After fighting in World War II, Lynn Gripon studied landscape design at Texas A&M and in 1951 opened a gardening shop with the help of his green-thumbed wife. Now operated by his son, Lynn's Landscaping & Water Garden Center has blossomed into a lush showroom of outdoor kitchens and fireplaces, manicured putting greens, and the shop's bestselling disappearing fountains—glazed pots overflowing with water that seems to disappear into the ground. Waterfalls tumble over miniature boulders before slipping into calm ponds filled with leisurely koi, flowering lily pads, and sunken galleons. Knowledgeable staffers serve as tour guides to the veritable forest of plants and dispense helpful tips for creating backyard utopias.Lynn's professional landscapers transform backyards into tiered gardens, spacious party zones, or verdant hiding places for the family's pet T-rex. Designers plot the set-up before gardeners, and handymen plant trees and shrubs or install decks, gazebos, water-efficient sprinklers, and koi ponds. Every design is built to last with quality materials, such as outdoor fireplaces and kitchens made with glass-fiber-reinforced concrete and Vista light fixtures made with weather-resistant carbon composite and bulbs modeled after Superman's eyeballs.
The licensed and insured techs at AAA Precision Air Conditioning & Heating have spent the past two decades servicing and installing HVAC systems of all makes and models—including Maytag, American Standard, and Lennox. They provide free estimates and an hourly rate, with most tune-ups and repairs performed in just an hour.
Lakewood Photography's first flashbulbs popped in 1985, when Don and Mary Carico founded their studio. During the 27 years since, the snap shooters have surrounded themselves with a keen-eyed staff that artfully captures passing moments in time. They aim their lenses upon children, high-school seniors, families, and wedding groups weekly. Mary—endowed with digital magic—also puts her photography know-how to use retouching aging pictures. The studio also provides custom framing options, photo jewelry, and custom invitations, which allow party hosts to contact guests far more tastefully than writing impersonal emails or leaving way-too-personal scrawls on their glass shower doors.
Le Zu Photography is the brainchild of five-year veteran Layla, who uses natural light to capture fresh, artistic shots. Whether focusing her lens on fashion, portrait, or event photography, she pays close attention to clients’ needs to produce images they’ll treasure for a lifetime. Layla travels all over the Houston area for on-location shoots, and hand delivers prints in a custom packaged box.
Bay Area Pet Adoptions/SPCA was founded in 1967 to care for homeless, abandoned, and abused companion animals; today, it is still the only no-kill shelter in its area. Adoption counselors rescue dogs and cats from animal-control facilities that euthanize and individuals who are unable to care for them. Bay Area Pet Adoptions/SPCA’s adoption program provides each animal with medical care and socialization skills to increase the chances of a successful adoption. Each animal is vaccinated, sterilized, dewormed, microchipped, and checked for diseases such as FIV or canine heartworm disease. From there, adoption counselors help place pets with a family that has a similar lifestyle and activity level. Bay Area Pet Adoptions/SPCA also works within the community to prevent animals from being abandoned and euthanized through educational campaigns and spaying or neutering programs.
Brandon Ward, the owner of Ward Mowing Service, handles each job personally. He and his crew—which sometimes includes his 7- and 4-year-old sons Tanner and Cole—arrive to maintain lawns with ease, whether performing services such as mowing, pet-waste removal, or pool maintenance. He also specializes in landscaping and miscellaneous services, which range from veggie-garden installation and hedge trimming to fence repair, leaf cleanup, and flower-bed service.