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.
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.
Hearts of Jade's decorative pieces possess the power to draw a hummingbird to your window for a nip of sugar water, convert a breeze into a medley of chimes, or spice up gardening chores with colorful spades and clippers. And that's just a small selection of its ever-changing home and garden decor. The shop also sells a variety of hardy succulents that compose living artworks, as well as decorative pots, wrought-iron garden ornaments, and rustic wall decor by local artisans. Its staff can even help customers devise a landscape design.
From the ground up, Skatelab's indoor and outdoor parks were designed with skaters in mind. In 1997, the original park was designed by Team Pain, a professional company staffed with experienced skateboarders, and then built by a volunteer crew of local skaters committed to creating a space where they could practice and push the limits of their sport. Boxes and ramps crafted from Finland birch fill the park's four distinct sectors—two air-conditioned indoor zones and two outdoor areas—for all skill levels. For instance, in Sector B, beginners and street skaters drop into a wide arena where they can grind on rails instead of on arguments they had with their best friend in seventh grade.
With 5,000 items on display in the in-house skateboarding museum, Skatelab honors the sport’s past while training its future by hosting weekly skateboarding classes for newcomers. Each class covers the basics of safe and technically sound riding and provides pointers for performing tricks for experienced skaters.
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.