Joseph, the owner of Castle Rock Landscape Design and Maintenance, honed his landscaping skills on the rolling greens of Branson Creek Golf Club and the tree-lined lakefront of Wilderness Club at Big Cedar. At Big Cedar, he developed the palette of grasses, shrubs, tulips, and daffodils with which he beautifies clients' yards. The Castle Rock team can design plans for outdoor spaces or perform weekly services such as mowing, removing weeds, and giving bouquets of dead weeds to a rival.
Guglielmo Marconi successfully transmits the first radio wave across the English Channel. On the other side of the pond, in Missouri, Nixa Hardware & Seed Co is founded. The year is 1899. Since that auspicious beginning more than a century ago, the hardware store company has grown to "7 acres of savings," and throughout its history, its expansive wholesale collection of plants, fertilizers, soils, and tools has equipped avid gardeners and professional farmers throughout southwest Missouri. Today, nursery workers and plant experts shepherd visitors through pallets of specially concocted livestock feed and bags of carefully formulated fertilizer, while horticulturalists on Nixa's research farm develop tried-and-true plant and grass varieties proven to thrive in local climates. Though the staff is proud of its bulk garden seeds and mulch, a selection of go-karts and generators proves that the company has evolved since its 19th-century origins. The team even purveys renewable-energy biomass furnaces that can keep costs low and household operations sustainable.
Like burying yourself neck-deep in lush planting soil, visits to the bustling agricultural center can evoke a strong, heartwarming connection with the land, with friendly staff members working hand-in-hand with clients to pick out the perfect seed, beekeeping gear, newly hatched chicks, or lawn-care equipment.
The team at West Termite, Pest, & Lawn have accounted for 75 years of collective experience, arming them with time-earned know-how to chase off pestilential nuisances such as termites, rodents, and weeds. The licensed and insured team renders its services on a monthly and quarterly basis or as a one-time treatment, establishing exterior perimeters to help prevent bug invasions. When they're not driving off termite populations, team members also keep homes and business pretty through their lawn care treatments, which include weed control, fertilization, and core aeration.
Sam's Club works with a worldwide network of suppliers to find in-demand products and premium food items, and then purchases them in large quantities to cut down on costs. The result is an average 33% savings over traditional retail prices. To date, the club counts more than 47 million amongst its ranks, spread across more than 600 club locations.
Sam's Club members often find something surprising in club—with values on anything from holiday decor to diamond earrings. The festive savings carry through all departments, as a trip through a typical Sam's Club reveals home decor, Energy Star–qualified TVs and computers, and pet supplies. In other aisles, associates hand out samples of food from name brands and the club's proprietary grocery lines. In-club pharmacies and optical centers fill discounted medications and fit members with eyewear.
Perhaps most surprising about Sam's Club is that, despite the ever-growing number of clubs, the company stays tied to its local communities. In 2012 alone, Sam's Club donated $106.4 million to various causes, such as helping small business owners secure loans. The clubs also host free health screenings and the occasional special event, such as weight-loss seminars and business boot camps. But the company also tackles some of the global issues on its members' minds. As of 2010, Sam's Club began offsetting 20% of its energy use from wind power—only a small step towards its ultimate goal of harnessing 100% renewable energy, just like an extension cord plugged back into itself.