Rice's Nursery has been sprucing up area gardens with expert intervention since 1941, often by giving them a whimsical personality by adding a whimsical fairy garden, complete with tiny props and plants perfectly sized for imaginary flying friends. Rice Nursery's collection of fairy gardening products includes miniature shrubbery and flowering plants, itty-bitty statues of fairies ($14.99), houses, furniture ($5.49-$29.99), and accessories like holiday wreaths ($1.99-$2.99) and watering cans ($1.79). Rice's garden center centers on model gardens that give would-be fairy gardeners a chance to scope clever set-up ideas.
Sometimes, a greener world is hard to visualize. For the technicians at Green Thumb Lawn Care, though, it’s as easy as the click of a shutter. Before each project, the lawn-care professionals snap photos of the homeowner’s property and create 3-D images of what the yard would look like after their landscapers finish the job. They also help beautify and maintain customers' current views by trimming hedges, mowing grass, fertilizing lawns, and installing new stone walkways over backyard lava pits.
The traditional farmers' market at Trax Farms, owned and operated by the Trax family since 1865, teems with an eclectic array of produce grown onsite, freshly baked goods, deli fare, and gifts amid 325 acres of fields and orchards. The owners eschew imported produce for farm-grown, seasonal vegetables and fruits, and furnish their shelves with local and international specialty foodstuffs, Sarris and Wagner’s chocolates, and the farm’s own brand of flavored coffee. The aroma of freshly baked seasonal pies, homemade breads, and made-from-scratch cookies tantalizes noses as the deli rolls out soups, salads, and sandwiches assembled from premium meats and cheeses. In addition to a selection of quilts, clothing, and jewelry, the shop boasts wines, including award-winning Arrowhead Wine Cellar varietals. Furthering its homey, community-centered approach, the farm hosts flea markets, festivals, and special events, such as its autumnal hayride, which entices young visitors and scarecrows with thinning scalps.
The berry experts at Triple B Farms invite Pittsburgh-area crop gatherers to fill farm-supplied baskets with fresh-grown seasonal fruits and vegetables. After arriving to the Strawberry Festival and donning the stylish all-day-access wristband, guests are free to roam the verdant rows of leafy berry-bursting plants in search of the perfect pound of flavorful mouth-pleasers (a $1.99/lb. value; prices may vary). The delicious fruit’s devotees turn out en masse every year for the annual festival, which is a celebration of all things strawberry and more, including a visit from the Pennsylvania Honey Queen, an inflatable all-ages obstacle course, a rock shaped like baseball great Darryl Strawberry, and a strawberry-themed pancake breakfast and lunch (not included in the value of the Groupon). Triple B Farms’ Strawberry Fest also entertains children with a playground, farm animals, tube slides, and rope mazes; parents can peruse the farm's expansive selection of fresh-grown produce, baked goods, jams, and rustic lifestyle guides.
Affordable Lawncare's staff members take a two-pronged approach to landscaping. They improve surface appearance by mowing grass, removing weeds, and tending to trees and shrubs, and they also initiate change from underground. For example, they aerate soil to promote hearty root growth and plant seasonal foliage such as rye, fescue, and blue grasses. Fertilization treatments encourage the birth of lush greenery and adorable baby earthworms.
Nestled in a turn-of-the-century Dutch-colonial home, Flowers in the Attic combines a flower shop, a daytime café, and a gift shop under one roof, creating a charming and eclectic experience that was once profiled in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The gift shop's floral arrangements, antiques, and trinkets from brands such as Root Candles and Boyds Bears make for special multi-occasion tidings and fun perusal as guests explore the house. In the café, servers bring to tables brunches replete with eggs and waffles and lunches of sandwiches and salads that overflow with greens and chopped fruit. On balmy days, a wraparound front porch seasons fare with fresh air that flows in through crisp white balustrades and pillars. Special teatime events at the house include spreads of sandwiches, pastries, and pots of tea to share among adults or little ones. The proprietors of Flowers in the Attic also rent their unique space for events ranging from bridal showers to bar mitzvahs.