It’s one thing to want a garden, it’s another thing altogether to grow one. First, there’s the fact that every store carries the same products – how boring. And then, there’s getting your newly bought plants to actually grow. Some people seem to be natural-born green thumbs. The rest of us, well, we need help. Sometimes a lot of help. And while you can buy gardening supplies almost anywhere, getting expert advice is rare. That’s where Lincoln Creek Lumber Ace Hardware in Tumwater, Lincoln Creek Lumber Ace Hardware in Centralia and Market Street Ace Hardware in Chehalis come to the rescue of us brown thumbs that are looking for a little help with the green.

Variety is the Spice of Gardening

Truer words were never spoken when it comes to gardening. The whole point of an outdoor space is to let your imagination soar, which it can’t do if your garden looks exactly like everyone else’s on the block. But big box stores often use the same suppliers, so even their plants are the same, not to mention their décor and yard art options.

Ace hardware tumwater
Lincoln Creek Lumber Ace Hardware in Tumwater has all the usual items you would need from a garden center, as well as many unexpected and fun things hiding in every corner. Photo credit: Kristina Lotz

Instead, visit any one of the local Ace Hardware locations in Tumwater, Centralia and Chehalis and you will be treated to variety you may have thought wasn’t possible in a smaller store. Yet, it is their size that allows them to offer such a range. “What we lack in sheer square footage we more than gain in our versatility,” says Tumwater store manager Ben Nesemeier. “Because we are smaller, we are more nimble and can do stuff the bigger stores can’t or won’t do. That really speaks a lot to who we are and I think our customers appreciate it.”

For example, they can order anything from Alpine, a leading manufacturer of water fountains. “People come and shop to look for that special something that will make their yard or garden unique,” Ben explains. And with items as unique as a larger-than-life black bear, you are sure to end up with a garden that wows.

Olympia Garden Design
All different varieties of plants can be found at the Tumwater Lincoln Creek Lumber, Ace Hardware.

Each of the stores has its own flavor, so you will find an abundance of treasures for your garden at each location. The Tumwater Lincoln Creek Lumber Ace Hardware store has a greenhouse stocked to the brim with plants you won’t necessarily find anywhere else such as Honeysuckle and peach-colored Lupine. They even have a pond water feature with water-friendly plants and matching décor.

Many of their plants come from DeGoede Bulb Farm and Gardens off Highway 12. “We like DeGoede because their products are so high quality and they are local,” Ben says. They carry a large selection of pottery, including imported Italian pieces, and the full line of STIHL tools which they brought in late last summer. And if you need a bit of fine tuning or repair on your STIHL tools, the Tumwater location has a certified STIHL technician on staff to help.

You can also find all the essentials you need such as hand tools, potting soil and fertilizers to help your garden grow. They carry favorite brands, including the full line of Scott’s brand, Miracle Gro and Whitney Farms.

Help for the Brown Thumb

Of course, spending money just to have most of your plants die because you over or under watered, put a shade-loving plant in the sun or burnt your rose to a crisp with too much fertilizer is infuriating.

Ace Hardware garden center
The pond at the Tumwater Ace Hardware doesn’t just make for a nice shopping environment, but inspires creativity in shoppers looking for ways to spruce up their landscape. Photo credit: Kristina Lotz

Ace understands that and they make sure to have knowledgeable staff in their garden centers to help answer any questions you may have.  Ben explains, “When we can, we hire people with experience in the things our customers do, such as gardening. But Ace also has a superior training program so that even if someone is not as knowledgeable, they can learn in-house with our training, instruction and education programs. This means everyone at Ace is a knowledgeable worker who can help our customers.”

Ben adds that this also gives them an edge, because everyone is trained on everything, not just their department. We all know the frustration of having to wait for the one “department worker” to help answer your question. At Ace, this is waiting is eliminated as any staff member in the store can and will help you in any department, including the garden center. This is part of the company’s dedication to its customer, which is something the team embodies.

Not only will each and every staff member be able to help find a solutions for your needs, no matter the department, they are often known to go the extra mile. If you come in asking, “What type of line does my weed eater take?” They can not only show you the right product, but chances are, if you have the weed eater with you, they’ll just string it for you.

ace hardware tumwater gardening
The large outdoor greenhouse in Tumwater has plenty of favorite plants from local supplies. And that’s no run-of-the-mill garden gnome. He’s life-sized and wearing a blue shirt. Photo credit: Kristina Lotz

“There is a lot of effort and care that go into this place on the part of the employees,” Ben says. “They genuinely care about this place and we make it clear to every person walking in the door how important they are to us.”

So whether you are looking for a one-of-a-kind garden décor item, gardening essentials or help getting your garden to grow, Ace is definitely the place to shop. And, be sure to stop by the Centralia and Chehalis stores next time you head south, you’ll find even more surprises down there, including a train that steams and a life-sized Sasquatch.

For more information, including hours and directions to each location, visit their websites: Lincoln Creek Lumber Ace Hardware Tumwater, Lincoln Creek Lumber Ace Hardware Centralia and Market Street Ace Hardware Chehalis.

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