On more than 100 acres of land, Amherst Nurseries grows a vast forest of trees and shrubs, helping to make customers' green thumbs even greener. The retail store boasts a friendly staff that helps customers select the right plants for their yards. Maples, ashes, honey locusts, and other shade trees provide homes for birds' nests and dolls' treehouses ($330 for a 15- to 20-ft. tree), and the colorful foliage of plums, cherries, crab apples, and other flowering trees gives yards an instant makeover in preparation for tree prom season ($260 for a 10- to 15-ft. tree). On the farm, Amherst's tree tenders minimize pesticide use and partner with UMass researchers to test new soil-conservation technologies. Each seedling is raised on sunlight, fresh air, and occasional discipline, growing into a sturdy young tree that showcases a one-year guarantee and an excellent moral compass.
Credo Skate & Snow Shoppe kits out extreme land- and snow-riders with name-brand boards, gear, clothing, and accessories. Wear your sport on your sleeve or craft a tiny sleeping bag for your favorite board with Vans or Altamont T-shirts ($20) or graft on a set of Spitfire wheels ($30) for smooth cruising. Sidewalk surfers searching for new skating surfaces can pick up a new deck ($55) by brands such as Anti Hero, Alien Workshop, and Raw and keep a steady grip while achieving perfect balance with Adidas Dennis Busenitz skate shoes ($75). Offering long-boards such as Loaded Boards' Dervish ($310) as well as trucks, wheels, and skate-friendly clothing, Credo Skate & Snow Shoppe encourages the speed-seeking demands of adrenaline addicts hanging out at skate parks, snow hills, and shopping-cart stalls everywhere.
Armed with hundreds of different fabrics and leathers, Fly By Night’s upholstery experts drape custom designs onto a vast selection of American-made furniture. Courtesy of brands such as Lee, Norwalk, and American Leather, sofa designs range from the British elegance of the Notting Hill sofa ($989.95+) to the sleek napping surface of the Dorset apartment sofa ($959.95+). Chairs are available in either fabric or leather, from the gleaming red Myers chair ($699.95+) to the cushy Theo rocker recliner ($669.95+). Although delivery is not included in today's deal, Fly By Night also delivers five days a week throughout western Massachusetts with moving practices inspired by Sisyphus, who was forced to carry a heavy sofa up a hill while resisting the urge to sit in it.
Family owned and operated for three generations, the talented blossom bundlers at Nuttelman’s Florists pride themselves on customer satisfaction and their abundant selection of choice blooms. The floral fashioners cut each stem from their on-premise greenhouses, which keep the extensive aromatic inventory hidden from the daisy-destroying clutches of enchanted snowmen. Pick your favorite florets and let the arrangers fill your bouquet to value based on the varying cost per stem before securing the stunning spray in tissue and cellophane. Each bouquet is artfully finished with a color-coordinated ribbon wrapped around the base, and each presentation can be further personalized with a printed message.
New England Hydroponics' trained staff roams the shop, eager to help patrons find the perfect products for their indoor-gardening needs. They demonstrate equipment for customers or allow them to try it out before purchase, helping them learn the ins and outs of products such as HID lights, grow tents, and flutes that make vines dance. A newly built 4,000-square-foot warehouse keeps New England Hydroponics' retail store stocked with supplies for gardeners of all types.
Michael's Party Rentals began in 2000 as a one-tent operation led by Michael Linton and his brother when they were teenagers. More than 10 years later, Michael is now the sole owner of the company, which possesses a 3,000-square-foot warehouse stocked with more than 60 tents of all sizes, as well as tables, chairs, a dance floor, staging, lighting, and various other party accessories. Michael's Party Rentals is now equipped to handle up to 50 events each week, which range in size from small barbecue get-togethers to elegant wedding ceremonies. Michael’s crew delivers all the equipment, and setup is always included.