Fred Griffin: Tallahassee: Tony's Garden Patch Closes Forever, The Athenian Goddess Stands Alone

Tallahassee: Tony's Garden Patch Closes Forever, The Athenian Goddess Stands Alone

     Tony's Garden Patch has been on Thomasville Road in Tallahassee, Florida since the 1940's.  Tony's was particularly noted for the Yard Statues that were offered for sale - literally acres of them. 

     Tony's is shutting down at the end of Saturday June 29, 2013.


Tony's Garden Patch Tallahassee, Florida




    The Saint and her Dog point the way to Tony's!










    Before Home Depot and Lowe's, Tony's was the place where Tallahasseans bought Garden supplies, Pine Straw, Firewood, and Plants.  Tony's was a Nursery, a Farmer's Market, and a place to buy Statues.   They had everything!


Changing Times

      As Tallahassee grew, new neighborhoods such as Killearn Lakes and Golden Eagle and Summerbrooke appeared far beyond Tony's.   Then came Home Depot and Lowe's, who put a crimp not just on Tony's, but on Tallahassee Nursery and other local businesses. 

     When U.S. Highway 19 aka Thomasville Road was widened from a narrow Country Highway into a 6-Lane Commuter Road, Tony's became a relic of the past. 


Tony's Garden Patch Tallahassee, Florida




     Anthony Hugh Martin, aka Tony, migrated to Tallahassee from Moultrie, Georgia back in the 1940's.  He married Mary Magdalene Brown of Wakulla County.  Together they ran Tony's Garden Patch for over 60 years.

     Tony died in December of 2011.  The Business at that time was greatly reduced, but it continued to sell Landscape Timbers, Pine Straw, and other Garden Necessities.  Tony's also operated as a Supplier of Hickory Firewood to area Restaurants, including most of the Barbecue Places in Tallahassee (Employees of Tony's will continue to run the Firewood Business, a bit farther up Lake Hall Road).

Tony's Garden Patch - The Yellow Chicken - Tallahassee, Florida




   The 5 Foot Tall Chicken Statue is still standing today, Friday June 28, 2013.











     Last month, Mary Magdalene Martin passed away (I attended her Funeral).  Her Trust has decided to phase out the Business.  Saturday June 29, 2013 will be the last day for "Tony's Garden Patch".

     All week, people have been pouring into Tony's to get a piece of Tallahassee History.  Except for the Giant Chicken, the Large Statues are all gone.  Contractors are making deals for the patio stones and loading them onto trailers.  The Business will shutter on Saturday; the remaining assets will be auctioned off in a few weeks.


     Farewell, Tony's Garden Patch - End of an Era for Tallahassee. 



Greek Statue - Athena Goddess - Tallahassee Real Estate




     The Athenian Goddess now stands alone in the overgrown brush.  She weeps over the End of Tony's Garden Patch.



Frederick Griffin, Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker    


Leave of Absence, January 2019

      Fred is not soliciting new business at this time.

     If you are a current or former client of Fred, and need to speak with him, use the CONTACT button on this page.  





Tallahassee Florida Metropolitan Area    


Disclaimer:  Nothing in the above blog article is to be construed as legal advice, tax advice, or financial advice.  For legal advice see an attorney.   For tax advice or financial advice see a tax attorney, certified public accountant, or other qualified professional.



Fred, excellent story.  The same thing happened to our local hardware store--sometimes I thought my partner/husband lived there.  The guys at the store always had an answer for a problem; and, sometime the part only cost $1.00.  We now have a Kmart & an Ace Hardware nearby.  The hardware store closed before they opened.

Posted by Pat & Steve Pribisko (Keller Williams Greater Cleveland West) over 5 years ago

She does look a bit lonely.  You should buy another statue to keep her company and just install it anonymously in the night.  Might create quite a stir around town.

