the greens were grown and harvested! 
Every single morning, before I drive into work, I wander around my yard and pick a pile of fresh greens, berries, and stems. Every day, for the next 11 days, my staff and I will take these greens and make them into the prettiest centerpieces, the lushest arrangements, beautiful wreaths, and custom lengths of mixed evergreen roping. We will add fresh cut flowers (we get REALLY pretty flowers in at this time of year), succulent cuttings, and all kinds of ornaments- customizing what we do to fit your style or your recipient. It’s fun, it’s personal, and it matters so much to us to make you happy.  
Fresh holly is here, just in time to deck your halls… 
So relax. Stop by and hang out with us and let us help you finish up your list. We are open Thursday till 7 pm and we will put out the wine for a special evening treat. Keep it real. Keep it meaningful. Keep it local. It will change the way you perceive the holiday season. Let us be your guide to a kindler, gentler way of shopping.  
I’ll see you very soon…