Oh, the weather outside is ..... gray. Yes, it was another textbook November day here in Illinois. Aside from the brief break in the clouds that played peek-a-boo with a sliver of blue sky and sunshine, today was a carbon copy of yesterday's unpleasantness, only colder and more windy. The weather muted my ears to the sirens of the garden, so I did the next best thing. I visited a garden center to get a jumpstart on Christmas.
I'm a strong proponent of buying holiday plants from an independent garden center rather than big box stores, simply because holiday plant sales are often the difference between black and red for many IGCs. Plus the plant quality is almost always better at IGCs than the large discounters. (I was a little surprised today to find the flowers of most of the poinsettias already clipped out, meaning the plants had come into bloom earlier than expected.)
The house still has a very late fall feel to it -- dried flowers and the green of houseplants providing the botanical color. But a quick trip to the garden center has it starting to feel a ... little bit ... like Christmas.