Posted by Ralph Janisch ABR CRS Broker, Selling Northwest Houston to good people like you! (Janisch & Co.) over 5 years ago

Nice job sharing about this local business. I will always shop local whenever I can. These local businesses need our support to make sure they stay in business.

Make it a great weekend!

Posted by Joe Petrowsky, Your Mortgage Consultant for Life (Mortgage Consultant, Right Trac Financial Group, Inc. NMLS # 2709) over 5 years ago

Fred, Your blog about Tony's Garden Patch is a sad one we are hearing more and more often, especially in our historical small town of Mechanicsburg, not far from Gettysburg.  Mom and Pop don't stand much of a chance with the big box companies spending millions on lobbyist influencing how laws are written.

Posted by Bette Gottwald, "Bet"on Central PA Real Estate! (UNITED REAL ESTATE | Central PA) over 5 years ago

Thomasville Road sure used to be a nice drive. Took it several times when I was stationed in Albany GA and headed to Panama City. That 5 ft chicken looks like a real nice addition to your real office...go for it!

Posted by Gary L. Waters Broker Associate, Bucci Realty, Fifteen Years Experience in Brevard County (Bucci Realty, Inc.) over 5 years ago

Fred -- a sad but probably inevitable end for Tony's Garden Patch in Tallahassee -- thanks for sharing the history of the business.    

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393 over 5 years ago

Good morning, Joe!   There is quite a crowd there this morning...  they are buying up anything and everything.


Hi, Bet.  One other thing that hurt "Tony's" - when they 6-Laned the Highway, they did not put a cut through the Median.  This means that people coming from town have to go about a quarter-mile on up the road, and then make a U-Turn.  Poor ingress/egress is not good for business.


Gary,  Thomasville Road is still a beautiful drive.  Four lanes, with a very wide median, you are passing through about 20 miles of Hunting Plantations on both sides of the highway.   Hey, I told my wife I wanted to buy that Chicken - she looked at me like I was crazy!


Hi, Michael.  Thanks for your comments!

Posted by Fred Griffin presently on Leave of Absence, Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker (Fred Griffin Real Estate) over 5 years ago

Hi Fred, when giant stores coming to town the local businesses will be hard to survive, unless they have better quality and lower price. They will auction the property too?

Posted by Kwee Huset, Venice Florida Homes For Sale (Kwee Huset Realty) over 5 years ago

Hi, Kwee.   I have heard from several credible sources that the property will either be sold or auctioned. 


Posted by Fred Griffin presently on Leave of Absence, Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker (Fred Griffin Real Estate) over 5 years ago

Fred, sounds like an icon shop with be shutting down, and hope many residents of your City get in for bits and pieces before the final door closes.

Posted by Joan Cox, Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time (House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373) over 5 years ago

Hi Fred,

I always hate to hear about business shutting down that have been there forever. It is hard to complete with the 2 major home improvement stores but if you are looking for something special, you need to go somewhere like Tony's. I would sure like to  have that 5ft chicken in my backyard.

Posted by Kristin Hamilton CA Realtor, (909) 557-6966- Specialize 55+ Communties Banning (Sun Lakes Realt) over 5 years ago

Fred, Very sad to hear about the end of a local business going to the way side of the big box stores, the big box have great prices but are just not the same.

Posted by Christine OShea (Christine E O'Shea Real Estate Broker) over 5 years ago

Sad story Fred but not uncommon.  We used to have several places like Tony's in my area now almost all of them are gone.


Posted by Jim Patton, Realtor - Stanislaus & Merced county Realtor. (Century 21 M&M - 209-404-0816) over 5 years ago

Fred, this is a great tribute that you have written. I ALWAYS try to support the small local businesses over the big box stores. Very nice, but sad, post.

Posted by Lisa Friedman, 29 Years of Real Estate Experience! (Great American Dream Realty) over 5 years ago

Fred, looks like Tony's Garden Patch was a popular shop, but sometimes tough in today's economy.  Good luck to these owners.

Posted by Joan Cox, Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time (House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373) over 5 years ago