With a verdant variety of shrubs, trees, roses, and vines, the friendly plantologists will help you wade through the veritable ocean of foliage. Beginning green-thumbers can take advantage of a jumbo planting kit, including ample plant food, vitamin B1, and planting compost—everything a person needs to lure an unsuspecting plant into captivity ($15.97 for the regular kit; $29.97 for the jumbo kit). Advanced yard-enhancements abound in the form of trees and shrubs, such as a selection of 5-gallon citrus trees, good for accenting a living space and forming a focal point for the worship of the Lemon Pledge gods ($34.99). Armstrong can also help organic gardeners reach full-flavored nirvana with a bevy of 3-inch container plant varieties ($2.99; selections vary by season and location).
Inside Deep Roots Garden Center's tidy shop, a team of knowledgeable green thumbs helps customers select plants, flowers, shrubbery, and accessories to beautify gardens. Four-inch annuals and perennials ($1.99–$5.99) add pops of color to flowerbeds and 1- and 5-gallon plants ($8.99–$49.99) provide shelter for rapidly expanding bunny families. Larger trees and shrubs ($100–$150) come in drought-tolerant varietals that require minimal maintenance, and hearty succulents and cacti make even the most forgetful plant parent proud with their hearty resilience. The garden center also offers floral-arrangement services, creating one-of-a-kind bouquets and outfitting gentlemen with single roses ($5 each) to gift to their fastest racehorses.
Rainforest Flora traces its origins back to the 1960s, when UCLA economics student Paul Isley developed a fascination with the otherworldly aspects of the tillandsia plant. The soil-free plant so captivated him that he embarked on an adventure through Mexico and Guatemala to collect specimens. After Paul met his friend and business partner Jerry Robinson on a Caribbean diving expedition for Spanish galleons, Rainforest Flora's lush bromeliad nurseries began to become a reality. Today, thanks to the work and sacrifice of Isley, Robinson, and their former associate, Bill Harris, the business's two facilities in California self-sustainably produce millions of high-quality neoregelias, ferns, and tillandsias.
Tillandsias are otherwise known as "air plants"—so called because of their ability to thrive outside of soil and to consistently deliver textbook underarm lay-ups. Gardeners often attach these colorful fronds to vertical indoor and outdoor spaces or suspend them from wires, helping them grow with the shop's ample supply of epiphyte-friendly fertilizers, waterproof glue, and hangers. In addition to initiating curious gardeners into the world of exotic tillandsias and other bromeliads, Rainforest Flora equips green thumbs with colorful neoregelias and easy-to-grow ornamental staghorn ferns.
Mulligan Family Fun Center's three locations surround parents and kids with sprawling smorgasbords of kinetic entertainment. Outside, each park's sunny grounds encourage healthy activity with putt-testing miniature-golf courses and the hairpin turns of go-kart tracks. In the batting cages, aspiring sluggers test their swing while recognized major-league sluggers test their disguise against the park's do-not-admit posters. Back inside, climbers scale the rock wall’s vertical challenges and friends battle friends in laser tag’s intense light-based combat.
Each location also has its own signature activities. The Torrance location's rookie go-karts, for example, enable younger drivers to take a turn down the track, whereas the Palmdale location boasts a longer, 1,500-foot track for children and adults alike. At the Murrieta location, mini-bowling offers bumpers and kid-size balls, letting the whole family angle for strikes, and warm weather opens water slides so that wee ones can prevent their engines from overheating.