Matilija Nursery yields seasonal crops of plants native to the Golden State and farther-flung environs—a stroll through the nursery’s rolling fields reveals such nonindigenous offerings as bearded irises that bloom in both spring and fall. Though the nursery has supplied Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties with flora since 1992, its in-house botanical specialists began to hybridize Pacific Coast irises only recently, and the resulting varieties have proven as colorful as a sailor's vocabulary. Befitting of those who work so close to the earth, the nursery’s staff supports eco-friendly practices and populates the gardens with noninvasive, low-water plants. Customers can browse an online plant-availability database that regularly features botanicals such as matilija poppies, manzanitas, and hummingbird sages capable of luring their hovering namesakes in for a long drink of nectar.
A First Impression renews homes with new carpets, upholstery, and bedding and has been featured in the Los Angeles Daily News for its ability to revitalize furniture. Much like a shape-shifting silver dollar, A First Impression’s custom projects vary in price, but pricing starts at $45 per hour for labor plus the cost of materials. Line foot highways in new floor fur, choosing from more than 15 brands. The cost of carpet is $19.95 per yard, which includes installation and 7-pound padding. Homeowners can also redecorate rooms with drapes ($58 for a 2’ window including installation), reupholstered dining-room chairs ($35 each), sofas ($99/ft. plus a flat labor rate of $99), or custom sheets, comforters, and pillowcases ($45/hour for labor, material costs vary).
Warehouse Discount Center is primarily a purveyor of home appliances and plumbing wares, although it also hosts in-store cooking classes led by experienced chefs. Amidst an outside grilling theatre, using the finet equipment, Chef masters Craiger Van Zee and Chef JoAnn Hecht teach students the finer points of roasting, grilling, and preparing international dishes. Students are able to sample delicacies created and also take home a new set of culinary skills along with information packets.
Chef Craiger has been in the culinary business for more than four decades and heads up his own educational venture, To Grill or Not to Grill. He has taught more than 3,000 students how to sear and season on the barbeque and enjoys sharing his knowledge with groups of all sizes. Chef JoAnn comes from a teaching and catering background and tailors her classes to complement the seasons.
Across the walls of AK Photo Magic's spacious studio, eye-catching colors pop from pieces of Alex Kocoglu's original artwork, beckoning to visitors with their raised 3-D reliefs and splashes of chroma. Compositions reflect the rhythms of urban life with graffiti-themed motifs, a deep serenity with depictions of the Buddha, and a statement on the universal coolness of motorcycles with stylized reimaginings of James Dean. The multitalented artist wields the camera across a variety of mediums, immortalizing cherished vehicles with automotive photography and enhancing resumés with professional headshots and model shoots.
Ventura’s neighborhood flower shop of choice for more than 35 years, Conroy’s Flowers spruces up occasions such as birthdays and anniversaries with fresh blooms and multihued floral arrangements. Customers can grab bouquets from the aromatic selection inside the shop or opt for prompt delivery of their displays to area locales ranging from hospitals and beauty shops to event centers specializing in pet weddings.
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).