The first seeds were sown in 1970, but the story of Smith-Gilbert Gardens actually starts almost 150 years ago. Though the 16 acres of emerald landscape features wooded paths, evocative sculptures, and more than 3,000 species of plants, the jewel in the garden's crown is the Hiram Butler House, an Italianate and Greek Revival blend built by a celebrated 19th century railway man. Today, the house is just one of many points of interest on the estate. An explosion of color greets visitors to the Perennial Garden, where daffodils, bearded lilies, and vivid asters mingle together and sometimes sing a capella. The conifer garden features small and slow-growing bushes and trees that thrive in the Southeastern United States, while the Japanese Maple Grove features more than 30 varieties of this ornamental tree. Other must-see spots include the Cedar Field and Rose Garden, where a single sylvan sentry stands guard over a grassy expanse, and the Bonsai Garden, one of the only gardens of its kind in Georgia.
Father-and-son team Robert and Fred Lee worked as homebuilders for years before going into business selling lights in 1965, so they knew how quickly something impressive could rise from a humble foundation. Sure enough, Lee Lighting, their small family company, grew to include a vast online retail shop and one of the largest lighting dealers in Texas. They've even purchased Savoy, a company that designs fixtures to bring cheer to dining rooms and make rooms full of ventriloquist dummies less terrifying.
Lee Lighting stocks shelves with a diverse selection of indoor lamps from brands including ELK Lighting, Quoizel, and Hudson Valley. Staffers certified by the American Lighting Association move beneath the dazzling crystal sprays and faux candles of chandeliers. They suggest outdoor lighting to transform backyards into regal terraces. They also stay abreast of lighting trends to help patrons select lights that will stay in style.
At Play It Again Sports, knowledgeable equipment masters outfit athletes of all sports with new and used gear from major-league brands such as Nike, Callaway Golf, and Adidas. An ever-rotating inventory keeps lockers stocked with spare balls, dressers filled with run-ready shorts, and secret laboratories populated with gleaming treadmills. Proud recipients of the Gold Standard Store award, amiable staffers stand ready to answer questions or assist with fittings, ensuring that each athlete leaves with the appropriate helmet, bat, or free-weight set. The shop also doles out cash or credit for trade-in gear, completing the ethereal circle of sports.
The staff at Blush Kennesaw love talking clothes with their customers. Whether it's face-to-face in their cozy shop, or through their Facebook page, they leap at the chance to share the latest dresses and tops with other fashionistas. And with an ever-changing stock of colorful sundresses, trendy knit tops, comfortable shorts, and glimmering accessories, coupled with a penchant for 1920s sports trivia, they always have something exciting to chat about.
D. Geller and Son Jewelers' team has dressed bare necks, earlobes, and fingers with dazzling accessories for more than 70 years. Made from precious metals and rare jewels, sparkling pendants embellish clavicles for evenings on the town or everyday elegance. Rings forged from silver can be set with any number of carefully cut diamonds to become an engagement ring or something crunchy to place at the bottom of a box of stale caramel corn.
Kid to Kid is an upscale children's and maternity resale store that buys clothing, toys, furnishings, and baby gear before selling it back at affordable prices. Before making the cut, all clothes and shoes must be deemed certifiably elite in stylishness, cleanliness, and newishness. Items are hand-selected by discerning staffers who put them through an intense screening process in which the gems make the rack and the duds are sent back. Back-to-school shoppers can find brands such as Gap and Gymboree, and moms-to-be can find fashions for themselves and their baking buns. Each piece of equipment and every toy is squeaky-clean and well-mannered, always poised for an invite to the most exclusive teddy bear picnics.