On May 31, 2008, wickerparker from Chicago, IL wrote:
I'm giving the Chalet a "great" rating mostly because of the tremendous scope of its offerings. Tree and shrub selection is impressive. Garden supplies, books, ornaments A+ -- indeed the best place for mulch (love their store brand leaf mulch!), soil amendments, tools, fertilizers of all kinds, and practically every fix and remedy a dedicated gardener might be looking for. I hit all the garden centers in the Chicago area regularly throughout the gardening season, and the Chalet is the most useful of the ones I frequent, by far. Also a great selection of annuals. And, though I'm no expert, a very nice house plant department. Prices are high, but on par with other specialty nurseries in this orbit. Expertise of the staff is hit or miss. Managers really know their stuff, but like most places the summer staff is padded with people who don't necessarily know anything. Sad to see their aquatic plant selection diminish in the last couple of years, though I've heard they're going to beef it up again. Perhaps they have already. The main thing I look for at a nursery, however, is the selection of perennials. In past years, the Chalet offered lots of unique treasures among the plants you would expect to find anywhere. The 2007 season, however, was disappointing. Far fewer exciting plants. Lots more of the standards. Hoping 2008 will be better. Still, wouldn't want to garden without them.