Best Garden Shops

These five stores make the business of growing a garden seem <em>sow</em> easy

Personal green space can take many forms in L.A.: a succulent sunning in an apartment window, potted citrus and herbs on a suburban patio, boxwood topiaries standing sentry at a beach estate. Whatever your needs, a well-appointed garden shop can make the search for affordable containers, top-of-the-line pruners, elegant colored gravel, and other outdoor goods, ahem, sow easy. Here are the places that delve into all manner of landscaping.

For Containers: Pottery Manufacturing
The owners’ ceramics factory in Tecate, Mexico, produces the red-clay pots offered in the 12,000-square-foot showroom. Unglazed styles range from tiny thimbles to gigantic basins, and glazed options come in 25 colors.
Bumper crop: Imports from Italy (roll-rim terra-cotta), China (rivet and quilt textures), and Vietnam (metallic finishes) provide exotic looks.
Dig this: Don’t mind imperfections? Discounted factory seconds and cracked pottery are stacked outside. 18881 S. Hoover St., Gardena, 310-323-7754.

For Tools: Tak’s Hardware & Garden Supply
Mow-and-blow guys have been getting their gear here for 21 years, but the family-run business welcomes DIYers, too. Whether it’s twist tillers or shrub rakes, proprietor Robert Takashi Kikuchi has the tools for any job.
Bumper crop: Displayed behind the counter are Swiss-made Felco pruners that, like Rolex watches, cost far more and last longer than the Asian knockoffs.
Dig this: In case you’ve worn out your equipment, the shop sells replacement tool handles and sharpens blades. 3318 W. Jefferson Blvd., Jefferson Park, 323-737-7775.

For Furniture and Accessories: Mecox
The boutique’s outdoor furnishings include new and reproduced items mixed in with vintage and antique pieces. Check out the faux bois stools and reclaimed-wood tables.
Bumper crop: Ornaments, most of which are cast concrete or stone and displayed on a patio, include a replica of an 1880s English maiden, fleur-de-lis finials, and a menagerie of lions, owls, and squirrels.
Dig this: A pair of griffins and an alligator in painted aluminum make quirky touches. 919 N. La Cienega Blvd., Beverly Grove, 310-358-9272.

For Potted Succulents: The Juicy Leaf
No ground? No problem. Urban dwellers can bring in succulents and bromeliads that store owner Felix Navarro arranges in glass vases layered with colored sand and pebbles. The tillandsias require even less maintenance, needing only an occasional soaking.
Bumper crop: A broad assortment of plants, containers, and gravels is available for those who’d rather compose the scenery themselves.
Dig this: Water plants are combined with a betta fish for mini ecosystems that thrive in modern fishbowls. 1140 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice, 310-907-5019.

For Hardscape: Bourget Bros.
Pavers, tiles, bricks, gravel, and other materials for patios, walkways, pools, and fireplaces abound at this family-owned enterprise. The staff assists patiently as you decide between sizes, shapes, colors, and textures.
Bumper crop: All kinds of landscape rocks are displayed outside the entrance to the complex. Samples are free.
Dig this: Tumbled glass comes in nature-inspired colors like turquoise and green, the better for mulching around plants, topping a fire pit, or lining a dry streambed. 1636 11th St., Santa Monica, 310-450-6556.