The Garden Shop
Open during Garden Hours
The Garden Shop is located just inside the entrance to Lakewold Gardens in the original 1918 Carriage House. Visitors will find unique gift items, quality garden tools, a wide assortment of garden-related books and a large inventory of plants. Visit often as inventory will be growing over the coming months.
Closed since late last summer, Lakewold’s Garden Shop reopened, along with our spring opening on April 3rd. It’s been a long couple months as paint brushes have graced nearly every corner of the interior. Staff and volunteers have rallied to refresh this fun and friendly space that is nestled in the 1918 Carriage House.
With a change in management last year, the board discussed the next steps and role of The Garden Shop. After great contemplation and discussion, the decision was made to bring the store in-house. With sales of plants and gift items now benefitting the gardens, there seemed to be a lot of different ways to potentially incorporate new programs and increase the inspirational experience that is Lakewold Gardens.
We immediately pulled together a diverse group of community stakeholders: staff, members, volunteers, retail shop owners, gardeners, and of course, shoppers. The volunteers of the very first Garden Shop, Jack and Barbara Clarke, joined us, as did numerous others throughout the community. The goal of this inaugural think-tank style meeting was to discuss The Garden Shop’s role in Lakewold’s future. The response was incredible! The mixture of opinions, ideas, and concepts provided the board and staff with an abundance of information to consider and prioritize.
Next, we surveyed everyone we could! Over a 2 month period we heard from an even larger mix of people and we were able to decipher the issues and concerns that were of the highest priority. This is what you all told us:
We want plants that are grown at Lakewold! We love a variety of tools to choose from! We would love to see some local artists featured at Lakewold! We’re not so interested in run-of- the-mill plants, but would like a robust selection that does include some of them! Some sort of espresso cart would be really cool! And the list goes on!
Recognizing that time and funding was extremely limited, we prioritized accordingly. Our first goal was to ensure a bodacious plant buying opportunity. Our Horticulture Manager, Mark Lyke, has been connecting with wholesale buyers from around the state and delivery trucks have been arriving almost daily. While we waited for arrival of the nursery stands and tables, we were trying to decide how many blue poppies to have available later this spring. In addition, our propagation efforts of Lakewold plants have been wildly successful and we expect to have these tried and true favorites available, too.
Our second goal was to develop the interior inventory. Tastes in garden and gift items are diverse as our audience. We needed to answer the question – how do we meet the desire of all of our visitors who range from our loyal, local gardeners and members, to the tourists that enjoy Lakewold in July and August? We decided to start slow with this endeavor. We thought it better to develop this inventory line with an eye to the future.
One of our first purchases was some delightful pots from Spain. We followed up with a hearty supply of quality tools. An ‘all things Lakewold’ section of the shop will include our DVD, and the beautiful book Lakewold: A Magnificent Northwest Garden. We anticipate expanding this section rather quickly with note cards and other Lakewold items.
But wait….there’s more…..
As we talked originally in the Garden Shop Think Tank meeting, we easily determined that despite all things digital – we still just love our books! An amazing idea was formed….why not create a program in which people could donate their garden books to Lakewold for resale? Or, perhaps, a garden book exchange concept? As we enjoy the best of win-win situations, this one seemed especially nice for the donors who wish to clear some space on their own bookshelves and the customers of The Garden Shop who love diving into books priced at a deep discount. We’re still working out the details of this program, but you can expect to see new and used garden books, in The Garden Shop, in the near future.
Engagement by local artists rated incredibly high on our initial surveys. We had no idea that the community wanted to enjoy and be able to purchase these works at Lakewold Gardens. With the help and input of volunteers, this program within The Garden Shop should be unrolled within the next few months.
It’s been a crazy couple of months, but we wanted to share this story. We are so excited about this next era of Lakewold Gardens. We are looking broad and we are looking big. We are also being careful and thoughtful – taking our time to develop The Garden Shop as a sustainable part of Lakewold, but most importantly a service to the public and yet another way for Lakewold to provide an inspirational experience.
Visit often! New things will be arriving daily and we don’t want you to miss a single minute.