The Green Guardian nourishes landscapes with an approach that shuns harsh chemicals in favor of effective, all-natural fertilizers, herbicides, and pest-control solutions made from edible ingredients. A proprietary line of products includes vegan herbicides that fertilize lawns as they kill broadleaf and certain grassy weeds, and granular fertilizers that nourish turf with feed-grade corn, soil conditioners, and naturally-occurring microbial stimulants. Pest-control products use odorless garlic to repel mosquitoes, billbugs, grubs, geese, and displaced vampire squid, all without leaving behind an unpleasant smell.
In addition to lawn-care packages and à la carte treatments, The Green Guardian is also registered with DuPont to remove and replace trees killed by the chemical herbicide Imprelis.
Chris Beutz founded Green Horizons in 1988 to combine professional landscaping techniques with a growing knowledge of natural ecological cycles that restore spring vibrancy to yards shocked by winter months. In spring and fall, Beutz and his team clear away seasonal debris, lower the ears of lawns, and trim any remaining patches of scruff. Summer services, such as weekly shrubbery trimming and lemonade sprinkling, keep lawns looking good enough for a garden party. Services save homeowners valuable weekend time to attend their children's sporting events or the NBA Spelling Bee.
Family patriarch Nordy Rockler opened the doors of his first store in 1954 to supply his fellow craftsmen with knowledge, friendly advice, and a large selection of tools for at-home woodworking projects. Now, the chain of retail outlets brims with more than 20,000 tools and specialized woodworking equipment. Next to a steely rainbow of hinges, casters, and screws, a supply of lumber and exotic hardwoods provides planks for building tree houses or just leaving around as a warning to uncooperative trees. The tenor buzz of power tools operated by newly knowledgeable guests drifts from educational sessions on operating equipment and woodworking.
As a child, Brian Axdahl and his sister loved heading to the end of their road to sell their father's sweet corn and freshly picked vegetables. Just as Axdahl's Garden Farm & Greenhouse evolved from his father's hobby into a large-scale business, Brian's involvement soon evolved from roadside seller to current owner.
Approved by the Food Alliance Midwest, Axdahl's sustainable approach to crop growing ensures pesticide-free yields and ensure healthy produce with every bounty. Through a Community Supported Agriculture program, he distributes produce shares at various pickup sites over a 20-week period each year. The program partially overlaps with the farm's vegetable season, when Axdahl's crew harvests produce ranging from bi-color sweet corn to zucchini.
When not tending to their land, Axdahl's Garden Farm & Greenhouse stays busy ushering in the farm's other seasons. From May to September, fruit trees, hardy shrubs, and more than 50 combinations of hanging basket await new homes from their spots in the greenhouse. In autumn, the farm entices visitors with a corn maze and a pick-your-own pumpkin patch. Inside a restored red barn, more autumnal treats reside, including decorated indian corn and fall mums. To ring in the winter holidays, Axdahl's treats guests to free hot cider and hot chocolate as they select holiday decorations such as Christmas trees and custom-decorated wreaths.
Boasting the longest tube rides on the Apple River, Float Rite Park sets the scene for a three-hour vacation through the winding river's gentle rapids. Friends can tether their tubes together and pass around canned drinks and sunscreen without the hassle of training a pigeon to carry them. At the end of their trip, everyone climbs out onto the riverside campground, where they're welcome to extend their respite from reality at an open-air patio bar.
At the campground, visitors can take showers and pitch their tents or reserve one- and two-bedroom rustic log cabins. The campground keeps things lively with mechanical-bull rides, volleyball games on sand courts, and nightly activities such as themed costume dances and outdoor film screenings.