impressions of the new Pike?/Atlanta nurseries
I live near the Toco Hills Pike and have always loved going there, if only to browse.
Now they have re-stocked and given themselves a bit of a facelift after their chapter 11/sale thing. I've been in a few times since, and I'm very sad that I don't feel the same about them. They've gone more upmarket with their displays, and I believe with their pricing too.
My biggest peeve is that they no longer stock many shrubs in smaller sizes (1-gal). Most are in 3-gal or bigger pots, making the starting price around $20-30-40 depending on the shrub. I have a lot of space to fill and just don't have the budget to buy everything in that price. Also, don't smaller size shrubs establish faster and generally do better?
On Friday I went in to see if they have any of my current wish-list (Fothergilla, Kalmia, Enkianthus, Sambucus nigra, Cotinus, Farfugium). They did not have any of these. I did find a Callicarpa americana reduced to $3 as it was a slightly odd shape, which I bought.
I looked at Ligularia and Tiarella and asked the manager whether they would be evergreen here. He said "no, they are perennials". I said, "well, some perennials are evergreen". His reply was that they no longer indicate whether a perennial is likely to be evergreen or not "in case the plant dies back in a hard winter and the customer comes back to complain". I bought the Tiarella but left feeling that I need to find another nursery to frequent.
What are your impressions of the new Pike?
And, on a related note, do any of the Atlanta nurseries carry a good selection of smaller-sized shrubs (I'm thinking about a trip to the Alpharetta ones)? Or am I destined to mail-order if I want to stick to the $10/shrub price range?