Countless do-it-yourself projects would never have seen the light of day were it not for Aurora Rents—gardens would remain untended, furniture unsanded, bedrooms unpainted. Luckily, the locally owned and operated business has rented tools and equipment—all properly cared for—to northwestern craftspeople for 50 years. Equally as vital, each employee carries industry expertise around in his or her tool belt, and delights in providing insights, safety tips, and techniques for refinishing floors or shellacking homemade Trojan horses.
With a degree in landscape architecture from Washington State and more than 20 years of experience, Chris McAuslan crafts custom designs for both residential and commercial properties. When he isn't stocking his nursery with beautiful trees and shrubs, he installs landscape lighting, waterfalls, synthetic grass, and eco-friendly, solar-powered flowers.
A pesticide-free and carbon-neutral company, Lush Eco Lawns avoids harsh chemicals in lawn-grooming services. The crew includes a certified arborist and gardener. In addition to offering basic services, such as weekly mowing, core aeration, and hedge trimming, crew members also design rolling landscapes. The Lush Alive program feeds grass plots with a unique fertilizer, which brims with microorganisms and nutrients that work with nature rather than replacing grass blades with painted steel slivers. When the Lush Eco Lawns staffers aren't nurturing botanicals, they attend workshops and trade shows, where they proudly display their verdant thumbs.
One of the largest manufacturers and suppliers of paints in the Pacific Northwest, Parker Paint has been sprucing up interiors and exteriors since 1945. The company has evolved over the years to keep up with the latest advancements in painting technology. Among the multi-hued fruits of this evolution are weather-ready exterior paints, whose modern formulas scoff at the elements and prove ideal for realistic yet unflattering outdoor murals of the neighbors. With more than 1,600 shades to choose from, painters will find it nearly impossible to settle, like a bowl of jello during an earthquake. Luckily, customers can take advantage of the handy virtual decorator to narrow their choices and forecast what color schemes should be applied to which room, such as aquamarine themes for the exotic-fish room, bright primary colors for the inflatable fire escape, and a variety of yellows for a basement filled with antique butter churns.
Sprouting orchids fill the nursery at Emerald City Orchids and enchant visitors with a colorful bouquet of rare, imported, and locally grown specimens. Staff members deftly navigate the canopy of petals, helping hobbyists or green-thumbed experts pick out a particular species and arranging individual stems within decorative pots. Education is also a priority for the shop, which features informative reading materials on how to properly care for orchids and how to tell whether she loves you or loves you not without actually damaging a flower. Surrounded by the tropical ambiance of fragrant orchid blooms, the nursery's café area stimulates senses with the scent of percolating coffee, sweet pastries, and a selection of beers and wines.