Readers' Choice

People’s Choice: Beaver Bark Gift and Garden Center

The stress and bustle of life melts away at the entrance to Beaver Bark Gift & Garden Center.

Walking through the doors is an experience, owner Renae Bobbett said. The fragrant aromas of herbs and flowers drift through the air while the water garden babbles and gentle music plays.

“If people are ever feeling down, this place brings joy to your soul,” Bobbett said.

The garden center has come a long way since Renae and her husband, Todd, first put a pile of bark out by the road. Today, Beaver Bark sits on nine acres and sells everything from bulk bark and concrete to delicate fairy gardens and clothing. Trucks deliver bulk materials to the Columbia Basin seven days a week.

Bobbett always is on the lookout for new items and trends, whether it’s the “Ketchup n’ Fries” — a grafted tomato and potato plant — or Italian handcrafted soaps.

“We’re so much more than a bark and rock store,” Bobbett said. “I love to beautify the world. I like pretty things, and I love sharing that with our customers.”

Beaver Bark grows many plants on the site through its temperature-controlled greenhouse. In 2010, Beaver Bark was named Garden Center of the Year by Garden Centers of America, and in 2014 Bobbett was one of six delegates from the United States who joined the International Garden Centre Congress in Ireland.

Beaver Bark could be one of the Tri-Cities’ best-kept secrets. People regularly discover the store for the first time, Bobbett said, even though the center has been at 607 Aaron Drive in Richland for more than a decade.

First-time visitors are always amazed at what they find inside the store, which is geared toward landscape supply, home decor and lifestyles, Bobbett said.

“We have a little bit of everything,” she said. “We’re grateful that we’ve been able to grow, and thankful that the community has supported us.”