With lush landscapes and flowers in full bloom this time of year, a stop at the Avid Gardener in Cambridge seems warranted—and worth the trip. Situated in the suburb’s quaint downtown, the beautiful light gray brick building outfitted with a vintage-looking front door beckons customers to peruse planters, gardening supplies, housewares, jewelry and more. Owner Christianne Laing opened her shop in 2014 because she says downtown Cambridge is growing, and she wanted her shop to be a resource not only for supplies, but good gardening advice, too.
“I love to share information on growing plants, whether you’re a novice or have been doing it a long time,” she says.
The industrial/rustic vibe of the shop plays out well in the polished concrete floors, exposed ductwork, steel beams and reclaimed wood accents throughout. Out the back door of the shop is a small fenced-in area where her and husband Jay sell annuals, hanging baskets, herbs and vegetable plants from a few places as well as from their own small plant operation, Red Hawk Nursery in Waterloo.
The shop is also welcoming for those who aren’t exactly gardening aficionados because anyone can find something here, whether it’s a pig-shaped watering can, a set of charming dishware or even a stylish outdoor rug made out of recycled plastic.
“I carry things that may look like they could pass for a gift, but it won’t just sit on a shelf and look pretty,” says Laing. “I look for stuff that’s different and useful.”
Pretty and Practical
These Sloggers boots are durable, waterproof and—bonus—really cute. $39.99
Throw in the Towel
Creative Co-op’s dishtowels are perfect for the kitchen or for outside in the garden to wipe dirty hands. $11.99
Got a little future gardener at home? Pick up this Little Pals garden kit with a shovel, hoe, pail and more. $29.99
Shayna Mace is a contributor to Madison Magazine. Catch her style segments on WISC-TV’s Live at 4.