Mission Hills Nursery draws from a long tradition of horticulture, as it was founded in 1910 by renowned green thumb and urban-green-space advocate Kate Sessions. Year after year, rows of roses, shrubs, and vegetables have sprung up under the staff's doting hands and dangled morsels of plant food. A section for gardening accessories equips yard workers with trowels, thorn strippers, and organic fertilizers to motivate crops without scourging them with caustic chemicals. In addition to tending to its plants, Mission Hills Nursery's staff arranges landscapes with garden-design services and teaches clients to arrange their own through gardening classes.
Backyard X-Scapes stocks a wide array of outdoor accouterments to help pretty up patios and accessorize barren backyards. The six-piece bamboo outdoor-furniture set enshrines sitters in nature's most beautiful and panda-friendly plant. Enjoy an afternoon of reclined revelry upon the sturdy frames of two chairs and a sofa while simultaneously resting yard-work-weary limbs. The included coffee table and two end tables/ottomans can be used as a depository for summertime snacks and drinks or as a makeshift soapbox during backyard mayoral debates.
Mr. Jingles Christmas Trees spreads holiday merriment with noble, douglas, and grand firs individually selected from forests in Oregon. On the lot, trees stand in water and receive additional watering from the staff each day to keep needles healthy and green. Trees vary in size from 2 feet up to 16 feet, ensuring customers can a perfect specimen no matter how high their ceilings or how modest their budget. Complimentary hot chocolate keeps patrons warm as they peruse the lot, and once customers have found their perfect tree, the crew will gladly grab a rope and secure it to a car or riding mower at no additional charge.
With a verdant variety of shrubs, trees, roses, and vines, the friendly plantologists will help you wade through the veritable ocean of foliage. Beginning green-thumbers can take advantage of a jumbo planting kit, including ample plant food, vitamin B1, and planting compost—everything a person needs to lure an unsuspecting plant into captivity ($15.97 for the regular kit; $29.97 for the jumbo kit). Advanced yard-enhancements abound in the form of trees and shrubs, such as a selection of 5-gallon citrus trees, good for accenting a living space and forming a focal point for the worship of the Lemon Pledge gods ($34.99). Armstrong can also help organic gardeners reach full-flavored nirvana with a bevy of 3-inch plant varieties ($2.99; selections vary by season and location).
Not content to just give people the tools to make their gardens beautiful, San Diego Hydroponics & Organics also teaches customers more effective ways to use them. At five California locations, the staff works to keep a dialogue open between customers, supply manufacturers, and master gardeners while helping visitors realize their gardening goals with a stock of more than 3,000 products for indoor and outdoor use. The shops brim with high-tech gardening gear ranging from plant sprayers to growth lights, and low-tech supplies such as organic compost teas. Much of the inventory helps make gardening easier by reducing it to a precise science, providing everything from pumps and irrigation to pH meters for maintaining an ideal growing environment.
Sharpened ice skates trace paths around La Jolla Ice Town's icy interiors, offering a wintry change of pace from the temperate San Diego climate. Open seven days a week for open skate, the sports center spruces up laps around the rink with a live DJ paired with disco lights every Friday and Saturday night.
Professional coaches also tutor skaters on elegant stops, turns, and crossovers during figure-skating classes and teach athletes to maneuver pucks during youth and adult hockey clinics. Additionally, family-friendly activities, such as birthday parties, broomball, hockey games, and an annual ice show, attract visitors and inspire them to transform a jacuzzi tub into a personal-size skating rink.