It seemed like an eternity waiting and watching as construction crews worked on the new . But just in time for the spring planting season, the new boutique center has opened near Duluth.
It officially welcomed shoppers on March 2, without any fanfare, but that hasn't stopped the steady stream of gardeners who have found this newest addition to Peachtree Corners tucked in behind the shopping center on Woodhill Drive.
The Hastings name has been around for 123 years, which more than makes up for its somewhat obscure location. The business began as a seed and plant supplier for farmers and was originally located in Atlanta's downtown area.
Last year the company announced it would be shutting down its Brookhaven location where it operated for 15 years and moving to Peachtree Corners. Kate Gunderson, Vice President of Retail Operations and Sales, said the new location is a good fit for their business.
"We looked all around the north metro area and fell in love with Peachtree Corners," said Gunderson, who also noted that business has been better than expected. "We have almost twice the business we were hoping for."
Hastings is probably best known for its extensive supply of seeds, its core business for many years. But as the needs of its buyers changed, Hastings broadened into a garden center. It also had to find a way to separate from the big box retail stores that were also selling plants and garden supplies.
"We stepped back and asked ourselves, 'what can we provide that others can't.'" The answer she said was the company's ability to offer expertise and hard-to-find plants. Many of the Hastings staff have degrees in horticulture, others are long-time gardeners. And if you don't find the plant you're looking for, the company can place a special order for you.
Along with a nice array of flowering plants, you'll find herbs, vegetables and trees. There is also a selection of out-of-the-ordinary decorative pots and other yard accessories.
The company also has five landscape designers to help with everything from a simple yard design change to adding such lavish touches as a stone gazebo and a fish pond with cascading waterfalls.
Inside the two-story building, often called the "house" by customers due to its resemblence of a home, the bottom floor is filled with gardening supplies and you won't miss the display wall with nearly every kind of seed imaginable. You can also buy bird seed by the scoop and large brimmed gardening hats.
And, outside a favorite feature for young children is the model train which runs around a track that surrounds a gazebo and snakes through several tunnels.
"The kids love to come see it," said Gunderson. It certainly is a nice diversion for parents too, who can concentrate on their shopping while their children are mesmerized by the train.