Award-winning Reiman Gardens—a public enclave nearing its centennial—blankets 14 acres in lush flora and fauna. Equipped with a supporter membership, families consisting of two cohabitating adults, children under 17 years of age, and wisecracking imaginary friends can frolic amongst well-manicured natural resources for a full calendar year and commemorate their jaunts with discounted souvenirs and educational programs. The sprawling facilities encompass numerous courtyards and flower patches, dotting the verdant landscape with a breathtaking glass conservatory and a butterfly house packed with up to 800 colorful winged arthropods. With enough space to accommodate a new botanical adventure each visit, members can spend one sojourn observing the serenity of Lake Helen and another admiring the garden's collection of vintage Rose Parade floats during a saunter through the rose garden.
The blossom specialists at Coe’s Floral and Gifts arrange flowers for spontaneous gestures and a host of special occasions. A 12-stemmed pink-rose bouquet nests in a shapely vase with ample greens, and a dozen roses in assorted colors keep semioticians guessing. Tulips slap smiles on faces with 15 cheerful stems, and any buds in the store may be combined to create hypnotic palettes or floral supergroups. The store, which has been in business since 1932, hosts floral-design workshops on a variety of topics each month, including seasonal decorations and how to conceal a trebuchet in a bed of roses during a siege.
In 1966, Jack Miller founded a nursery. Originally, it was dedicated to landscaping work, but it slowly evolved beyond stocking a few shrubs in tin cans. Now, several shade houses occupy the land, and a bustling collection of northern-grown trees, shrubs, and perennials sprawls over 8 acres in the nursery. The landscaping services, which range from building garden walls and patios to installing walkways, include installation by specialists and instructions on self-installation.
Waukee Beds’ packed showroom displays a breadth of spine-supporting mattresses from brands such as Ideal Bedding, Symbol, and Serta. Memory-foam bed toppers—the store’s specialty—conform to body shapes better than a latex onesie, and contain pressure- and temperature-sensitive materials to ease tossing and turning. Helpful staffers make themselves available seven days a week and until 7 p.m. on weekdays to answer questions and help customers determine the ideal mattress fit for their sleep style, be it on their back, side, or with both eyes open. Also available for purchase, framed wall art, including prints and photos, hangs along the showroom’s walls.
Iowa Outdoor Products harbors a staff of experienced landscape designers and nursery staff to guide yard sculptors through various aesthetic accessories that can beautify their outdoor space. Customers can opt for a free design consultation for their yard, whether they’re hoping to fill an empty pot with a rainbow of perennials ($3.95+), or help the dog hide car keys under a new selection of shrubs ($34.95+). More ambitious lawn design can benefit from the panoply of hardscaping and waterscaping supplies. Meanwhile, fragrant bags of hardwood mulch ($35/cubic yard) protect against pesky weeds, and a soft cushion of topsoil ($35/ton) can help rusticate bedrooms.
Since 1932, Lumbermen's family of businesses have aimed to fulfill their motto of bringing quality to life—expertly cutting stone for projects including the face of The Village of Ponderosa, PF Changs, Scheels, Fleming's, and a tiny fireplace for Barbie’s upscale dream house. Their most recent store, Fireplace and Stone Center, specializes in hardscaping materials as well as stone veneers for home and commercial façades. The center’s vast display area also boasts an array of outdoor-living merchandise, such as outdoor fireplaces, kitchens, and stylish patio furniture.