Alta Tingle, owner of The Gardener, is a former garden designer and lecturer on landscape design, and an avid gardener and photographer. The Gardener is a collection of all the things that Alta, through her talents and interests, has learned to enjoy and appreciate in her life - a great pair of Japanese scissors for cutting flowers, the purest bar of lavender soap, a big ceramic bowl for the kitchen to hold the season's offerings - things that before had required trips to nurseries, hardware and specialty stores.
The store celebrates beautiful and useful things for the home and garden, and offers a refreshing shopping experience for city dwellers seeking uniquely crafted tabletop, cooking, dining, and garden items. The merchandise changes with the seasons and immediately wins the hearts of those who share a gardener's aesthetic and spirit. The Ferry Building store is the third The Gardener store in the Bay Area. The first opened in Berkeley in 1984. Alta broke new ground by connecting house to garden with her unique aesthetic. The original store on Fourth Street endures as a nationally-acclaimed and locally-beloved mecca for discerning shoppers. A second store, which opened in 1998, resides in a barn amidst a bountiful garden in the wine country town of Healdsburg -- one hour north of San Francisco.