Big Wave Dave's Pumpkin Patch outfits front stoops in fall finery with a showcase of locally grown, organic pumpkins, while regaling tots with a bevvy of free games and prizes. Customers peruse the orange orbs beneath an all-weather tent that repels rain and migrating autumn leaves, selecting future jack-o'-lanterns from the patch's assortment of $10, basketball-size gourds. The outdoor pumpkin emporium equips novice etchers with a variety of carving kits, candles, and stencils to surgically enhance unexpressive spheres with flickering grins. Kids can compete for prizes in a series of autumnal games, or vault over invisible hurdles in the Santa Barbara location's complimentary bounce house.
For more than 50 years, Green Meadow Nursery and Hardware has been cultivating greener gardens around the Santa Rosa Valley with 15-acres of homegrown, healthy, vibrant plants. Choose a 5-gallon bower vine to wind around fences or accessorize a fashion-conscious boa constrictor ($24.99). A 5-gallon maori queen brings a touch of regality to provincial plots ($29.99), and a 1-gallon ornamental carex testacea adds color and texture to lackluster lawns ($6.99). After shopping, customers can relax under an umbrella-shaded table by the gazebo amid statues and exotic plants or rush home with their nursery newbies to win the admiration of nosy neighbors and the block's most handsome horticulturalist.
Matilija Nursery yields seasonal crops of plants native to the Golden State and farther-flung environs—a stroll through the nursery’s rolling fields reveals such nonindigenous offerings as bearded irises that bloom in both spring and fall. Though the nursery has supplied Los Angeles, Santa Barbara, and Ventura counties with flora since 1992, its in-house botanical specialists began to hybridize Pacific Coast irises only recently, and the resulting varieties have proven as colorful as a sailor's vocabulary. Befitting of those who work so close to the earth, the nursery’s staff supports eco-friendly practices and populates the gardens with noninvasive, low-water plants. Customers can browse an online plant-availability database that regularly features botanicals such as matilija poppies, manzanitas, and hummingbird sages capable of luring their hovering namesakes in for a long drink of nectar.
The talented floral designers at Island View Nursery craft exquisite displays of foliage from a landscaping reservoir of nearly 10 acres. Arrangements meld together colorful flowers and lush plants in containers to give as gifts or to act as natural band-aids for wallpaper eyesores ($12.50+). Succulents ($3.25/4" pot), bromeliads ($8.50/4" pot), tillandsias ($3.50+), and orchids ($15+/4"–6" pot) supply photogenic photosynthesis, and interior plants such as palms, dracaena, and ficus give kids new places to build Lego treehouses ($2.75+/4" pot). An assortment of terra-cotta ($.59+) and ceramic pots ($5.50+) warmly coddles exterior plants such as bamboo, grasses, and trees ($2.99+/4" pot).
A Southwest-based company for more than a century, Frazee Paint and its team of manufacturers are well acquainted with the unique climactic conditions of the region. Always pulling from the latest technology, their technicians design each of their paint and coating products to withstand dry heat, sparse rainfall, and showers of chewing tobacco from passing cowboys. Their quality paints, wall-coverings, wood-care products, and painter's tools stock the shelves of more than 125 retail locations throughout California, Arizona, and Nevada, as well as international dealers in Mexico, China, and Guam.