UpCountry Garden by Duncan Fanning 16 Eastern, 416-367-3906 Rating: NNNNN
After more than 20 years experience with his family's patio furniture chain and eight years with Sheridan nurseries, Duncan Fanning opened his 5,000-square-f00t garden emporium - the biggest one of its kind in the downtown core - five yeas ago and helped spur the growing Toronto trend of, well, growing. Designers looking for product improvement often tap into his vision for outdoor living (check out Fanning's upcoming Kingsley-Bate teak chair redesign), and competitors have been known to make ballsy appearances with clipboards and calculators in hand. With everything from soothing water fountains to garden incense plus exclusive high-end outdoor furniture lines such as Emu, Lloyd/Flanders, Meadowcraft and Heidt, this is a garden dweller's oasis. Take note: the store is entering a new era and a fresh new name is on the horizon. Stay tuned.
Fanning's picks : Blue watering can, $19.99; Kingsley-Bate teak Essex table, $4,050, and chairs, $500 each; white Moroccan lanterns, $29.99; a selection of juniper topiaries, $299 each.
Look for : Le Chameau gardening boots, Honey and Herbs skin care, and windproof citronella candles.
Hours : Monday to Saturday 10 to 6 pm, Sunday noon to 5 pm.