The 5 Best Places to Shop If You Have a Green Thumb
Hone your gardening skills at these top Pittsburgh-area nurseries, garden centers and shops.
Photos by Natasha Dean
The green thumb is an elusive concept to master. Equal parts skill, patience and luck, the green thumb ensures that you won’t just keep that potted plant alive — you’ll make it thrive. If you’re lucky enough to have one, here are the five best places in Pittsburgh you should be shopping. If you aren’t, they’re still definitely worth checking out.
Photo by Renee Rosensteel
The Trax family has a green thumb in their genes; for six generations and 150 years, they’ve been excelling at growing goods such as fruits and vegetables on their farm. Their farmer’s market started in their barn and has grown into an 85,000-square-foot retail farm market and garden center with 15 departments. Two of them, a greenhouse and a nursery, offer perennials, annuals, hanging baskets, trees, herbs and vegetables for purchase; for those who tend to harm plants more than help them, the greenhouse staff will also help you diagnose your sick wards. You can also shop for indoor plants, bulk landscaping supplies, holiday items and more throughout the rest of the complex.
Finleyville: 528 Trax Road; 412/835-3246, traxfarms.com
City living isn’t always synonymous with plants and blooming gardens, but City Grows, an organic garden and gift shop in Lawrenceville, aims to change that. Open since 2014, City Grows sells goods that are the right size for your patio, stoop or kitchen window. The shop tries to use recycled or repurposed materials when they’re able and offers seeds, potted plants, soils, pots, tools, decorative plants and more that are all healthy and sustainable. Picture the Instagram feed of your hippest friend’s apartment, filled with healthy cacti and succulents — that’s the vibe of City Grows.
Lawrenceville: 5208 Butler St.; 412/781-2082, citygrowspgh.com
Iannetti’s Garden Center
When you think Burgettstown, the first place that usually comes to mind is KeyBank Pavilion . . . or First Niagara, or Star Lake, or whatever new name the venue currently has. But, Iannetti’s Garden Center, also located in Burgettstown, should be the first place you think of if you like to garden. Open since 1950, Iannetti’s claims to have the largest selection of nursery stock in the area and is open year-round. The garden center’s list of offerings is extensive — depending on the time of year, you can find vegetative and seed varieties of annual flowers, regular and heirloom vegetables, herbs, perennials, trees, shrubs and garden supplies.
Burgettstown: 728 Steubenville Pike; 724/729-3500, iannettis.com
Photos by Natasha Dean
Shadyside Nursery is tucked off the main drag of Ellsworth Avenue in Shadyside, meaning that it’s small — but it makes up for that with the large amount of happenings it offers. Owned by brothers Bill Brittain and Mike Georges since 2011, the nursery has evolved into a multi-use green space that hosts workshops, community events and two local small businesses, Shadyside Worms and BeeBoy Hives & Honey. Three years ago, the brothers started Weather Permitting, an outdoor, family-friendly party featuring live music and food trucks. The nursery sells everything you can imagine in the planting-heavy spring season and perennials and shrubs in the summer season. If your green thumb leaves something to be desired, they also offer landscaping services.
Shadyside: 510 Maryland Ave.; 412/363-5845, theshadysidenursery.com
The Farmer’s Daughter Flowers
Photo by Laura Petrilla
Although The Farmer’s Daughter Flowers isn’t a nursery, I’d be remiss not to mention this flower shop that offers the ultimate garden inspiration. Lauren Work Phillips, the owner of The Farmer’s Daughter, has the ultimate green thumb. She sources her flowers locally and from her own garden as often as she can; photos of her farm exhibit vibrant, colorful flowers that the rest of us only wish we could grow. Take a stroll into her shop to find adorable home decorations, jewelry, trinkets and more — but also to see her team in action as they put together some of the most beautiful floral arrangements the city has to offer.
East Allegheny: 431 E. Ohio St.; 412/231-1238, thefarmersdaughterflowers.com.