Family patriarch Nordy Rockler opened the doors of his first store in 1954 to supply his fellow craftsmen with knowledge, friendly advice, and a large selection of tools for at-home woodworking projects. Now, the chain of retail outlets brims with more than 20,000 tools and specialized woodworking equipment. Next to a steely rainbow of hinges, casters, and screws, a supply of lumber and exotic hardwoods provides planks for building tree houses or just leaving around as a warning to uncooperative trees. The tenor buzz of power tools operated by newly knowledgeable guests drifts from educational sessions on operating equipment and woodworking.
Chris Beutz founded Green Horizons in 1988 to combine professional landscaping techniques with a growing knowledge of natural ecological cycles that restore spring vibrancy to yards shocked by winter months. In spring and fall, Beutz and his team clear away seasonal debris, lower the ears of lawns, and trim any remaining patches of scruff. Summer services, such as weekly shrubbery trimming and lemonade sprinkling, keep lawns looking good enough for a garden party. Services save homeowners valuable weekend time to attend their children's sporting events or the NBA Spelling Bee.
The Green Guardian nourishes landscapes with an approach that shuns harsh chemicals in favor of effective, all-natural fertilizers, herbicides, and pest-control solutions made from edible ingredients. A proprietary line of products includes vegan herbicides that fertilize lawns as they kill broadleaf and certain grassy weeds, and granular fertilizers that nourish turf with feed-grade corn, soil conditioners, and naturally-occurring microbial stimulants. Pest-control products use odorless garlic to repel mosquitoes, billbugs, grubs, geese, and displaced vampire squid, all without leaving behind an unpleasant smell.
In addition to lawn-care packages and à la carte treatments, The Green Guardian is also registered with DuPont to remove and replace trees killed by the chemical herbicide Imprelis.
Lotus's plant products have all been preferentially purchased from vendors who practice sustainable techniques. Harden your garden with colorful flower four-packs filled with wide-ranging bloomers such as begonias, marigolds, impatiens, petunias, pansies, and more for only $1.99. Or go on a tree spree with nearly 125 varieties of deciduous and evergreen trees, including Honeycrisp apple trees for $69.99 and autumn blaze maple trees starting at $89.99. You can even spawn beautiful roses—those symbolic flowering shrubs so often associated with romance and Burton Gilliam—from your home turf for $29.99. The yield from pots of hearty herbs (parsley, sage, rosemary, thyme, basil, $3.99) will spice up one's daily diet of boiled gruel and potato ice cream. For something that comes back each spring, unlike icicles and NBC sitcoms, load up on perennial flowers. For $6.99, you can choose from varieties such as Salvia (not the kind that makes you see stuff, the other kind), Rudbeckia, Phlox, and Veronica or, if you prefer, Betty.
The crackle of Fireside Hearth & Home's fireplaces have filled the soundscapes of households across the country for more than 60 years. Today, their well-stocked showrooms feature a variety of advanced gas, electric, and wood-burning models from top designers such as Quadra-Fire, Heat & Glo, and Heatilator. In addition to fireplaces and accessories, they offer a number of decorative surrounds and mantels built with stone, wood, or casted material to gussy up any new or existing hearth. At attractive display areas fashioned to look like natural household settings, attentive staffers stand by to answer any questions, offer installation guidelines, or share tips on repelling pesky Santas.