In 1952, after years of experience in the nursery industry, Urban Reckamp planted the first seeds of his own horticultural business, Harvard Nursery. Twenty years later, the next generation of Reckamps, Tim and Pam, took over, letting the nursery's success grow through word of mouth, an established reputation in the community, and a stockpile of magic beans. Bringing a bachelor's in horticulture and an education background in design, the third generation, Kevin and Nina Reckamp, sprouted their roots as the new management of the nursery in 2010.
Today, with 60 years of experience under its belt, the nursery offers visitors a plethora of greenery. Its retail garden center blooms with locally grown verdant saplings and effulgent perennials guaranteed to appease the pickiest of garden gnomes. In addition to onsite dealings, its experienced crew can also travel to nearby locations to perform landscape design, enhancement, and maintenance.
Founded in 1991 by an enterprising high-school freshman, Apex Landscaping dispatches more than 60 personable personnel to groom clients’ lawns and gardens. With today’s deal, choose between seven varieties of annual flowers to decorate your garden this summer—sprinkle gardens with dainty impatiens, light up a field with some fiery marigolds, or plant sharp snapdragon spikes below windowsills to deter pie thieves. A landscape technician will help homeowners decide where to place plants, then an army of installers will dimple gardens with holes to house 108 root systems. Upon request, they can also sprinkle new arrivals with organic fertilizer or sing them chlorophyll-themed lullabies to soothe the transition into their new homes.
As their name implies, Greenwise specializes in 100% eco-friendly landscaping services. Their maintenance packages for residential or commercial lawns use sustainable, renewable alternative products to keep Mother Nature from giving them a stern lecture. Propane- or electric-driven mowers trim grass with low amounts of emissions and their grass seed is fused with beneficial fungi that nourish turf without the need for added chemicals. Additionally, their fertilizers use nutrient-rich compost comprised of molasses and yeast, and weeds and harmful insects are eliminated with nontoxic, all-natural products.
Greenwise’s devotion to lowering carbon footprints extends to their landscaping design as well. They plant organic gardens that blossom with fresh fruits and vegetables to add aesthetic beauty to yards and cut down on trips to the grocer. They are also proponents of working with native flora, which make for a more sustainable garden and attract native birds and butterflies to yards to entertain bored lawn ornaments.
In 1955, James and Gladys Bluemel opened a small nursery dedicated to growing trees and shrubs and to helping locals with landscaping projects. Now, their son, Mike, runs the much-expanded family business, which thrives on bulk-supply sales, playground resurfacing, lawn care, and snow and ice control during snowman uprisings. Though he’s moved away from the nursery’s original shrub and tree business, he and his green-thumbed staff still maintain a garden center stocked with seasonal plants, garden décor, and essential supplies.
While customers browse Bluemel’s aisles, they'll likely spot a commonality between the perennials, annuals, flowers, herbs, and vegetables: a sticker reading “Dome Grown.” This label marks a plant born and raised in the garden center, which accounts for about 85% of the center’s living merchandise. Having tended and nurtured the plants since their geneses, the staff—who share 35 years of experience—can dispense tips on how to properly care for them, as well as share adorable baby-plant photos.
When not busy tending future landscape champs culled from their lush greenhouse plants, Floral Acres' florists furnish stunning floral arrangements. Make a lasting ocular impression with the Delightfully Daisy bouquet, as lavender competes with daisy spray chrysanthemums for face time from the see-through confines of a clear, glass bubble bowl ($29.99+). A vase of white and yellow daisies ushers in upcoming solstices bedecked with a cheery yellow ribbon ($29.99). Floral Acres supplies the flowered greenery for myriad occasions, commemorating milestones ranging from a sister’s new baby to a brother’s new Burger Time high score with specially designed displays.
A family walks down a lane cut into a sprawling field of corn, striding confidently until they reach a fork. After a debate, they turn left, and eventually left again. A wooden bridge leapfrogs them to a new path, lined with rows of eerily similar corn stalks. Luckily, it's a balmy day, the blue sky striated with wispy clouds, and they're not in a hurry to emerge from the green ocean of corn.
From an observation deck nearby, the 28-acre cornfield looks like a postage stamp inside the 450-acre farm, which grows soybeans, corn, and more than 50,000 Christmas trees. Homesteaded in 1840, the land is now owned and worked by a third generation of Richardsons. The family wanted to welcome visitors to the farm to enjoy the rural, outdoorsy fun that could only fit on such a sprawling space. They planted the corn maze?among the world's largest?and devised other attractions such as a zipline and paintball gallery. Visitors can also cheer on racing pigs, pet animals in an interactive zoo, and participate in different maze games. In autumn families come to pick pumpkins and in winter they cut their own Christmas trees.