Rice's Nursery has been sprucing up area gardens with expert intervention since 1941, often by giving them a whimsical personality by adding a whimsical fairy garden, complete with tiny props and plants perfectly sized for imaginary flying friends. Rice Nursery's collection of fairy gardening products includes miniature shrubbery and flowering plants, itty-bitty statues of fairies ($14.99), houses, furniture ($5.49-$29.99), and accessories like holiday wreaths ($1.99-$2.99) and watering cans ($1.79). Rice's garden center centers on model gardens that give would-be fairy gardeners a chance to scope clever set-up ideas.
Sometimes, a greener world is hard to visualize. For the technicians at Green Thumb Lawn Care, though, it’s as easy as the click of a shutter. Before each project, the lawn-care professionals snap photos of the homeowner’s property and create 3-D images of what the yard would look like after their landscapers finish the job. They also help beautify and maintain customers' current views by trimming hedges, mowing grass, fertilizing lawns, and installing new stone walkways over backyard lava pits.
Nestled in a turn-of-the-century Dutch-colonial home, Flowers in the Attic combines a flower shop, a daytime caf?, and a gift shop under one roof, creating a charming and eclectic experience that was once profiled in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. The gift shop's floral arrangements, antiques, and trinkets from brands such as WoodWick Candles and Sid Dickens make for special multi-occasion tidings and fun perusal as guests explore the house. In the caf?, servers bring to tables brunches replete with eggs and waffles and lunches of sandwiches and salads that overflow with greens and chopped fruit. On balmy days, a wraparound front porch seasons fare with fresh air that flows in through crisp white balustrades and pillars. Special teatime events at the house include spreads of sandwiches, pastries, and pots of tea to share among adults or little ones. Flowers in the Attic is also a unique space to have a special event, ranging from bridal showers to bar mitzvahs.
Hamilton’s team of floral artists livens up holidays and special occasions with a horticultural array of bouquets, sprucing up harvest time or making tables merry and bright with festive flower and plant arrangements. The boxwood centerpiece mini Christmas tree comes festooned with pinecones and ornaments and sits at a dainty 2 feet tall to add a Yuletide splash of holiday cheer without the mess of hosting an eggnog super-soaker fight. Customers should order their holiday shrub at least three days in advance.
Owner Mindy Schwartz reclaimed two lots of abandoned housing to sow Garden Dreams Urban Farm & Nursery, an environmentally friendly small-scale urban farm. Heirloom tomato, pepper, and eggplant seedlings ($1.75 each) star in a lineup of soon-to-be ingredients that also includes just-sprouted artichokes ($4.25), assorted greens ($3.25), and parsley ($3.75). More than 20 varieties of chili peppers lend heat to dishes of all types, and 100 varieties of heirloom tomatoes lend their cool juiciness to salads and sauces or jugglers when watermelons prove too cumbersome. Shoppers can select from a dozen varieties of basil to craft pesto, pasta, or a festive edible party hat, or consult the complete list of tasty sunlight soakers.
The Gidas family has owned and operated its flower shop for more than 90 years and four generations. It's safe to say they know flowers: how to arrange them, how to keep them fresh, which blossoms are best for a given occasion, and the specific bud that contains a long-suffering fairy with no magical abilities of which to speak. The shop provides daily arrangements and deliveries to Pittsburgh and its surrounding suburbs. For $40, buy a loved one a glass bowl of multi-colored roses, a spray of pink, yellow, and peach blooms that symbolize gratitude, friendship, and affection. For $45, get a zen arrangement of purple dendrobium orchids sure to calm even the most throb-veined of screaming military generals. A variety of fruit baskets are also available ($35–$100), supplying customers so many bananas, chocolates, and tea-cakes that the intended recipient will forego celebrating his or her birthday to sit in a dark closet and relentlessly snack.