Green Acres Nursery maintains more than 600 varieties of plants and trees on more than 15 acres, most of which are tailored to southwestern landscapes. White, ornamental star jasmine bushes ($9.78 for 5 gal.) will withstand drought while inviting visiting noses to whiff their ambrosial scents, while vibrant, purple bougainvillea ($4.20 for 1 gal.) will florally fill gaps in any fence to keep opossums from trespassing. Since the ordinary backyard aquascape has deflated Mylar balloons for lily pads and aged pitas for skipping stones, make your pond superb by adding naturally luscious philodendrons ($49.40 for 15 gal.). Green Acres Nursery cultivates each greenling on-site in its nursery, caring for them from the time they're a tiny bud to their first day of kindergarten. Click here to see what plants are currently available.
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).
Green Acres Ranch opened as a private ranch in 1957 where one family bred, trained, and showed arabians. Now, the 50-acre ranch is open to all and can house up to 200 steeds. Experienced instructors train riders during lessons in english, western, and dressage styles and take competitors to regional and national horse shows. They also lead groups through the surrounding wine country's rolling foothills, sun-drenched valleys, and wine-stained clouds during guided trail rides and introduce youngsters to riding through seasonal horse camps, scouting programs, and birthday parties.
Opening the world of riding and animal care to individuals of all abilities, Green Acres' interactive animal therapy program gives kids and individuals with special needs the chance to interact with small animals and ride horses. The fully functioning ranch also trains and boards clients' horses.
Ace hardware's knowledgeable staff wrangles a massive herd of home-improvement and gardening supplies and provides a variety of services for remodelers and handymen. Pick up a six-piece screwdriver set ($11) and an Ace rip hammer ($14.49) and tap into a cornucopia of fasteners as laden with screws, anchors, and bolts (prices vary) as the pockets of a lottery-winning robot. Patrons illuminate newfound décor with a two-pack of Dynatrap ultraviolet light bulbs ($11.99), the better to see by while using a five-piece paint-roller tray kit ($9). The store's staff also cuts keys and offers a paint-matching service free of charge to allow clients to fulfill the wishes of finicky peacock tenants.
Juicy tidbits of chocolate-dunked fruit arrive on the doorsteps of family and friends, done up in colorful bouquets and candy boxes by the skilled fruit arrangers at Edible Arrangements' more than 1,100 franchises worldwide. The company's in-house chocolatiers drizzle albion strawberries and daisy pineapples in a trio of chocolate flavors. Once properly chocolated, the workers organize the preservative-free sweets into lush arrangements that resemble flowers in bloom. Customers can choose to plop their bouquets in a variety of vessels, including vases, mugs, and sports- or holiday-themed containers that add a personal touch to the edible gifts. Alternatively, customers can opt to adorn gifts with the cheery, red lids of candy boxes, nestling 12 chocolate-dipped morsels inside to build anticipation and determine if loved ones have x-ray vision as they guess whether fruit will come dusted in shredded coconut or drizzled in white chocolate.
Even though it has been a kid's camp since the 1960s, Rawhide Ranch's grounds could have come right out of the Wild West or the Crazy East during that one weekend of lawless rebellion. In between nights spent sleeping in a teepee, a calvary outpost tent, or covered wagon, campers drive horse buggies around the ranch and show off their riding skills inside the Gene Autry Horse Show Arena. Counselors teach campers how to care for the horses (and other animals) at EZ Stock Farms.
The ranch also has a swimming pool, water slide, climbing wall, and areas for laser tag, archery, and riflery where kids are taught by certified instructors in a safe and friendly environment. Evenings include fun games, team-building, campfires, and sing-alongs, while every Friday culminates in a wild west barbecue and horse show where campers display their new skills for their families.