With a verdant variety of shrubs, trees, roses, and vines, the friendly plantologists will help you wade through the veritable ocean of foliage. Beginning green-thumbers can take advantage of a jumbo planting kit, including ample plant food, vitamin B1, and planting compost—everything a person needs to lure an unsuspecting plant into captivity ($15.97 for the regular kit; $29.97 for the jumbo kit). Advanced yard-enhancements abound in the form of trees and shrubs, such as a selection of 5-gallon citrus trees, good for accenting a living space and forming a focal point for the worship of the Lemon Pledge gods ($34.99). Armstrong can also help organic gardeners reach full-flavored nirvana with a bevy of 3-inch plant varieties ($2.99; selections vary by season and location).
As part of its mission to cultivate Southern California’s native flora, the Theodore Payne Foundation encourages Californians to get acquainted with their rootsy neighbors during its introductory four-hour native-plant horticulture class. Horticulturalist Lili Singer reveals which area plants survive droughts and attract native birds and butterflies, and which ones are just Old Man Jasper from the abandoned amusement park wearing a ghost mask. She'll also clarify the concept of plant communities and give you tips on selecting plants for various types of gardens. By the end of the class, green thumbs and their attached humans will gain an introductory-level initiation into establishing new plantings as well as how to encourage plants' growth by pruning them, irrigating them, and attending their piano recitals. Graduates will be eligible for the foundation’s three-part course in native-plant garden design.
Founded in the Netherlands in 1999, Oil & Vinegar offers customers the chance to experience exciting new tastes. Visitors choose from more than 40 “on tap” vinegar and olive-oil flavors that glow from within their suspended glass containers. The staff makes transporting purchases convenient by selling bottles onsite or filling bottles brought from home.
Condiments come in creative flavors, such as blood-orange grapeseed oil and hibiscus vinegar, and include standouts from Italy, Spain, Greece, France, South Africa, Morocco, USA, and even Japan. The list is almost as impressive as the number of Oil & Vinegar stores (more than 90) peppered across 13 countries. Guests can sample the oils and vinegars before committing, and stock their cupboards with the shop’s other offerings—appetizers, herbs and spices, pasta, and even serving dishes.
After 95 years of business, Crown City Hardware has established itself as a beacon of high-quality hardware goods, offering more than 100,000 items and cultivating professional relationships with more than 600 suppliers. Perusing the general department preps homeowners for everyday household projects with Gorilla Glue Super Glue ($3.69), paintbrushes ($0.39+), and WD-40 ($7.79). Meanwhile, the builders' section at the store's back counter houses a host of popular reproductions and exclusive restoration hardware, including solid forged brass handrail brackets ($33.99), which offers stair-climbers support and stability, and Jeffersonian rain gauges ($189.99), which can measure the rainfall in backyards or the number of tears you’ve cried since Firefly was cancelled.
As guests peruse aisles of annuals, perennials, roses, trees, and shrubs at Classic Nursery, they are admiring a selection of backyard-ready plants that has been honed by the nursery's owners for more than 20 years. The chlorophyll-savvy staff can help to direct customers toward high-maintenance plants or the blooms that will flourish in all types of sunlight and soil. The staff can also recommend just the right organic compost, seed cover, or potting soil that will expedite plant growth or feed a vase that’s a picky eater.