09 April 2011

Dig into Spring at Styers

"Are you designers?"

That's the question we were asked when poking around inside one of the barn-like spaces at Terrain at Styers, an incredible nursery turned garden life mecca by the shrewd and creative parent company Urban Outfitters.

"Is it that obvious?" replied David. Maybe the his and his red and blue plaid shirts and calf boots were a giveaway.

After a little more conversation, we realized we were talking with Allison O'Connor, who heads up the Terrain division. She graciously welcomed us, told us a little about the vision behind the experience and asked us about our thoughts on the place. It's great to see an authentic interest in the consumer experience, and clearly many creative people have spent a great deal of time (and money) putting together this amazing place.

We have admittedly been to Terrain a few times already this year and spring has barely even broken, so we have seen the shelves fill up with green and an ever changing set of displays that only seems to get better each time. David has even toyed with the idea of a weekend job there to dig up his roots of botanical creativity not left behind from his days at Willow and Reed in Philadelphia during college. It's hard not to feel creative in this atmosphere and nearly impossible to point a camera without finding something worthy of a photo.

We left with two vintage wooden grape crates ($28) in which we plan to host an herb garden, including the purple sage and french tarragon ($5) also purchased during today's visit. David also picked out a lovely hops vine (humulus lupulus "nugget" $22), which we hope will cover the cedar fence at the back of the yard and provide some screening.

Even if you don't have a garden or a green thumb, this is an amazing space to explore and experience. It even includes an award winning cafe, which we have yet to try, but hope to do so when we return next for "goat day" later this month. If you haven't been, there's no better time go visit.

Employees Only

Vintage Hand Tools for the Garden

The Terrarium Shop

The Cafe

The only way to grow most orchids: bark.

Air Plants

Canvas Shopping Totes

Soapstone-Topped Farm Table

One of these hops now lives in East Falls

Happy Trails


  1. Beautiful pictures and a great capture of your day. Can't wait to visit Terrain with you.

  2. So funny, the first time we met Allison at Terrain she asked Larry and I if "we were designers" too. Must be a new euphemism. Looking forward to goat day...

  3. Maybe Allison knows Amy Sedaris?

  4. This really makes me more than ever want to visit Terrain. Thanks so much for the great pics and post.


  5. These pictures are inspiring. Have you ever visited Burford Garden Company in the Cotswolds, UK? They are an amazingly creative company?


  6. Thanks, Charlotte! Burford looks wonderful and they have some very similar products to Terrain, including some that Terrain uses as functional displays (but does not sell) such as the beehive composter.

  7. Beautiful shots! Love those grape boxes too. Every time we go we get into long plant & treatment of them talks with staff. We've been there numerous times now and have not enjoyed the cafe either - hm, maybe we should meet up for lunch some day!


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