Pat Bellrose, owner of Fahr Greenhouses in Wildwood, has been feeling it's getting a lot like Christmas already. He and his staff host a large poinsettia festival and craft bazaar each year that attracts thousands of shoppers from the entire metropolitan area.
"Every year, people seem to really appreciate our emphasis on sustainability," said Bellrose. "We grow poinsettias with no peat moss, and rather use the material from St. Louis Composting. It provides a beautiful root system. Customers also like getting more details about our biofuel boilers."
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Because Fahr's owners have been in business since 1950, the staff knows a thing or two about poinsettias. They are happy to address questions, and enjoy offering so many different colored ones each year, which include pink, white, mixed, red, burgundy and salmon to apricot. Two new colors this year are Cinnamon and Ice Crystal Pink. There also is one called Christmas Feeling Pink.
Bellrose said 80 percent of what he sells to wholesalers each year is still red, although the mixed red and white one called "white glitter" is the most popular with individual consumers.
Also available from the greenhouse are:
- winter berry bundles
- mantle greenery
- red twig dogwood
- garland roping, ranging from $2.29 to $10.95 per yard depending on the type that includes mixed, Western Cedar, White Pine or Noble Fir
- holiday planters
- Christmas cacti
- gift baskets with live plant
- handmade bows
- handmade greenery swags
Hours for the festival and bazaar are Saturday 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday noon to 4 p.m.
Santa will be on hand during 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday and during noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday.
The bazaar includes an assortment of vendors who offer unique gifts.
There is no admission to the bazaar, and the staff hosts free, guided tours of the greenhouses. They have a couple of beautiful backdrops for free family photos. They also offer free refreshments and children's activities.
Lynne Wright, Fahr Greenhouses retail manager, said they have a very popular "frosty fern" this year in their baskets, and that they are having a challenging time keeping up with requests for it.
For those who would like to get a jumpstart, Fahr Greenhouses is open on Friday for regular retail business between 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.—which also are the hours of operation throughout typical week days.
Regarding a last-minute Christmas rush, Fahr Greenhouse will be open daily through Dec. 22.
DIRECTIONS TO FAHR GREENHOUSE: From Wildwood, drive west on Missouri Route 100. Turn west onto Highway T/St. Albans Road. Drive 1.4 miles. Greenhouse will be on the western side of the road.