Let us celebrate the old-fashioned hardware store, with its worn wide-plank floors, scent of wood chips and linseed oil, and aisles of garden gear. Bask in the wisdom of the seasoned shopkeeper, who has decades of experience and a comforting “I’ve seen it all and I’ve fixed it all” approach to solving a problem.
I also go to the hardware store for savings. Many of the everyday items in my garden shed (as shown above in the featured photograph by Leslie Santarina) can be found for lower prices at an old-fashioned hardware shop. From jute twine to a flower pot brush, I’ve found much of my favorite, most useful garden gear at a hardware shop.
Looking for a deal? Or for something that will surprise and delight you? Take a poke around the aisles in Ohio-based Lehman’s Hardware (“family owned and operated since 1955”) or the Do It Best member-owned hardware cooperative headquartered in Fort Wayne, Indiana. Don’t forget to rummage in Menard’s, founded in Eau Clare, Wisconsin in 1959 by John Menard Jr. There probably is an Ace Hardware shop in your neighborhood too.
Or shop online at any of them. Here we’ve rounded up a dozen examples of old-fashioned hardware store finds—including some found in my own garden shed—to ease a gardener’s chores: