On Friday and Saturday evenings, it?s not uncommon to hear Johnny Cash tunes echoing across Showcase of Citrus farm?s 2,500 acres as members of the Arnold family shake off another satisfying workweek with their friends and customers. Fourth-generation grower John Arnold and his family can usually be found caring for their groves of citrus trees, collecting fruit, making juice, feeding farm animals or greeting visitors from around the globe.
Located just 15 minutes from Disney World, the Arnold family farm produces more than 50 varieties of citrus fruit and blackberries without using pesticides, herbicides, or magic beans. The fruit?as well as jams, jellies, marmalades, and honey?are all available onsite at Farmer John's Old Time Country Store where guests can sample sauces, jellies, marmalade, and honey. Guests can spot native or exotic wildlife such as alligators, zebra, water buffalo, watusi cattle, or scarlet macaws on one of the farm?s monster-truck eco-safari tours.
Nothing says "Happy birthday," "Congratulations," or "I'm sorry about that sinkhole in your driveway" like a fresh floral arrangement. That's the belief at Clermont Florist Inc., a neighborhood flower shop dedicated to creating eye-catching arrangements for occasions of any type. The friendly staff sculpts each bouquet and centerpiece with locally grown or exotic blooms, weaving bright daisies, dramatic lilies, and fragrant roses into works of botanical art. They also assemble gift baskets with tempting edibles and bottles of wine. Once the order is complete, it can be picked up at the shop or delivered to the home or business of the client's choice.
Knox Nursery, Inc. started in 1962 on the Knox family's porch. Although the family-run nursery has grown to encompass more than 23 acres since then, the second-generation owners haven’t forgotten their humble beginnings, still emphasizing the down-home customer service that made the business what it is today. They and their staff lovingly harnesses the Floridian sunshine to produce plugs and liners, cultivating more than 5,000 plant varieties ranging in size from young ones destined for greenhouses to 4-inchers perfect for landscaping.
At the retail center, staffers stand ready to help green-thumbed shoppers to navigate the selection of annuals and perennials or pick out shrubs to block views of money-filled swimming pools from jealous neighbors. Palms, trees, and vegetables await their chance to fill out gardens or finish landscapes.
Though all the kernels at Ms. Bee's Gourmet Popcorn & Candy Shoppe are indistinguishable in the morning, by the evening staff have popped them into 70 different flavors of popcorn. But these aren't your movie-theater variety kernels. The staff uses real cheese, housemade caramel, and flavorful spices to create their flavors, which range from the popular loaded potato to the decadent peanut butter chocolate drizzle. Alongside the inventive flavors, they do still offer popcorn classics, such as their slightly sweet kettle corn and the Chicago-style blend of cheese and caramel. However, popcorn isn't the staff's only treat. They also create artfully designed displays of vintage and gourmet candy alongside Ms. Bee's housemade fudge, which, like the licorice braces offered by the world's youngest orthodontist, satisfy sweet teeth effectively.
This wellness haven champions the healthful power of natural products, treating clients with soothing herbal products and educating on the effects of scent on the mind and body. Lead by owner and herbalist Michele Miller, a friendly staff helps customers navigate a vast selection of vitamins and holistic remedies. The shop puts theories into action through classes on aromatherapy and perfume making, during which students blend pure essential oils into calming bath salts, aromatic mists, and perfumes. Those in need of additional rest and relaxation can visit the day spa, stocked with therapists offering massages, energy treatments, and facials.
The Spa at Bella Collina is a luxurious contradiction. Its massive welcoming area and stone-tiled courtyard are reminiscent of an Italian castle, but inside, therapists rejuvenate bodies with the latest and most popular spa techniques. The spa's personalized treatments rejuvenate clients in a private retreat nestled in the rolling hills near Lake Siena. Before their treatments, clients can slip into robes in the private locker room, then relax in a secluded courtyard graced with a trickling waterfall and a blacksmith who fashions cast-iron cucumbers. The staff provide visitors with a comprehensive and detailed menu of facials, body treatments, nailcare, hair services, and massage therapy.