Each of Merrifield Garden Center’s three locations overflows with thousands of plants throughout the year, encompassing such variety that a reporter for CNN’s Eatocracy claimed “I might as well endorse my paychecks straight to them…because I always want to grow what they've got.” Knowledgeable garden experts, 25 of whom have been with Merrifield for 25 years or more, guide customers through row upon row of flowers, trees, shrubs, and other plants, or help them sort through an extensive selection of bulbs and seeds. Visitors may also bump into the founders themselves, or their children and other family members, 38 of whom still work at the thriving business that started 40 years ago. Merrifield doesn’t just proliferate plants, however; amenities such as cafes in Gainesville and Merrifield and a dog park in Gainesville make each garden center into a leisure destination as well. Three of its garden gurus run an hourlong TV show that's been going for more than two decades, and other staff publish gardening advice on the website and Facebook. The staff also work to protect the environment with a variety of eco-friendly initiatives. Besides stocking native plants and water-saving devices for their customers, they also compost more than 20,000 tons of soil and 25,000 cubic yards of brush left over from their comprehensive landscaping services every year. The Gainesville location also gathers old concrete, metal appliances, and rusted Optimus Primes for recycling free of charge.
Signature service: Garden Coaching
Staff Size: 2?10 people
Average Duration of Services: 1?2 hours
Brands Used: Espoma Holly Tone as an organic soil amendment.
Pro Tip: Have a plan of what to cover. Do you want design ideas or to have your plants identified?
BB & Co. Construction takes all the cons out of construction with its fully licensed staff of insured contractors. Clients can solicit BB for interior or exterior painting or request more complicated tasks such as carpentry, plumbing, or sneaking a 6-foot party sub into a movie theater. When not rehabbing homes, BB contributes its materials and services to such charitable organizations as Toys for Tots and Children's Hospital.
Cravens Nursery's floral phenoms bring more than 30 years of experience to their verdant collection of nursery plants, pottery, and outdoor accoutrement. Cravens stocks two greenhouses full of colorful and custom pottery, from ceramic, fiberglass, and woodenwares to self-watering African violet pots. Peruse Cravens' canvas of botanical and blossoming goodies, from azaleas (currently on sale for $7.99/gallon) and orchids ($29.95+) to more than 100 varieties of herbs. Homeowners can also blanket backyards with heaps of double-shredded hardwood mulch ($2.89/2 cubic feet), or stock up on bulk mulch ($24.99/cubic yard) to cover local football fields, helipads, or football fields that have been used as helipads once or twice.
The family behind SJM Pro Grounds has been tending and landscaping yards since 1994. Drawing on more than 40 years of combined experience, their licensed and insured technicians mow and trim yards and apply fertilizer and weed control to curtail encroaching dandelions and power-hungry thistles. SJM also volunteers its services to GreenCare for Troops, a nationwide program that provides free lawn service to military families whose loved ones are serving away from home.