Andersson Gardens given 60 days to vacate property, looking for a new spaceMarjorie Andersson and her husband opened Andersson Gardens in March to meet the needs of local gardeners. The store is located on Washington Street and is one of many new businesses to open in the Avondale Estates recently. Photo by Zoe Seiler.
Avondale Estates, GA — The future is uncertain for local Avondale Estates plant shop Andersson Gardens. The small business leases space on Washington Street, and the property owner was given them about 60 days to move out of the space. Andersson Gardens will close at its current location on July 15.
But Marjorie Andersson is looking for another location to move her business to.
Andersson and her husband opened Andersson Gardens in March 2021 with a goal to support local gardeners in the area and meet their needs. Andersson has received a positive response from the community since opening, and the community is rallying around her now.
“It’s meant a lot to people that I didn’t understand,” Andersson said. “That’s why I feel like we should carry on because the community needs this place.”
Her focus has been on providing unique perennials, shrubs and trees at fair prices.
“In the beginning I was just reselling, but after a year I couldn’t find the stuff that I wanted to resell, so I started growing.”
She now grows about 90% of the plant material that’s available at Andersson Gardens.
“There is not a plant in there that I haven’t babied myself,” Andersson said.
Andersson subleases her retail space from Taylor Means. Means has some ideas for the property but doesn’t currently have any concrete plans. He has not stated why Andersson was given 60 days to vacate the property.
“I think that a retail plant store is a great asset for our community,” Means said. “That’s why I helped create a space for Marjorie to establish her business. The initial concept was presented to the city as a temporary retail plant store for a period of one year.”
He added that he’s confident Andersson can find a more permanent home within the Avondale Estates community.
“There are several properties within a half mile that have for sale or lease signs posted, all of which would be great new locations for a retail plant store,” he said.
But Andersson isn’t sure she’ll be able to move. She is still looking for a retail space to purchase. She also said that she has asked Means for a lease several times, but she didn’t get one.
In mid-May, Andersson “got an email from Taylor saying that he had won his lawsuit that he was entangled with in regard to some property around Little Tree Studios and that it was in his best interest to take back possession of 2832 Washington Street, suite B and that I had 60 days to vacate,” she said.
Andersson has also asked if she could stay until the fall and was told there was no flexibility. She and Means have not spoken since then.
“The next day I had to put everything on clearance because I had tens of thousands of plants that we were growing not only for this season but for the fall season and for next year. Now I’m in liquidation mode,” Andersson said. “I don’t know if there’s a future for Andersson Gardens because now that I look around, everything is so expensive here in Avondale.”
She doesn’t want to rent a location again because she has been moved out of her space twice from a landlord. In 2021, Andersson Gardens shared a lot with Shades of Green. When Shades of Green wanted to move into the whole lot, Andersson Gardens was moved to their current location of 2832 Washington Street, suite B.
“I feel like if we are to have a future, it’s going to have to be to buy something close by hopefully,” Andersson said. “We’ll need this unicorn landowner that will help us finance the space.”
She is looking for a location that’s close to Avondale Estates, has access to a road, the ability to bring in electricity and water, and is about half an acre to an acre.
Customers have since come into the shop heartbroken by the situation and sharing the reasons why Andersson Gardens is important to them.
“I love having a local business where I can come and get a really quality product that I know is going to beautify any space. I’ve bought gifts here. I’ve bought for myself here,” a customer said in a video sent to Decaturish. “I wanted to come to a local business where I know the product is a better quality and where I can have the interaction and get personalized service. It’s so important. We love having this space in our community.”
For Andersson, the plant shop has also been a source of recovery.
“I’ve really enjoyed growing something and giving life to these plants and giving them homes and providing this service to the community that means so much to them,” Andersson said. “It heals my heart, too.”
The Avondale Estates resident started to do more work in her garden in 2020, like many others, as the COVID-19 pandemic hit. But Andersson couldn’t find any unusual or interesting plants at stores like Home Depot or Walmart.
“I started looking around and I found a lot of really interesting farms and wholesale nurseries, but I couldn’t get in because I wasn’t a landscaper,” Andersson previously said. “I actually decided to get my business license and my live plant license and become a business simply, so I could get into these farms and wholesale nurseries and all of that.”
She loaded up on plants at Saul’s Nurseries after she got her business license. On the way home, Andersson thought about selling the plants rather than planting all of them in her own yard.
The business started out as a side gig and a hobby but grew into a full-time job after Andersson lost her corporate job in September 2020.
Andersson Gardens is set up in a way to make it easy for people to pick out plants with sections for sun, shade and a combination of sun and shade. So if a customer doesn’t know where to begin but knows they have a lot of sun in their yard, then they can choose plants from the sun section, Andersson said.
Andersson is also available to answer questions and point customers in the right direction.
“The other good thing about being a small, independent nursery is that you do get that individual one-on-one attention when you come here,” Andersson said.
Andersson Gardens is located at 2832 Washington Street and is open Monday-Friday from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday from 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. Parking is available in front of the shop and across the street.
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