Ladies transform shack into cottage, business

Secret garden of plants, decorations



ROSWELL, Ga. – Hidden away around a corner of a shopping plaza on Ga. 9 not far south of Holcomb Bridge, is the Historic Roswell Antique Market. And hidden around a corner from that is the Collector’s Cottage.

The cottage was started last month by longtime friends Diane Wilkes and Liz Palmer. Dotted around a quaint wooden shed (it really is more of a cottage) are little plants and containers of all shapes, sizes and colors. It is perfectly shaded by a pair of large trees and even has a little lawn beside it. This is the Collector’s Cottage.

“This was all overgrown with ivy and brush,” said Wilkes. “We fell in love with the structure. It had so much potential.”

Jim Dinnen of the Roswell Antique Market said his store occupies a former home supply store that also dabbled in gardens. The shed was part of the side yard that held the outdoor goods. When the store closed, the shed and garden center lay fallow and unused because Dinnen had no need for it.

One day, Wilkes said she was shopping in the antique market when she began speaking with Dinnen. When she let slip she was a gardener, Dinnen took her aside.

“People had tossed around ideas of using the shed as a garden area,” Dinnen said, “but nobody had the talent for it.”

Wilkes, a Roswell resident, did have that talent as a garden designer. She and her friend, Palmer, who is an interior designer specializing in English antiques, saw the site one day and immediately recognized the possibilities. They decided to open their own shop.

“We offer garden items and antiques,” Palmer said. “Also, a lot of containers and container flowers, including herbs.”

The cottage space is dotted with bright green herbs and colorful flowers in unique containers of all shapes, sizes and materials, as well as a healthy assortment of antiques.

“We try to have the best products we can that are made to order,” Wilkes said.

The pair will have a holiday show Nov. 3 from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. highlighting designs and fixtures for Thanksgiving and Christmas.

“We will take orders for fresh wreaths and garlands,” said Wilkes, “and we will have an antiques trunk show from My English Table.”

For more on the Collector’s Cottage, visit their Facebook page at The Collector’s Cottage. The Historic Roswell Antique Market is located at 1207 Alpharetta Street, Roswell. Open Monday to Saturday from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday from 1 – 5 p.m. Call 770-587-5259 for more information.

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