Best Garden Center

Bayer's Garden Shop

By the time winter loosened its grip on St. Louis this year, our gardens were in a seriously sorry state. When the only things poking up from the soil are a few sticks and an empty bag of Funyuns, it's time to pay a visit to the experts. As much of a springtime ritual as dyeing Easter eggs and buying sundresses, the season's inaugural trip to Bayer's Garden Shop is an instant mood-booster. Forget about your fallow front yard as you peruse row upon row of perennials, as bright and varied as a box of crayons. Create your very own local-food movement by stocking up on herbs, blackberry bushes and pepper plants. And don't forget the gardening gloves — Bayer's carries plenty in a variety of cute patterns. While the selection at Bayer's is impressive, it's the service that truly makes this garden emporium the cream of the crop. The staff will be happy to tell you which plants grow best in certain soils, which flowers need the most care and how to cultivate an herb garden that will keep you cooking all season long. Once you've purchased a yardful of blooming beauties, the friendly staffers will help you load your car. Now that deserves two green thumbs way up.

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