In 1978, Peter Amato and his father Anthony turned their part-time lawn-care business into a full-time botanical operation, expanding their employment team and developing a body of horticultural knowledge that would lead to stunning, custom landscape designs. Today, the floral hub sits on a 6-acre nursery, and the staff has shifted its focus from lawns to outdoor living spaces. The nursery blooms with flowers and plants ready to be picked up by customers and brought home to their backyards, while in the gift shop, shoppers browse an enormous selection of figurines, lights, and decorative accents. Clients may call upon the designers' artistry to discuss possible outdoor makeovers or peruse the website's extensive landscape resources and visit the greenhouse to curate their own gardens.
Owner Dennis McNamara's love of nature and sustainable gardening bloomed into a full-time endeavor when he founded Ceres Victory Gardens to help people of all gardening experience levels create their own gardens at home. He and his staff of green thumbs install simple or multitiered gardens in backyards, introducing homeowners to produce that is fresher than anything that comes from the local farmers' market or fruit hat.
After they spread peat, composted manure, and loamy topsoil, the gardeners sow a bounty of veggies, fruit, herbs, or flowers suitable for New Jersey's moderate climate and 10-month growing season. They concoct all of their own organic pesticides, herbicides, fungicides, and fertilizers to protect plants, reducing contamination and the need to seal edibles in an airtight bubble. The employees embellish the fruitful landscapes with trellises, fences, or other decorative structures, and return for maintenance visits, during which they can deer-proof gardens or vanquish weeds.
In Orange Garden Center's expansive nursery and store, cherry-bomb barberries and japanese maple trees keep watch over purple, yellow, and red flowers, all clad in leafy outfits. More than 800 varieties of perennials lend years of color to lawns, and friendly staffers assist more modest makeovers with stone accents, topsoil, and mulches in hardwood or cedar. After running curious palms over Orange Garden Center's stock of ornamental grasses, patrons can retreat inside to peruse gardening tools and specialty items, such as deer repellent and books on tape, to keep plants entertained while their owners are at work. Orange Garden Center also offers a selection of pottery and window boxes, and customers who purchase pottery can take advantage of the custom flower potting area, where staff is available to plant new purchases at no extra cost.
Motorcycles line the outside of Got Rods LLC, waiting for the expert mechanics to address their engine needs. The technicians repair small motors in any kind of vehicle, from motorcycles to snow blowers. They also add upgrades to shiny steeds within the garage.
At Tree-Tech, tree fertilization involves much more than a simple scoop of soil scattered around the base of a trunk. Instead, one of the company's technicians––each of whom is managed by a certified arborist––walks the base of the tree and injects an organic fertilizer 8 to 12 inches into the ground, feeding the roots directly with the time-released formula. This helps trees grow healthier and more resilient, which is exactly what Tree-Tech’s founders Rob Finnesey and James Bellis hoped to accomplish when they opened their business more than 27 years ago. Alongside fertilization, they beautify landscapes with plant-pruning and tree-removal services, as well as insect and disease control for yards prone to ticks, weevils, or bouts of pneumonia.
Tree-Tech also encompasses a secondary business, Lawn-Tech, whose employees specialize in lawn care and sprinkler-system installation. Together, Tree-Tech and Lawn-Tech tend to more than 10,000 residential and commercial clients and have manicured the lawns of PGA-grade golf courses. The founders and their more than 100 employees also share a deep interest in bettering their community, donating a portion of their profits to the Special Olympics New Jersey, as well as to historical restoration projects and local schools.
The training home of grand prix rider Osvaldo Ornia Pacher, Palermo Show Stable is a full-service hunter, jumper, and equitation facility. The stable staff trains riders young and old in English-style riding and even offers training sessions for horses and people in convincing horse costumes. Palermo Show Stable also hosts USEF horse shows throughout the year and imports Argentinian sport horses that are available for lease or purchase.