Green Garden Center, now in business for more than 45 years, helps patrons beautify their home landscapes with flowers, trees, shrubs, and outdoor accessories under the guidance of second-generation owners Dick and Pat Ooykaas. Alongside a team of experienced green-thumbed staffers, they tend to greenhouses brimming with verdant plant life that is all locally grown. Green Glen also delivers and installs plant materials, performs home consultations, and creates custom planters for accenting porches or for sending home with extraterrestrial visitors.
Voted "Best Pumpkin Fest" by viewers of Fox News Chicago, Bengtson's Pumpkin Farm captivates visitors with the autumn-themed fun of four new attractions, pig races, a 3-acre corn maze fit for all ages, and the Kids Village complete with a jail and a fire station. Swine speed toward the finish line 10 times daily, spurred on by the cheers of bleacher-seated audiences, and human competitors race playmates or sentient scarecrows through the giant Crazy Corn Maizey's swaying stalks. The Pumpkin Chucker launches gourds skyward, and pint-size patrons mirror mid-air trajectories on kiddy rides such as the new 90-foot Mega Fun Slide and Flying Frogs (free through October 30, excluding pony rides). Ghoulish chefs and mad scientists cook up screams in the Haunted Barn before sending the spooked off to enjoy the soothing effects and bleated lullabies of goats, zebras, kangaroos, and other critters at the petting zoo.
Straightline Landscaping & Lawn Maintenance, Ltd. designs and maintains lawns for both homes and businesses. The company’s uniformed technicians clip lawns in weekly sessions, perform spring and fall cleanups, and stave off weeds, crabgrass, fungi, and people who gargle with soil. The company is a member of both the Illinois Landscape Contractors Association and PLANET, an international network of environmentally responsible landscapers.
Equipped with an average of 10 years of teaching experience, the knowledgeable instructors at Fox Meadow Farms teach bipeds to tame galloping four-leggers on a tree-lined 68-acre property. Encompassing two indoor arenas, eight all-weather paddocks, and a 1/3-mile cross-country course, the facilities provide plenty of space for students to get a feel for the saddle. During the one-hour group lesson, experienced equiners tutor both beginners and advanced riders on how to walk, trot, and parallel park. The farm limits classes to groups of five or fewer to make sure teachers can interact with each student personally.
Johansen Farms started more than 85 years ago, when Hans Johansen and his family immigrated to Illinois from Copenhagen. Upon their arrival, the family started to grow and sell flowers and vegetables, slowly transforming their business from a roadside farm stand into a flourishing plant empire.
Today, sunlight filters into Johansen Farms’ 24 greenhouses, illuminating scarlet petals and verdant tendrils as they rise from beds of moist earth. Within these humid growing centers, gardeners cultivate more than 2,000 varieties of plants and flowers, from blooming annuals to hearty grasses. Guests meander at will, stopping to sniff baby flower buds and eye appetizing fruits and veggies.
Inside Out's exterior designers upgrade properties' peripheries with customized landscape architecture. During a complimentary consultation, clients meet with open-air artisans to evaluate wants, needs, and prophetic dreams such as water features (starting at $4,000), gas-fed cultured-stone outdoor kitchen islands with granite tops and 24-inch grills ($7,500), or an outdoor kitchen ($9,000+). Based on this information, the firm's consultant will devise a master plan to create sunlit spaces that boast similar comfort and style to their indoor counterparts.