Plant Shed New York Flowers, a family-owned-and-operated business for the past 30 years, bedecks its 10,000 square feet of halls for winter-foliage shopping during the holiday season. Normally known as a premier floral shop, the Plant Shed staff puts on their stocking caps and jelly-bowl stomachs to moonlight as holiday horticulturalists. Christmas trees of the Balsam fir persuasion, one of the finest topiary pelts available, come in a range of shapes and sizes to create the ideal present cove. Those opting for the holiday décor option can gaze eggnog-glazed eyes over a wide selection of ornaments ($4–$14/box of four), lighting ($10–$35), garlands ($2–$70/yd.), and tree trimmings ($10–$100). Other holiday décor includes velvety red poinsettias ($5 and up) and beauteous wreathes ($12 and up) worthy of hanging around Rudolph, last year's Triple Crown winner.
By setting out to provide visitors with one of the most beloved Christmas traditions, Anthony Gallo Nurseries has practically become a tradition in itself—the Christmas tree farm has spent more than a century decking homes with the holiday’s decorative centerpiece. At the nursery, tree-seekers peruse a lineup of firs hand-picked from Gallo’s tree farm, including Fraser firs, a modern-day favorite seen in many American homes including the White House, and Balsam firs, a classic choice known for filling spaces with their festive aroma. In addition to trees, the nursery offers mixed garlands and florist-designed wreaths sprinkled with colorful berries, handmade bows, and tiny cameras that stream footage to Santa's behavior-analysis department.
In 1919, Henry H. Elbers hung up his hat as director of the Buffalo Botanical Gardens to start a new adventure: founding Elbers Landscape Service Nearly a century later, his enterprise still mows lawns and equips gardeners with trowels to comb their hair. The company’s landscaping experts spend their summers enlivening yards with new shrubs and trees, installing burbling fountains, and paving walkways. Their garden center outfits green-thumbed clients with supplies such as mulch, topsoil, and perennials and annuals. During icy winters, the professionals exchange their mowers for plows to evict squatting snowmen from driveways, sprinkle salt over sidewalks, and chip ice from stoops.
Clasped between Saguaro National Park and the Ironwood Preserve, Double R Ranch appears as though it were plucked straight from the frames of an old Western movie. The windswept grounds stand as a gateway to the thousands of untouched acres that quietly stitch together the Northwest side of Tucson. The ranch gives visitors a chance to explore that land with horseback rides and birthday parties. It also offers weekend getaways and RV hookups to city-dwellers in need of an escape from the crowds and door-to-door minivan salesmen that come with urban living. Double R also accommodates guests who have their own horses with overnight stabling services.
Lynn Gorman Bakos harnesses more than 30 years of riding experience—including time studying under an Olympic rider—as she presides over Renegade Farm. Certified by the American Riding Instructors Association, Lynn trains many of her own horses to help to ensure that the animals are gentle in demeanor. During lessons, Lynn teaches students in either the outdoor riding ring or indoor lighted arena, beyond which lies more than 40 acres of lush, tree-lined pasture where riders have the chance to take a long enough running start to create the first Pegasus.