I am a very loyal person. Hopefully, my friends will testify to this. I thought that no other store/nursery in the world could come close the the excellence and envy I experience each time I go to Gardens in Austin, TX. But if you click on Gardens here, you will notice that this business is undergoing some renovation, i.e., new ownership, and that can portend both good (I am always an optimist) and bad (I am always a pessimist) karma.
So while my affection is in a state of flux, I give you TA DA!
JAYSON HOME AND GARDEN (click to peruse)
in Lincoln Park, Chicago. (We haven't left Chicago yet, in case you've been following along...). In both cases the inventory is $$$$$$$, but probably worth it in terms of quality and care. Both stores can be blighted by the occasional snooty employee, but MOST of the time, it is an absolutely divine shopping experience at either establishment. In Jayson Home and Garden's case, worthy of much more time and attention than the fifteen minutes I had to spend there just before they closed.
So stroll along with me as I both examine and covet the merchandise (only camera-phone in tow, I might add). And definitely put it on your 'places to visit' list next time you're in Chicago.