Owner Phil Glaser and his staff of grass whisperers have been nurturing lawns for more than 10 years. Yard experts aerate homeowners' slices of the outdoors to stimulate new root growth, creating durable root systems able to withstand the heat of summer, the cold of winter, and the chill of spilled ice water. Alternatively, the grass gurus can nourish lawns by spreading seeds. The tiny morsels of flora food help transform sparse plots into luscious and verdant grasslands rivaled only by a biodome stocked with chia pets.
Ted's Garden Center, in operation for almost three decades and housed in a new facility since 2007, harmonizes a symphony of verdure and home-garden supplies. The center's 88 acres house annuals ($3.99+), perennials ($9.99+/gallon), unpredictables to populate flower patches, and ornamental grass to spruce up drab carpets of regular grass. Customers can collect trees ($59.99+) for a burgeoning cubicle forest, whereas pottery ($8.99+) and garden art ($19.99+) pass for colorful petrified foliage.
After the Cedar Rapids Parade of Homes honored Jason Buresh's well-groomed yard with its Curb Appeal award, Buresh decided to capitalize on his landscaping talent. In January of 2000, he established Artistic Landscaping and Lawn Care. Although Buresh earned a formal degree in applied science and agricultural marketing from Kirkwood Community College, his lawn-care education actually started in childhood, when he honed his knowledge of plants and landscape design on his family’s farm. Today, Artistic Landscaping and Lawn Care creates lush, green lawns with aeration, dethatching, fertilizing, seeding, and mowing services. The company also installs greenery and retaining walls to beautify yards or keep out roving bands of lawn flamingos.
The blossom specialists at Coe’s Floral and Gifts arrange flowers for spontaneous gestures and a host of special occasions. A 12-stemmed pink-rose bouquet nests in a shapely vase with ample greens, and a dozen roses in assorted colors keep semioticians guessing. Tulips slap smiles on faces with 15 cheerful stems, and any buds in the store may be combined to create hypnotic palettes or floral supergroups. The store, which has been in business since 1932, hosts floral-design workshops on a variety of topics each month, including seasonal decorations and how to conceal a trebuchet in a bed of roses during a siege.
Award-winning Reiman Gardens—a public enclave nearing its centennial—blankets 14 acres in lush flora and fauna. Equipped with a supporter membership, families consisting of two cohabitating adults, children under 17 years of age, and wisecracking imaginary friends can frolic amongst well-manicured natural resources for a full calendar year and commemorate their jaunts with discounted souvenirs and educational programs. The sprawling facilities encompass numerous courtyards and flower patches, dotting the verdant landscape with a breathtaking glass conservatory and a butterfly house packed with up to 800 colorful winged arthropods. With enough space to accommodate a new botanical adventure each visit, members can spend one sojourn observing the serenity of Lake Helen and another admiring the garden's collection of vintage Rose Parade floats during a saunter through the rose garden.
Altoona's cookie bouquets add a touch of sweetness to already special occasions by bundling 14 colorful, individually wrapped cookies into one scrumptious bundle. Each baked bunch arrives on the recipient's doorstep bursting with a rainbow of eye-catching hues, complete with a chic bow, basket, and a heartfelt note from its birth oven. Hands unwrap the candy-colored rounds to reveal the dessert staples in a single flavor such as sugar, chocolate chip, peanut butter, or ginger. For an additional cost (not covered by today's Groupon), buyers can further accessorize their cookie cluster with mylar balloons, stuffed animals, or clumps of broccoli to render them Santa-proof.