The gardening gurus at Cottage Gardens of Petaluma grow all of the plants that they sell onsite, including the year-round vegetable garden and annuals. That means they can not only vouch for each plant’s health and acclimation to the area’s climate, but they are happy to advise budding gardeners on how to properly care for each plant. They can point shoppers toward bee-friendly perennials, for instance, or help them choose brassica veggies for an autumn harvest. Cottage Gardens of Petaluma also carries dozens of succulents, from the leafy crassula variety to a sturdy aloe plant.
In addition to plants, the nursery stocks a variety of soil fortifiers, such as nutrients and hardhats for earthworms. It also empowers green thumbs to beautify gardens with accessories including sculptures, terra-cotta planters, and baskets. Guests are also welcome to peruse the grounds to simply enjoy the beauty.
For more than three decades, ABC Tree Farms have provided the Bay Area with seasonal fun October through December. Summer inspires the first round of recreation in the form of Summer Fun Zones packed with inflatable bounce houses masquerading as castles and slides and fresh harvests of local cherries, peaches, melons, and other fruits. During October, they run 20 pumpkin-themed locations, some of which also feature inflatable bounce houses and other attractions. Once Thanksgiving passes, groves of Christmas trees spring up, having made their way south from Oregon and Washington. There they will stand until Christmas Eve, hoping to decorate homes or become the model that inspires a revamped line of evergreen air fresheners.
For 20 years, the husband and wife team at Fine Art & Frame have brightened local walls with posters, original art, and frames. Their cheerful, colorful shop is a hub for art aficionados. Crafters and artists can drop by to chat with owner, Maureen, who designs and sells jewelry out of the shop. Hanging in grids from the bright green walls, a collection of paintings, photography, and etchings by local artists can go home with shoppers for a trial run?if the piece doesn't suit your style or match your dog's eyes, it can go back to the store. The staff can also elevate two-dimensional items into artful wall displays with professional framing services. Their frame styles run the gamut from ornate mouldings with bright mats to spare, modern wood or metal.
Unlike productivity-driven bosses and staunch proponents of gravity, Airward encourages people to keep their heads in the clouds, offering flying lessons, scenic tours, and aircraft rentals.
Within the cockpits of Cessna and Piper aircrafts, its pilots fly passengers on custom tours of the Bay Area and help novices grip the yoke for the first time during introductory flight lessons. Subsequent lessons—typically over three to six months—turn students into licensed pilots, at which point they can fire up the propellers on Airward's seven rental planes. Lifting off from Novato, these aircraft can take short trips to nearby Tahoe or two-day journeys across state lines. Back on the ground, the staffers in Airward's equipment shop stock thousands of items for airplane repair, maintenance, and upgrades, including oil filters, microphones, and FAA aeronautical charts.