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Garden center/nursery

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Hadley Garden Center

285 Russell St. (Rte. 9)
Hadley, MA
(413) 584-1423

Why is it that, year after year, the Hadley Garden Center continues to weather recessions and competition from chain stores? We think we know why. It's because this nursery and garden equipment store doesn't give you just enough help to get the plants loaded into your car while the cash register rings a friendly goodbye. Here's an example."If you're going to put plants around a pool," says owner Tom Giles, "try to have things that will be in bloom, but nothing that will create a mess. Nothing that will be prickly. Nothing that will attract bees. Some people have bee-sting allergies. And you don't want anything that attracts bees near your doorway." That's the kind of client-centered advice that comes from experience. Giles and his staff, including Nursery Manager Dan Ziomek (pictured), will also look at pictures of your property and help you plan your landscaping. But they may tell you that the beautiful lupine or delphinium in the yard down the block just won't work in your situation. They'll want to know about sun patterns, soil characteristics and the locations of large trees, and they won't push you to buy something just because you've taken a fancy to it. Giles, who went to work at Hadley Garden Center in 1973 after studying at UMass's Stockbridge School and bought the Center in 1988, says the store has been doing a solid business even during the last two years because people have been traveling less, staying home more and working in their yards. They've also been growing more food—buying vegetable starters and fruits to grow themselves, from blueberries and cherries to apples, pears, peaches and even figs. The store has cut back on high-end garden accessories like sundials and "fancy birdbaths," Giles says, but plants, peat, tools and seeds—of which Hadley Garden Center has a wide variety, including organic seeds and seeds for heirloom varieties of plants—are doing fine.

2nd: Sixteen Acres Garden Center
1359 Wilbraham Rd.
Springfield, MA
(413) 783-5883
3rd: Annie's Garden Center
515 Sunderland Rd.
Amherst, MA
(413) 549-6359
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