Working with local artists, the home decor experts at Skylar's Home & Patio have assembled hundreds of unique furniture pieces and accessories made in the U.S. to fit many interior and exterior home-decor styles. The showroom displays sectionals and a variety of styles that include vintage-like and shabby-chic pieces for the dining room, living room, or bedroom, as well as ultrasleek stands for plasma TVs. Resin-wicker and cast-aluminum patio furniture dominate the outdoor-furniture selection, which includes fire pits that warm up backyard gatherings or make a fine replacement for temperamental office shredders.
Green Acres Nursery maintains more than 600 varieties of plants and trees on more than 15 acres, most of which are tailored to southwestern landscapes. White, ornamental star jasmine bushes ($9.78 for 5 gal.) will withstand drought while inviting visiting noses to whiff their ambrosial scents, while vibrant, purple bougainvillea ($4.20 for 1 gal.) will florally fill gaps in any fence to keep opossums from trespassing. Since the ordinary backyard aquascape has deflated Mylar balloons for lily pads and aged pitas for skipping stones, make your pond superb by adding naturally luscious philodendrons ($49.40 for 15 gal.). Green Acres Nursery cultivates each greenling on-site in its nursery, caring for them from the time they're a tiny bud to their first day of kindergarten. Click here to see what plants are currently available.
San Diego Botanic Garden envelops visitors in 37 acres of lush gardens and diverse terrain, offering nature-centric events and docent-led tours through the urban oasis. Explore the seemingly endless expanse of 28 themed gardens and venture into the world of verdure with the Australian Garden, rich in low-water plants and Vegemite, or the Mediterranean Garden, filled with fragrant water-smart plants such as lavender, rosemary, and Tang. Attend an insightful event, such as the Asian Arts in the Garden experience, or satisfy pressing cocoa queries at the Chocolate Festival. Peruse the premises with a gaggle of garden groupies, take a self-guided tour, or attend the free docent-led garden tour at 10:30 a.m. on Saturdays.
GardenShop owner John Harmeier brings passion and potted pageantry to soils with his vast collections of succulents, herbs, and locally sourced plants. Sprinkle sprite showers of fresh cilantro, basil, or rosemary ($3–$7) in home-cooked creations, or try your luck cultivating tomatoes ($3–$7) large enough to throw at Paul Bunyan on karaoke night. Gardens glean nourishment with vitamin-rich meals of Dr. Earth organic plant food ($8–$12), and abodes hone natural instincts with GardenShop's selection of indoor greenery, oft-stuffed into a variety of pots ($6–$15) dressed in bright colors or crafted from clean wood ($6–$15). The green-thumbed can tend to flowery broods of locally grown plumerias ($8–$35) with sets of sparkly garden tools ($6–$32) or cater to avian acquaintances with al fresco cafes ($6–$40).
Ace Hardware's well-stocked aisles abound with home goods, tools, and furnishings for nearly any home-improvement project. Pick up a Steel Grip six-piece screwdriver set ($8.49), a Stanley rip hammer ($9.49), and a whole bunch of screws, anchors, and bolts (prices vary), and you'll be ready to finally mount every buffalo nickel and steel penny in your coin collection. Home improvers can illuminate their newfound décor with a 6-pack of Ace bent tip light bulbs ($17.94), the better to see by while making use of a Purdy four-piece premium paint-tray kit ($19.99). For those who need to match paint to a favorite coverlet or choose a hue that complements a pleather recliner, most stores offer a paint-matching service free of charge. Keys can be copied, and barnacle-encrusted carpet cleaned with the help of a rented carpet-cleaning machine (inquire about pricing at your preferred location).