Gerald and Elisabeth Blake established Blake Farms in 1946 with the help of their 13 children. In the 60-plus years and several generations since, Blake's has spread their operation to three locations across the metro Detroit area. More than 500 acres of orchard and farmland compose the family business, and during certain seasons, that land allows average citizens a chance to give their robotic fruit harvesters a rest and come pick their own apples, strawberries, peaches, and pumpkins. Blake's becomes especially busy with the arrival of autumn, when it hosts an annual fall festival, and Christmastime, when its U-Cut tree program lets families team up to chop down their own tannenbaum.
Since 1950, the staff at Meldrum Brothers Nursery has stocked landscaping and design materials for both homeowners and contractors. Their bulk stones, mulch, trees, and plants beautify lawns for a more natural look than a yard of bedazzled astroturf. A sampling of their selection—which includes flowers, gifts, Christmas trees, and holiday décor—can be seen in their online photo gallery.
A verdant selection of landscape-quality shrubs and evergreens fills Jardins Boardwalk Gardens with blooming greenery. Guests select from more than 50 varieties including goldflame spirea, purple leaf sandcherry, and blue chip juniper. The selection of flowering shrubs can add colour to any garden or cover up the tire tracks left by gangs of motorcycle-riding ruffians. Decorative grasses such as purple fountain grass paint landscapes with fall hues, while plants such as cotoneaster suit green thumbs searching for low-maintenance lawns.
Gary Morgan’s pest-control techniques have been refined through his encounters with insects in the most unexpected of places. Called in to help a business solve its carpenter-ant problem, Morgan checked all the usual spots but found nary a bug in the building’s wood or along the exterior. He then tracked the tiny creatures back to an unopened computer box. Inside, he found a nest in the keyboard, and saw that the ants were feeding on the rubber mechanisms that gave the keys their spring action.
Morgan thrives on solving pest problems like these, the jobs that make him “everybody’s hero.” Growing up an outdoorsy kid who enjoyed hunting, fishing, and teaching trees how to read, he wasn’t sure what he wanted to be when he grew up. Then his brother got him an interview at an exterminator, and he “knew this is what I was supposed to do.” After gaining experience by working for companies such as Orkin, the independently minded Morgan eventually struck out on his own in 2003, buying Aapex Pest Control a year later. Today, he continues vanquishing structure-infesting intruders from cockroaches to rodents and proudly proclaims he’s smote every bed bug that’s ever challenged him to a pillow fight. In addition to servicing clients’ homes, he also posts tips to help homeowners prevent pest intrusions.
Stocked with all the stuff kids?and the young at heart?love, Z's Penny Candy is packed with candies, fresh popcorn, and pinatas. Inside the brightly-painted store, customers can explore the aisles to find boxes and bars of classics, from Snickers and Pez to bags of Big League Chew and jars stuffed with something your brother will just steal anyway. The staff also scoops up ice cream and keeps a slushie machine churning out cool treats for respite from the heat in the summertime.