The journey from confusion to organization doesn't have to be a long one. Often enough, it's the length of one tiny strip of metal—the staple that holds a school paper together, or attaches a cover letter to a résumé. Staples doesn't carry staples exclusively, of course, but for 26 years, they've aspired to create that same sense of effortless order. Their library of products covers everything from pencils and fire extinguishers to all-in-one machines and facility supplies, all of which aim to make jobs easier.
The technology aisles feature more advanced gear: cameras, phones, label makers, tablets, and laptops from popular brands. Onsite copy and print centers churn out professional documents, business cards, and several other types of paper and photo goods. And, though Staples' focus is work, the stores can also furnish break rooms with chairs and coffeemakers.
For the past 87 years, Weston Nurseries has provided garden goods and services through good days, bad days, and days of triffids. If your plant expertise doesn't even go back 87 seconds, Weston's staff of friendly, knowledgeable chlorophyll enthusiasts will happily guide potential green thumbs through a library of nearly 1,800 plants. Assorted perennials start at $8.95 and stand ready to be planted in fertile crescents throughout the Super Mario Brothers level you've built in your backyard. The less soil-inclined can gussy up a porch or balustrade with a hanging planter full of colorful annuals (starting at $32). Otherwise, sweeten summers with highbush blueberry cultivars ($36 for a #3 pot) or give the lily of the valley something to be jealous of with a Rose-of-Sharon ($36 for a #3 pot). Every gardener worth his or her pruning shears knows of the earth's constant craving for crustaceans, so feed its need with Coast of Maine Lobster Compost ($7.99 per one-cubic-foot bag). Gardening accessories are also plentiful; gear up with phalange-guarding West County women's garden gloves ($27.99) and an OXO 3L watering can ($19.99), to name just a few.
In more than 1,112 stores worldwide, Edible Arrangements' expert fruit florists arrange pieces of premium fruit in stunning displays for all occasions. Customers can customize their order to suit any occasion, receiving chocolate-dipped fruit such as pineapples, granny-smith apples, grapes, and juicy Albion strawberries that, unlike the sodas found in most mummies' crypts, don't contain any preservatives. Staffers can dip fruit in gourmet semisweet chocolate, white chocolate, or their own special peanut-butter-and-chocolate blend. For birthdays and anniversaries, chocolate wielders can personalize gift baskets with gifts such as plush teddy bears and mylar balloons.
NEO Interiors is a market laboratory in which designers test out various modern abode fillings, including imported pieces from Italy, Belgium, and Spain, to see which creations please patrons, resulting in a showroom stocked with one-of-a-kind furniture less expensive than normal retail prices. A square black coffee table ($365) supports drinks, books, and scale models of post offices on its sturdy steel legs, its steadfast efforts reflected in the mod surface of the Italian bubbles mirror ($381). Snuggle into a plush queen-size memory-foam mattress ($687) supported by the queen-size Sky bed frame with a scrolled metal headboard and cherry-colored wooden legs ($350). Home delivery incurs a $150 charge, but—similar to beard combs obtained by a five-finger discount—pick-up at the store is free.
Garden in the Woods is a 45-acre botanical garden, devoted to the conservation and promotion of native New England plants. Kid-friendly with scavenger hunts. Adult-friendly with guided walking tours Tues-Fri at 10am, Sat-Sun at 2pm.