Stocking lauded furniture brands, including Lloyd Flanders and Brown Jordan, the adept designers at Blackjack Gardens help chic-seeking customers find couches, chairs, and trimmings to outfit their roofless retreats. Among the extensive collection are simple and stylish sling seats such as the Crimson Casual Bayside chair ($159). The shop's array of accessories, including Vietri Aladdin outdoor silverware ($20–$99) and planters, primp patios. Deck dwellers will also find myriad ways to spruce up dining digs with seat-soothing cushions and Treasure Garden outdoor umbrellas, which offer protection from the harsh sun and privacy from the eavesdropping moon.
Lawn Doctor's roots lead back to the mid 1960s, when friends Bob Magda and Tony Giordano took on the endeavor of reviving uncared-for lawns in their hometown of Matawan, New Jersey. Their local business has since blossomed into a national franchise with more than 500 locations across the United States, each adhering to the mission of enhancing lawns' allure with time-tested techniques, dedicated customer service, and dabs of foundation makeup.
Before Lawn Doctor's assiduous staffers unleash expertise on swards, they arrive at the client's home for a complimentary consultation to gauge each lawn's specific needs. Grass gurus can thicken turf with their patented Turf Tamer power seeder and foster healthy growth for grass, trees, and shrubs with fertilizer. Uninvited lawn assailants—such as crickets, ants, and grazing neighbors—shudder at the sight of Lawn Doctor's pest-control experts. The company also helps to preserve Mother Nature's receding hairline with organic lawn treatments and natural, eco-friendly products.
Signature Landscapes founder Sharon Heinz draws on more than 10 years of landscaping experience to transform outdoor spaces, increasing the beauty and value of clients' properties. Using special imaging software, she generates before and after images of homes so that customers can see how lush greenery, flower beds, ornamental ponds, and other features will look. If desired, she and her team can also install fencing, gazebos, and additional built-in elements.
If you plant it, they will come. The words rang in Jim Bennett’s ears as he shot awake in September 2009. Jim had dreamed of taking his daughter to a pumpkin patch, and when he awoke that night he scribbled plans to bring that dream to life. Over the next year, Jim and his crew hand planted pumpkin seeds on the fourth-generation Bennett Farm to prepare it for a fate quite different than its 60 years as a cattle farm without a single crop grown on it.
These days, pumpkins and gourds wait on the vine in three patches as hayrides pass by daily. At the petting farm, youngsters interact with sheep, miniature horses, and miniature-miniature horses, which mice rode in the old west. Kids can also navigate a hay-bale maze, frolic in the corn crib, and race down a 36-inch, 20-foot-long pipe slide.
Chefs in the cook house craft teacakes, pork skins, and apple pies with a wood-burning stove and wash pots hanging over an open fire. In the sorghum mill, workers transform farm-grown cane syrup, which the Bennetts sell in their country store alongside handmade soap and honey from local vendors.