ISSUE 57  |  Haberdashery

Calling All Gardeners: What’s Your Favorite Shop?

January 31, 2013 9:00 PM

BY Michelle Slatalla

Word of mouth. That’s the way most gardeners learn there’s an amazing collection of moss-covered terra cotta pots at a nearby florist’s shop or that a shipment of unusual hellebores just arrived at the local nursery. It feels like a “find” every time—but also a little haphazard. Time to make a list.

What’s your favorite shop? Maybe it’s a family-owned nursery that’s been in your town for three generations. Or a brand-new florist’s shop your best friend’s daughter opened last month. Or a Japanese tool store that’s willing to ship overseas.

We’re making a list of all the best sources to go to if we need a new pair of pruners, or a truckload of mushroom mulch, or a special bouquet for a friend’s birthday. Help us make sure your favorite shop is on the list. Here’s how:

  • Leave a comment at the bottom of this post, telling us about your favorite shop.
  • Tell us why you like the shop, and we’ll include your review and credit you for the “find” when we make a list of everybody’s favorites.
  • We’ll publish the list on Gardenista to help you with spring garden planning (we all need interesting new to tide us over until the ground thaws).

To get us started, here are a few of our own favorite shops:

Above: Julie discovered Crimson Horticultural Rarities in Oakland last summer; it describes itself as a “rare plant shop and floral design boutique” specializing in unexpected vegetative decor (plus terrariums and taxidermy. We love the science-y vibe, with all those chemistry beakers repurposed as vases.

For more, see “Oakland’s Coolest Flower Shop.”

Above: In central Stockholm, the gift shop at Rosendals Trädgård offers seeds for sale, including peas; instructions included. Image by Maurice Flower, via Flickr. For more, see “Shopper’s Diary: Rosendal’s Tradgard.”

Above: In his Tokyo shop Sinajina, bonsai artist Kenji Kobayashi sells whimsical creations, including miniature landscapes, hedgehogs that grow moss on their backs, and pine seedlings that literally tie themselves into knots to please him. For more, see “A Bonsai Revolutionary.”

Above: Snug Harbor Farm in southern Maine is a must-stop shop, specializing in everything from topiary to willow garden accessories to fresh seasonal fruits and vegetables. For more, see “Snug Harbor Farm: Your First Stop in Maine.”

Above: At Oliver Gustav’s moody antique garden shop in Copenhagen, you are as likely to find formally pruned topiaries and busts of the philosophers as a basket of crocus bulbs that got tired of waiting for daylight—and went ahead and bloomed in a hand-turned wooden bowl. For more on Oliver Gustav, see “Shopper’s Diary: Oliver Gustav’s Antiquaries.”

Above: Alexa is an admirer of the work of Brussels-based florist Thierry Boutemy, who operates the simply named Fleuriste shop in Belgium and creates haphazard-seeming but impossibly artful bouquets and floral installations. For more, see “Fashion’s Favorite Fleuriste.”

Above: I’ve developed a serious dependence on Flora Grubb Gardens in San Francisco. Most weekends you’ll find me lurking around the “Make Your Own Aerium” bar, with a pair of tweezers. Photograph by Scott Beale/Laughing Squid.

N.B.: This is an update of a post originally published on Nov. 29, 2012.