Southern Homes and Gardens’ new facility was designed to provide a complete gardening lifestyle center with retail sales for plants, interior and exterior home furnishings and accessories, a café, greenhouses and outdoor plant displays. The facility, which includes landscaped grounds, is intended to serve as a regional shopping destination. The owner requested a retail center in the spirit of European conservatories to complement high-end greenhouses, on a heavily landscaped 20-acre site.
The project site was an open field facing a major travel artery in an upscale suburban area experiencing rapid growth. A creek bound the relatively flat site on the east side. The siting concept was to use the required detention pond at the front of the site as a design feature in the foreground of the facility. Building greenhouses and parking are located perpendicular to the road to minimize their visual impact on the narrow but deep site. An ornamental stone and iron fence gateway make reference to similar entryways at neighboring subdivisions. The retail center uses forms and materials that are complementary to the predominant residential style in the area.
Well water is the source for all irrigation water. Rainwater is collected and contained in the ornamental detention pond in front of the site. The existing creek at the east side of the site is used for drainage and its banks were enhanced with natural landscaping.