Five Questions With… Deb Harrison

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Whether you’re a hardcore horticulturist, a disciple of Capability Brown, or an Omnivore’s Dilemma inspired home gardener, Habersham Gardens is the place to be this holiday season. Locally owned and operated, Habersham Gardens is full of the beautiful stuff that make our homes so homey. Co-owner Deb Harrison definitely knows a thing or two about seed and soil, so naturally, she’s the perfect person to answer five questions…

Habersham Gardens: Xanadu for green thumbs and greenhorns alike…


Q. Habersham Gardens is located right off of one of Atlanta’s most adored streets, Cheshire Bridge Road. Take us on a culinary tour of your neighborhood favorites.

A. My favorite sinful place is Fat Matt’s Rib Shack (but NOT the Chicken Shack) for ribs and an Anchor Steam draft! And for the blues bands that play at night. Of course, Johnny’s Pizza is a neighborhood joint well loved by all. And there is something charming about one of Atlanta’s oldest, favorite Italian restaurants, Nino’s, being so traditionally Italian all the while owned by a Cuban chef! I could wax elegant about the Colonnade…..oh, those rutabagas! Las Margaritas is woefully underestimated. They have really good food and a great outside spot. Of course that brings us to Taqueria del Sol….tender warm beef brisket and spicy coleslaw rolled into a heavenly flour tortilla. Oh yeah!

But I must confess that my absolute favorite Cheshire-Bridge-Area foodie spot is……… Habersham Gardens! Yes, being the gastronomes we are, when we throw our frequent parties, it’s a culinary adventure!

IF ever a street sign could convey instant credibility, this would be the one.

Q. Favorite gardening tool?

A. My Felco pruners, without a doubt. I could make do with any other tools, but I must have my Felcos!

Q. A group of famous landscape architects descends on Atlanta for 24 hours, and you’re their tour guide. Where are you going?

A. First stop, Ryan Gainey’s fabulous, magical, home and garden in Decatur. There is not a more perfect place in all Atlanta. Also on the tour is the Swan House and Boxwood Garden, for which we received an Urban Design Commission Award for our role in the renovation of the gardens. The Atlanta Botanical Gardens is worth a good long visit. We would visit several of our private clients’ gardens whose addresses unfortunately we cannot divulge.

Q. Mayor for the day- what’s on your agenda?

A. Well, world peace might be a bit ambitious, so I’d settle for balancing the city budget, slashing special interest projects, attracting fresh and bright new minds from the private sector, as well as the education arena. Oh yes, and because food, education and animals are my three favorite charitable interests, I’d find a way to fund the next generation of Atlanta’s educational needs combined with caring for animals, a la Noah’s Ark, my #1 charity!

Q. Home food gardens are getting more and more popular- what’s the most essential tip you’d share with an amateur green thumb?

A. The absolute most essential and indeed ONLY critical-level tip is BED PREPARATION! Without that done properly, you can forget the tomatoes, kids.

The backyard garden/farm of my dreams…

BONUS QUESTION: What is Habersham Gardens, and why is it awesome?

Habersham Gardens is a very unusual and special place. We are in the business of selling plants and garden accessories but the essence of Habersham Gardens is so much more. It sounds hippie-dippie, but you really must experience it to get it. Horticulturists and plant geeks come because we have the stuff you don’t find at the chain nurseries or big box stores plus our focus on superior quality never falters. Landscape and interior designers shop here because we sell unique garden furnishings, fountains and statuary and our inventory never gets stale. Loyal repeat customers keep coming back because they know we always have something new in store for them.

The Relevant Linkage

One more hidden gem on Cheshire Bridge Road, here.

Nearly two-acres (and a great house) that are begging for a beautiful garden, here.

Photo Credits: Habersham Gardens (NYTimes) Colonnade (PBA), Home Farm (Malaysia Gardening and Landscaping Blog)

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