Straightline Landscaping & Lawn Maintenance, Ltd. designs and maintains lawns for both homes and businesses. The company’s uniformed technicians clip lawns in weekly sessions, perform spring and fall cleanups, and stave off weeds, crabgrass, fungi, and people who gargle with soil. The company is a member of both the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association and PLANET, an international network of environmentally responsible landscapers.
Voted "Best Pumpkin Fest" by viewers of Fox News Chicago, Bengtson's Pumpkin Farm captivates visitors with the autumn-themed fun of four new attractions, pig races, a 3-acre corn maze fit for all ages, and the Kids Village complete with a jail and a fire station. Swine speed toward the finish line 10 times daily, spurred on by the cheers of bleacher-seated audiences, and human competitors race playmates or sentient scarecrows through the giant Crazy Corn Maizey's swaying stalks. The Pumpkin Chucker launches gourds skyward, and pint-size patrons mirror mid-air trajectories on kiddy rides such as the new 90-foot Mega Fun Slide and Flying Frogs (free through October 30, excluding pony rides). Ghoulish chefs and mad scientists cook up screams in the Haunted Barn before sending the spooked off to enjoy the soothing effects and bleated lullabies of goats, zebras, kangaroos, and other critters at the petting zoo.
The Center has welcomed kids onto its farm since 1936. It probably wasn't as much of a novelty back then, when Illinois was home to more than 220,000 farms and the U.S. government issued everyone a farmer's hat at birth. But that number has decreased steadily with each decade, dropping to just 76,000 by 2010, per the USDA. Which means that today, The Children's Farm at The Center gives kids and their families something increasingly special: the chance to experience life on an independent rural farm. Here, chickens lay eggs, goats give milk, and horses eat hay harvested right on the farm. The staff also leads tours of these grounds and explains how each animal fits into farm life. They even let kids pet some of the livestock before finishing up tours with a hayride.
For a completely immersive experience, The Children's Farm hosts summer camps for ages 3–17. During each camp session, campers live on the farm for days or weeks at a time, spending their days riding horses and caring for the animals.
In the same year that Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick was published and California celebrated its official admission as a state, Hinsdale Nurseries sold its first tree. Since opening its doors in 1850, the family-run nursery—now under the helm of a fourth generation of green thumbs—has upheld its dedication to fostering hardy and beautiful gardens in the oft-extreme climes of the Midwest region, thanks to the staff’s exhaustive knowledge of area growing conditions. These plant enthusiasts coax trees, ornamentals, and perennials from 550 acres of earth in Plano before trucking the verdant bounty to their Willowbrook store for purchase. Hinsdale Nurseries also beautifies green spaces via landscaping services ranging from seasonal yard maintenance to pruning backyard labyrinths and shaving their minotaurs.
Johansen Farms started more than 85 years ago, when Hans Johansen and his family immigrated to Illinois from Copenhagen. Upon their arrival, the family started to grow and sell flowers and vegetables, slowly transforming their business from a roadside farm stand into a flourishing plant empire.
Today, sunlight filters into Johansen Farms’ 24 greenhouses, illuminating scarlet petals and verdant tendrils as they rise from beds of moist earth. Within these humid growing centers, gardeners cultivate more than 2,000 varieties of plants and flowers, from blooming annuals to hearty grasses. Guests meander at will, stopping to sniff baby flower buds and eye appetizing fruits and veggies.