Cornelius Nursery at Christmas, a Visual Wonderland!
I’m not certain when the exact date of my first visit to Cornelius Nursery happened, but I do know that it made quite an impression. When my parents came up from McAllen to Houston, Texas for a visit, that was a location which was on my list of places to show them. The year was 1970.
At all times of the year their location is resplendent with seasonal plants and matching décor but during Christmastime this is a place that should be on everyone’s list of “where to go” and “things to do” in Houston. Christmas is simply a showstopper at Cornelius!
During the Christmas season it was when I first showed my parents the store and nursery. Their faces were suddenly lit up with smiles and amazement. It was much like a child staring at a glass counter filled with luscious choices of colorful penny candy and holding a small fistful of pennies which could be spent. Anyone remember penny candy? (Smile)
Cornelius Nursery becomes a wonderland of sorts during Christmas. One year my husband and I went there to get inspirations for a fireplace mantle in our home. We exited the store with supplies with which to decorate our mantle. I also snapped many photos at that time. You readers can get a sense of how this glorious wonderland appears at this festive time of year. Enjoy!
As we were wandering through the store glancing this way and that at all sorts of glittering Christmas adornments while Christmas music was being played, several of the customers in the store spoke to us. They said that they always liked going there at that particular time of year to get into the holiday spirit. They were wearing beaming smiles as were we.
Artificial Christmas Trees
Whoever the employees are who get to decorate the artificial Christmas trees each year…they are experts. They have an eye for design and exhibit great flair in making each of the trees in the store worthy of inspection.
If you wish to read a funny story of how NOT to decorate a Christmas tree, click here. This really happened to my mother and her family when she was a child.
All of the ornaments and embellishments on each tree are also for sale in surrounding bins and baskets. There are numerous decorated artificial Christmas trees both large and small scattered throughout the store.
There is so much “eye candy” at Cornelius Nursery particularly at Christmastime. One can hardly appreciate all that there is to see in just one visit. Little vignettes are displayed with various themes and every little nook and cranny of the store holds another treasure to be discovered.
Naturally since Cornelius is primarily a garden nursery, the outdoor area is festooned with seasonal color at this time of year also.
Whether one is interested in acquiring artificial Christmas trees, garlands, wreaths or the real items…the pine scent lightly permeates the entire area adding to one’s enjoyment and tantalizing all of one’s senses.
These photos show an area under cover adjacent to the store that was filled with poinsettias, artificial Christmas trees, artificial garlands, wreaths plus bins filled with other ornamentation. The real Christmas trees were outside of this. Flocking of trees is done on site for those who desire a tree enhanced with what looks like snow.
The lighted garlands were strung up so that one could see how they looked. It was one of those very garlands that we purchased for decorative purposes over our mantle. We then went back into the store to purchase the adornments that I planned to add to the garland to make it sparkle and shine and create something unique for our home.
The inside covered area with some poinsettia plants gave way to a virtual sea of colorful poinsettia plants when we walked out into the open nursery area.
It is outdoors but during the times of year when occasional light frosts or freezes are predicted, a light protective fabric which allows light to come shining through the panels is strung up above on overhead metal trellis-like supports. This covering also protects customers during strong sunlit days or times of rainy weather.
Cyclamen plants of various colors were also on display. Every purchase of those perennial plants benefited a featured charity that one year.
Cyclamens like shady or semi-shaded areas of which we have plenty in our yard. They are cold hardy down to about 28 degrees Fahrenheit. It does not often get colder than that here in Houston although we have had some episodes in the last few years where it actually snowed and got down lower than normal.
They were inexpensive enough that if for some reason they would freeze and not come back…just knowing that we enjoyed the plants for their seasonal color and that a charity was also helped was reason enough to purchase some that year.
Christmas cactus plants can be purchased at Cornelius nursery this time of year in tiny little pots or in larger ones. They had an assortment of colors. Both of my grandmothers had well tended Christmas cactus plants that bloomed each and every year for them when they lived in Wisconsin. I remember the fuchsia colored ones that they cherished and kept indoors year round.
Christmas cactus can actually be planted outdoors in our climate. I have a friend who has some planted in a window box that are frequently nibbled by some squirrels in her yard. I am not sure at the time of writing this who is winning the battle…my friend or her resident squirrels.
I could have spent much more time at Cornelius taking photos of the real Christmas trees, the real wreaths being made up for sale, amaryllis plants and all of the other different types of plants, pottery and various and sundry gardening supplies. These photos hopefully suffice so that you now have some idea of why I deem Cornelius Nursery a place worth visiting during the Christmas season.
Texas certified and master certified professionals are employed and ready to assist one with any and all gardening needs and desires. They even test one’s soil if samples are brought to them in January and at no charge! A design team can help make custom decorations, make elaborate bows or assist one with advice when making one’s own seasonal items such as I did.
Calloways Nursery now owns Cornelius as of 1999 but the name Cornelius remains the same. To learn more about the free gardening clinics held each Saturday, contests and more check out their website.
Suffice it to say that Cornelius Nursery will always remain a favorite location to visit particularly at Christmas but also other times of the year as well. If seeking professional advice, this is a place to count upon receiving good gardening advice. Their plants are top notch and while their pricing may not be the least expensive in town, at least you know that you are getting hardy plant stock.
After Christmas their Christmas décor which is discounted disappears fast. You might just find me there after Christmas this year scooping up some of the bargains for next year.
Hope that you enjoyed these photos from Cornelius. Is it now on your “where to go in Houston” list of places to visit during Christmas?
Some of these photos were taken at their location on Dairy Ashford which is no longer open. The location on Voss Road was the first one I had ever visited many decades ago. May they long prosper and continue to delight visitors every season of the year.
Decorative Hot Pepper Plants
I’ll leave you with a final photo of these beautiful decorative hot pepper plants which just added to the beautiful colors of a joyful Christmas season at Cornelius Nursery.