It is better to give than to receive, which is why people who give themselves a gift must regift it to themselves in order to overcome the despair of receiving it. Break out of a perpetual loop with today’s Groupon: for $10, you get $20 worth of holiday items at The Christmas Shoppe at Bench’s in Elmore.
Staff members stock The Christmas Shoppe at Bench’s with holiday collectables and plants that grow in an onsite greenhouse and nursery. Storeowners purvey poinsettias, boughs, and wreaths, which yield more comely domestic decorations than clumps of grass taped to the walls. Shoppers can browse through more than 8,000 ornaments ($0.99–$14.99), which can adorn more than 100 Christmas trees ranging from 1- to 12-feet tall ($5.99–$1199.99). Santas stuff stockings with fashion jewelry ($3.99–$39.99) or Ohio State and University of Michigan merchandise ($0.99–$99.99).
Maumee Valley Growers
Maumee Valley Growers, a growers association, includes more than 70 individual growers who work together to strengthen the local greenhouse industry. Though all the growers in the group offer local plants, they have distinct locations, product mixes, and specialties. Each year, Maumee Valley Growers puts on Christmas Shoppes at various locations, including Bench's Greenhouse & Nursery and Wardell's Garden Center.
Bench's, which started off as a modest 32’x144’ poly greenhouse full of tomatoes and pepper plants in 1978, has since exploded into a 3-acre operation that supports a leafy abundance of 15,000 flowering hanging baskets, more than 100,000 potted annuals, and 25,000 potted perennials. In November and December, the garden center morphs into a winter wonderland that showcases more than 100 decorated trees and a seasonal trove of ornaments, fragrant wreaths, poinsettias, and elf catchers.
Wardell's started in 1987 as small greenhouse with some vegetable plants and a few hanging baskets. The owner put the plants out by the road with a sign and a coffee can to collect the money and ended up selling out. Now, what was once a 480-square-foot operation has turned into a more than 25,000-square-foot greenhouse area with a garden center that operates almost year round. During the Christmas season, patrons can sip hot spiced cider while browsing holiday decorations, artificial trees, wreaths, and scented candles. Wardell's three miniature horses, Moonbeam, Moondust, and Moonshadow, are also on hand to greet the customers and make them feel like giants.
18063 W State Rte. 105
Elmore, Ohio 43416