The horticulturalists at Foertmeyer & Sons Greenhouse Co. tap into experience accrued during more than two decades in business to equip customers with homegrown greenery and helpful gardening advice. Operated by two generations of the Foertmeyer family, the greenhouse nurtures flowering plants culled from all corners of the world. Inside, hanging baskets dip pendulously from the ceiling, spilling forth green fronds, and planters contain budding flora and hide garden gnomes prone to ruining the perspective of landscape paintings.
Scioto Gardens grows perennials, ferns, grasses, and flowering shrubs with an emphasis on native plants. But our passion for plants can’t be limited to only native species, so exotics are also grown— provided they are not species detrimental to our environment. Great customer service is provided along with great plants.
X-ray technicians at the local hospital shook their heads at their motionless patient—a mummified bird that had appeared in a lot of Egyptian artifacts set to go up for auction. After the techs confirmed that the bird was genuine, Richard "Jeff" and Amelia Jeffers, owners of Garth's Auctions, couldn't wait to put the important piece of ancient history in their catalog. Amelia Jeffers remembers that in fact, the bird did poorly at auction, as not many people collect mummified Egyptian wildlife. Instead, collectors flock to Garth's Auctions for vintage Americana, local folk art, Oriental rugs, and even real estate.
Since its opening in 1954, Garth's Auctions has appraised and sold thousands of collectibles at auction, but took on newfound enthusiasm and energy in 2006, when the husband-and-wife auctioneer team took it upon themselves to make auctions accessible to everyone. Amelia notes that first-timers should not be intimidated by the auction format, as the price range for items varies widely and auction catalogs list everything from fine art to firearms and novelty toys. She remembers recently auctioning off an antique novelty vampire-slaying kit complete with a wooden stake, garlic flour, and holy water. A large team of certified appraisers also leads scheduled walk-in appraisal days at museums across the country, and are available to appraise antiques in-house or in the ancient ziggurats where they are discovered.
Garth's Auctions has also worked to expand their environmentally-friendly endeavors such as printing catalogs with Forest Stewardship Council–approved recycled paper and replacing old company cars with fuel-efficient hybrids. However, the Jefferses believe that their most important green contribution is their day-to-day collecting and repurposing of antiques that reduce demand for new items.
Recreational vehicles designed for conquering the land and sea cover the 6.8-acre lot at Alum Creek RV and Marine, a family-owned outfit in business since 1972. From Gulf Stream RVs and Propel scooters to Godfrey pontoons and fishing boats, all can be bought, rented, repaired, or converted into a makeshift Mars rover by the helpful staff.
Maumee Valley Growers, a growers association, includes more than 70 individual growers who work together to strengthen the local greenhouse industry. Though all the growers in the group offer local plants, they have distinct locations, product mixes, and specialties. Each year, Maumee Valley Growers puts on Christmas Shoppes at various locations, including Bench's Greenhouse & Nursery and Wardell's Garden Center.
Bench's, which started off as a modest 32?x144? poly greenhouse full of tomatoes and pepper plants in 1978, has since exploded into a 3-acre operation that supports a leafy abundance of 15,000 flowering hanging baskets, more than 100,000 potted annuals, and 25,000 potted perennials. In November and December, the garden center morphs into a winter wonderland that showcases more than 100 decorated trees and a seasonal trove of ornaments, fragrant wreaths, poinsettias, and elf catchers.
Wardell's started in 1987 as small greenhouse with some vegetable plants and a few hanging baskets. The owner put the plants out by the road with a sign and a coffee can to collect the money and ended up selling out. Now, what was once a 480-square-foot operation has turned into a more than 25,000-square-foot greenhouse area with a garden center that operates almost year round. During the Christmas season, patrons can sip hot spiced cider while browsing holiday decorations, artificial trees, wreaths, and scented candles. Wardell's three miniature horses, Moonbeam, Moondust, and Moonshadow, are also on hand to greet the customers and make them feel like giants.
Inside Ashley Furniture HomeStore’s sprawling warehouses and show rooms, friendly staffers stock plush beds, sturdy end tables, and stylish home accessories. Expert designers craft these dwelling fillers, testing raw materials' durability and basic arithmetic skills before transforming them into classy furniture items that mesh with any decorating style. They build many tables and chairs to meet eco-friendly business standards, using recycled engineered wood to reduce landfill waste and slow down deforestation. Ashley also stocks nonwood items, including a selection of state-of-the-art body-cushioning mattresses from brands such as Sealy and Simmons.
For an additional charge, Ashley Furniture HomeStore transports its furniture using its own fleet of semi trucks and fighter planes, which ensure that comfortable couches and slick dining-room tables are never damaged and always fresh smelling. Each location is locally owned and operated, meaning staffers are friendly residents who know which couches best complement regional design trends and indoor weather patterns.