In 1955, James and Gladys Bluemel opened a small nursery dedicated to growing trees and shrubs and to helping locals with landscaping projects. Now, their son, Mike, runs the much-expanded family business, which thrives on bulk-supply sales, playground resurfacing, lawn care, and snow and ice control during snowman uprisings. Though he’s moved away from the nursery’s original shrub and tree business, he and his green-thumbed staff still maintain a garden center stocked with seasonal plants, garden décor, and essential supplies.
While customers browse Bluemel’s aisles, they'll likely spot a commonality between the perennials, annuals, flowers, herbs, and vegetables: a sticker reading “Dome Grown.” This label marks a plant born and raised in the garden center, which accounts for about 85% of the center’s living merchandise. Having tended and nurtured the plants since their geneses, the staff—who share 35 years of experience—can dispense tips on how to properly care for them, as well as share adorable baby-plant photos.
The floral designers at Blooms In Bloom arrange red, yellow, pink, or white roses into romantic bouquets. Vibrant petals unfurl to impart sweet smells and pretty up a Valentine's Day vase or the mouth of a tango dancer. Confectioners whip up cubed truffles at the Mukwonago location to woo the taste buds of loved ones. Teeth slice through a thin chocolate shell to excavate a reservoir of creamy filling that satisfies sweet teeth like sugar-spun braces.
More than a century after it blossomed into a circus headquarters and hosted dozens of acts, including P.T. Barnum's legendary Greatest Show on Earth, the town of Delavan proudly exhibits its distinctive past. Big-top tributes can be seen at Tower Park, where statues of circus animals such as a giraffe and an elephant savor their amnesty from mini-golf courses. Delavan's early days live on through Greek Revival architecture that dates back to the mid-1800s, including the Allyn Mansion and the Israel Stowell Temperance House, originally an alcohol-free safe haven that eventually served as a government meeting center.Delavan's quaint downtown district, lined with old-fashioned lampposts and brick-paved walkways, boasts an assortment of antique stores and small cafés. Throughout the rest of the town, well-manicured parks and 13 miles of forested shoreline along Delavan Lake create a scenic backdrop for horseback rides, hiking, water recreation, and composing haikus on the ground with leaves.
When not busy tending future landscape champs culled from their lush greenhouse plants, Floral Acres' florists furnish stunning floral arrangements. Make a lasting ocular impression with the Delightfully Daisy bouquet, as lavender competes with daisy spray chrysanthemums for face time from the see-through confines of a clear, glass bubble bowl ($29.99+). A vase of white and yellow daisies ushers in upcoming solstices bedecked with a cheery yellow ribbon ($29.99). Floral Acres supplies the flowered greenery for myriad occasions, commemorating milestones ranging from a sister’s new baby to a brother’s new Burger Time high score with specially designed displays.
The family-owned Garden Mart took root almost 20 years ago in Pewaukee before transplanting to Mukwonago in the spring of 2006. Inside the nursery, countless plants stretch toward the sky, including deciduous Japanese oshio beni maple and Weeping Norway spruce saplings that harbor ambitions of one day blotting out the sun. An ample garden nurtures annual and perennial flowers such as rabbit-resistant lamb's ear, drought-resistant honeysuckle, and daffodils. The Garden Mart also pays close attention to indoor and outdoor fauna, with accessories and fish to fill koi ponds, as well as a complete stock of pet items such as cat litter, pet shampoos and conditioners, and holistic Canine Caviar pet food.