A person would have little use for a wall calendar if they lived beneath the colorful canopy of hanging plants of Fran's Flowers. That’s because the selections of foliage, flowers, and produce changes as the seasons do. In fall, shelves brim with crisp apples from local orchards, winter brings poinsettias and balsam wreaths, and annuals arrive in Spring from local growers. Petals from the prismatic mélange of plants fill the outdoor gardening store with a vibrant spectrum of colors.
The seasonal blooms don't happen by themselves, though. Owner Fran and his family have gardening in their blood. Fran started the business with his father more than a quarter of a century ago when flowers only came in three shades of grey. His passion hasn't waned since. Along with his family, Fran happily chats with customers to help them pick out flowers or explain how to properly plant them in gardens. This attention to customer service, along with the immense handpicked selection of plants, earned the business the distinction as “a diamond in the rough” by Chronicle in 2009.
In more than 1,112 stores worldwide, Edible Arrangements' expert fruit florists arrange pieces of premium fruit in stunning displays for all occasions. Customers can customize their order to suit any occasion, receiving chocolate-dipped fruit such as pineapples, granny-smith apples, grapes, and juicy Albion strawberries that, unlike the sodas found in most mummies' crypts, don't contain any preservatives. Staffers can dip fruit in gourmet semisweet chocolate, white chocolate, or their own special peanut-butter-and-chocolate blend. For birthdays and anniversaries, chocolate wielders can personalize gift baskets with gifts such as plush teddy bears and mylar balloons.
NEO Interiors is a market laboratory in which designers test out various modern abode fillings, including imported pieces from Italy, Belgium, and Spain, to see which creations please patrons, resulting in a showroom stocked with one-of-a-kind furniture less expensive than normal retail prices. A square black coffee table ($365) supports drinks, books, and scale models of post offices on its sturdy steel legs, its steadfast efforts reflected in the mod surface of the Italian bubbles mirror ($381). Snuggle into a plush queen-size memory-foam mattress ($687) supported by the queen-size Sky bed frame with a scrolled metal headboard and cherry-colored wooden legs ($350). Home delivery incurs a $150 charge, but—similar to beard combs obtained by a five-finger discount—pick-up at the store is free.
Mahoney's Garden Center beckons green-thumbs and novices alike to its sprawling facilities, which burst with a plethora of plants, blooms, and gardening accoutrements. Although merchandise varies by store, shoppers may score finds such as a knock-out rose shrub ($29.98), zinnia perennials ($4.98) or an 8-inch hanging ivy ($16.98), complete with a Rhodes Scholar application. The 6-inch hibiscus ($12.98) lends its vibrantly hued blooms to front porches or a modest giant's windowsill. Perch deserving bouquets in the 12-inch embossed teal ceramic planter ($44.99) or display 10- and 11-inch hanging baskets ($12.50) that double as hideaways for spare doghouse keys. Customers can also narrow their searches for outdoor patio furniture at the Winchester and Falmouth locations.
Garden in the Woods is a 45-acre botanical garden, devoted to the conservation and promotion of native New England plants. Kid-friendly with scavenger hunts. Adult-friendly with guided walking tours Tues-Fri at 10am, Sat-Sun at 2pm.