Owner Phil Glaser and his staff of grass whisperers have been nurturing lawns for more than 10 years. Yard experts aerate homeowners' slices of the outdoors to stimulate new root growth, creating durable root systems able to withstand the heat of summer, the cold of winter, and the chill of spilled ice water. Alternatively, the grass gurus can nourish lawns by spreading seeds. The tiny morsels of flora food help transform sparse plots into luscious and verdant grasslands rivaled only by a biodome stocked with chia pets.
Snug in your bed, you awake with a jolt to a mysterious thump. Tossing aside the covers, you tip-toe out of your bedroom to investigate the sound. You hear another thump, and your heart races—it's coming from the attic. As soon as you pull down the stairs to climb up, a bat swoops down with a screech. But this is no horror movie—this is a pest-control problem.
Owner Aaron Steen knows just how to get those spooky critters out of homes safely and efficiently. He and his team of experts inspect the property for gaps, install eviction valves that allows bats to escape (but not reenter), and provide cleaning and sanitization of the indoor space as needed. They even offer a three-year guarantee where they will return to treat the structure whenever necessary.
A well-rounded company, Smart Pest Solutions can handle more than just bats. With their deep knowledge of local pests and free consultations, they can develop a customized treatment plan to handle everything from spiders and ants to hornets, cockroaches, and even raccoons.
After the Cedar Rapids Parade of Homes honored Jason Buresh's well-groomed yard with its Curb Appeal award, Buresh decided to capitalize on his landscaping talent. In January of 2000, he established Artistic Landscaping and Lawn Care. Although Buresh earned a formal degree in applied science and agricultural marketing from Kirkwood Community College, his lawn-care education actually started in childhood, when he honed his knowledge of plants and landscape design on his family’s farm. Today, Artistic Landscaping and Lawn Care creates lush, green lawns with aeration, dethatching, fertilizing, seeding, and mowing services. The company also installs greenery and retaining walls to beautify yards or keep out roving bands of lawn flamingos.
Iowa City Fencing Center founder Judy O'Donnell has speared more than 30 years of experience in the Olympic sport of fencing. She has represented the United States numerous times on an international stage, and has taught beginners and global competitors alike.
In 2010, Judy opened ICFC to share with the community her lifetime's worth of dueling wisdom, offering instruction in all three styles of fencing: foil, epee, and saber. Her encouraging commands bounce off the walls of two large training rooms, where groups meet to practice blade work and churn out meticulously carved pumpkins. Classes at ICFC are available to students starting at the age of 5, and private lessons provide the opportunity to train with Judy one-on-one.
Grape Escape Winery’s name isn’t simply a boozy play on a Steve McQueen movie. For its vintners, planting their own vineyard signified the chance to break free from the typical work routine and spend more time together. From their 8 acres of grapes—supplemented by pickings from 15 other Iowa vineyards—the crafters fill their casks with 13 varietals ranging from sweet to dry. Visitors to the winery may saunter through the pastoral rows of vines, savor tastes of a red, white, or blush over the fire pit, or, on Saturday nights in summer, take in a movie right in the vineyard.
Altoona's cookie bouquets add a touch of sweetness to already special occasions by bundling 14 colorful, individually wrapped cookies into one scrumptious bundle. Each baked bunch arrives on the recipient's doorstep bursting with a rainbow of eye-catching hues, complete with a chic bow, basket, and a heartfelt note from its birth oven. Hands unwrap the candy-colored rounds to reveal the dessert staples in a single flavor such as sugar, chocolate chip, peanut butter, or ginger. For an additional cost (not covered by today's Groupon), buyers can further accessorize their cookie cluster with mylar balloons, stuffed animals, or clumps of broccoli to render them Santa-proof.