Downtown Home & Garden, on Ashley Street, is run by Mark Hodesh, a long-term townie who opened the Fleetwood Diner in 1971. Formerly the Hertler Brothers feed store, Downtown HG carries high-quality housewares and gardening supplies, as well as bulbs, seeds, and potted plants. While it might be expected, by its location and appearance, to be a fairly yupscale store, everything is competitively priced - comparison shopping for housewares will reveal that everything can be purchased as or more cheaply here than at Briarwood.

http://downtownhomeandgarden.com/

DTH&G has an extensive selection of flower and vegetable seeds in the spring, and plentiful bulbs in the fall. Housewares also tend to be stocked in seasonal patterns, with canning supplies multiplying at the end of the summer. If they don't have what you're looking for, ask; it's the type of store where employees will rush to check the back room or special order things for you.

Watch for Saturday events, such as workshops on potting and transplanting or jam and jelly tastings. The 2008 jam tasting was scheduled for Oct 4; entries due by Oct 3.

DTH&G is also the home of Lewis the Cat, a (large, orange) local celebrity to the under-10 set.

DTH&G offers a variety of Zingerman's baked "goods" and coffee for a quick breakfast bite.

DTH&G has a small parking lot of its own on the corner of Ashley and Liberty Streets; you can also drive through the gardening side to load up on compost, mulch, or lawn furniture.

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