With his characteristic penchant for making things blossom, Chris Urquhart has grown his one-truck operation into one of the area's largest independent lawn-care providers. Green Unlimited's friendly staff of grass-tenders dutifully exiles weeds and feeds soil. In the off-season, they sharpen their skills by attending conferences, sitting in on seminars, and eavesdropping on the giggled conversations of trees at slumber parties. The company's arsenal of all-organic lawn-care tools fosters healthy growth and removes unwanted weeds through natural additives.
Perhaps Budd Gardens Ltd.? story begins back in the fields of Ukraine, when a young Peter Bodnaryk lost his father to a lightning strike, leaving him an orphan to be raised by his village. Or perhaps the story begins when, years later and at the urging of a poster inviting Ukrainians to Canada, Peter sold his small plot of land and hopped a boat to Quebec City. Regardless of where the seed of Budd Gardens Ltd. was planted, the true story began to unfold in Ottawa in 1913. It was then that Peter?having shortened his surname to Budd?met his wife Theresa, and the two joined forces to found a business that would end up thriving through most of the 1900s and into the new millennium.
More than a century has passed since these events unfurled, and Peter and Theresa?s hard work and passion for gardening has been lovingly tended to and passed down through the Budd family, resting now with their grandsons, Don and David. The brothers immersed themselves in the business early on, piloting tractors around the farm at the tender age of 10, working each summer in the greenhouse, and selling the farm?s bounty at local markets. Today, the pair works tirelessly to maintain the same values of uncompromising attention to detail and customer service that were set forth by their grandparents decades ago.
Budd Gardens Ltd.'s close-knit staff?comprised of family members and seasoned veterans who return to the gardens year after year?takes their work seriously, bustling about the sprawling farm to coax vibrant blooms and verdant plants forth from the soil. The knowledgeable team remains on hand throughout the day, offering up their horticultural prowess to help visitors choose suitable plants for their home gardens and to dole out advice, such as when to plant what or how to quash lawn-gnome uprisings. Though they are purveyors of numerous plants, including hardy field-grown perennials, their signature flora remains hostas, which, because they are sold in their juvenile stage, promise to yield years of greenery.
Wicker Emporium’s product buyers scour lands near and far to find elegant home accents for their customers. The practice of travelling to different countries began more than 35 years ago, when the company’s heads joined the crew of a pirate ship to pay off a gambling debt. Today, in 20 stores across Atlantic Canada and Ontario, customers can still browse pillows, quilts, mirrors, outdoor accessories, and shelves imported from local manufacturers and international crafters.
Saunders Farm's Haunting Season provides enough ghoulish delight to awaken the deadest of zombies. Eleven mazes make for ample meandering possibilities, and a haunted hayride swerves through 35 acres of horror-filled forest, surveying more than 20 scenes of performance, special effects, and bad ghost breakups. The 150-year-old barn of terror takes trekkers through the abandoned pathways of Saunders Farm, and the corn cannon launches cobs more than 400 feet. Quell scaredy-cat stomachs with a complimentary bag of fresh-popped kettle corn.
Busy Bee Tools equips its patrons with more than 5,000 different woodworking, metal, and power tools by brands such as DeWalt, Makita, Bosch, Freud, Craftex, Delta, and Porter-Cable. Digital calipers ($19.99) measure the precise distance between hanging portraits of Frank Gehry's protractor, and shockless hammers ($10.99) keep wayward nails in check. Suction-seal safety goggles ($3.99) and magnetic wrist bands ($2.49) ensure home repairs conclude without a glitch. A plethora of woodworking and metalworking implements avail themselves to creative projects from custom-whittled figurines to home-forged chocolate fountains.
Mat Proulx and Andrew Brum strive to turn every lawn into the most lush-looking turf their customers have ever seen—but the duo's most rewarding work was for their smallest audience. In the backyard of The Ottawa Rotary Home, Proulx and Brum designed and installed a private garden for the enjoyment of children coping with disabilities. For Proulx, seeing "the look on their faces" has remained his proudest moment on the job.
After meeting at the Small and Medium Enterprise Management program at Algonquin College, Proulx and Brum launched Ecovenience Canada Inc. upon recognizing the need for landscaping, sod and turf, and garden services that meet Ottawa's demanding environmental standards. Specializing in eco-friendly products and services—but still supplying more cost-effective conventional lawn care according to clients' preference—the co-owners supply their crews with equipment such as lawnmowers that produce 65 per cent lower emissions than national standards. Earning additional fist-bumps from Mother Nature, teams also use a Super Eco-Fuel Saver additive that boosts efficiency and further lowers emissions.: