Hyams Garden and Accent Store
James Island. 870 Folly Road. 795-4570
When you walk into Hyams, the garden store opened by owner George Hyams in 1984, the most noticeable thing about the place -- other than the rows and rows of plants, of course -- is the crystal-clear happiness of the employees. They're having fun, even when the center gets busy (as it tends to do on beautiful spring days), and that fun is contagious. "Something about this place attracts the nicest employees," says Meg Moore, ordering manager for the bedding department. "You get excited to come in and you really believe in it. The cutest thing is when people come in and just wander around with a little smile on their face, it's really sweet." Then again, it would be pretty difficult to be grouchy in the midst of the deceptively large center, which is separated into indoor plants (in the greenhouse), outdoor plants, soils and fertilizers, and a ridiculous number of garden accessories ranging from stone apostles for the yard to at least 100 different possible trellis combinations. In case you feel overwhelmed, the knowledgeable staff are never too far away -- or if you want to get really D.I.Y., grab some of the free printouts collected in one corner of the store that detail everything from how to get your soil tested before planting to how to lure hummingbirds to how to make your garden the most fragrant one on the block.