Changing The World One Pansy At A Time!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Going Out of Business

I’m very sad to report that the gardener’s mecca; SMITH & HAWKEN, is closing its doors! The stores that remain open are having a fantastic sale & there is still much lovely inventory to be had at 25 to 40% off. I encourage you to visit a store near you as soon as possible.

Some of you may know that SMITH & HAWKEN is really the place that started TheGayGardener on the road to his happy destiny! When I was working as a makeup artist & salon director at that place in Beverly Hills all those years; I would frequently stop by the Beverly Hills S&H store after work in a desperate attempt to reclaim my sanity before going home. (plants are already beautiful & don’t think a lip gloss will make them more so & more to the point; they cannot talk back!)
The best thing about Smith & Hawken in those days was they would discard or throw away any plants & shrubs that were less than perfect along with any damaged garden items. I cannot tell you how may lovely orchids & ivy & other plants I “saved” as well as numerous garden décor. I still have a (chipped) cement urn, a copper topped birdhouse & a (now) 5 feet tall ivy topiary retrieved from the S&H trash! I was diving in the Smith & Hawken dumpster long before “Dumpster Diving” became chic or an HGTV show (this was back in the 90’s of course) In fact one time I was confronted by one of my chi-chi Beverly Hills cosmetics clients who inquired if that possibly could have been my legs she saw sticking up out of the dumpster in the back of Smith & Hawken? I assured her they were in fact my legs & she got such a kick out of my story she hired me to do her Doheny Blvd. terrace!

S&H was the kind of place that even though it was a retail store you always knew as a gardening professional that you could find just the exact thing you were looking for; that it would be well made & at a reasonable price! And just perusing their catalogue or searching their website could provide inspiration! Long after I stopped diving though their trash I would frequently shop the website in order to save time & gas driving around; especially if on a deadline! And the operators on the website & the customer service people were always so helpful! Sadly, the website is already discontinued!

Smith & Hawken is a division of the lawn care giant, SCOTTS. And in this economy it’s understandable that they would have had to jettison this retail operation. Hopefully they may be able to keep up some kind of catalogue sales in the future.

Smith & Hawken was a very classy operation & I will miss it!
Please patronize the stores in their remaining days!

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