In 1919, Henry H. Elbers hung up his hat as director of the Buffalo Botanical Gardens to start a new adventure: founding Elbers Landscape Service Nearly a century later, his enterprise still mows lawns and equips gardeners with trowels to comb their hair. The company’s landscaping experts spend their summers enlivening yards with new shrubs and trees, installing burbling fountains, and paving walkways. Their garden center outfits green-thumbed clients with supplies such as mulch, topsoil, and perennials and annuals. During icy winters, the professionals exchange their mowers for plows to evict squatting snowmen from driveways, sprinkle salt over sidewalks, and chip ice from stoops.
Jenny’s Clayhouse, one of Buffalo’s first and only paint-your-own-pottery studios, calls out to artists and craftists looking to cast off faded paint-by-number books to animate stylish ceramics while sipping on home-brought spirits. Sloping picture windows span from floor to ceiling in the airy space, splashing sunlight across the studio’s selection of domestic staples—including mugs, plates, and piggy banks. After guests gleam the once-white objets d'art, Jenny’s staff will summon flames to bake and glaze the handheld masterpieces to protect them from wear and raw-food dieters. Pintsize painters can polish their brushstrokes at Jenny’s summer-camp sessions, or gather friends, teachers, and New York Times art critics for a pottery-painting birthday party or after-school outing.
For more than two decades, American Beauties Florist has been hand-selecting arrangements of floral buds to decorate homes and bestow upon loved ones. The full-service florist includes a garden center and whips up thoughtful gifts for significant others, from Lovely Lilies, stargazer lilies in a glass cylinder vase ($45), to Sweet Moments, a white basket overflowing with white roses, purple alstroemeria, lavender waxflowers, and eucalyptus ($47.95). Those who prefer greener packages can have a staring contest with the Serene Retreat, a colorful amalgamation of white hypoestes, green dieffenbachia, spathiphyllum, ficus, and boston fern in a clay dish ($47.95).
Specializing in restoring gently used retro furnishings and accessories, Reimagine spruces up sparsely furnished pads with an eclectic array of household goods. Aesthetically accessorize a room with reading chairs ($50–$75), table lamps ($45–75), pillow sets ($35), and other necessities in a wide variety of styles. Be sure to supplement your new room accouterments with matching dining equipment gleaned from Reimagine's array of retro glassware ($5 and up), dishes, bowls, and other kitchen staples. Reimagine also stocks a large selection of artwork, highlighting feats of painted strength produced by local artists. New items are brought in every week, so be sure to check back occasionally for new finds.
Brandon Tallau and Samantha Tagliarino founded OffBeat Emporium to give new character to vintage furniture pieces that would otherwise be taking up space in a landfill. Tallau and Tagliarino along with their crew of artists, restore furniture and home accessories back to the original quality or transform it into an offbeat piece with bold colors and patterns.