Sunshine Ace Hardware stockpiles more than 40,000 tools, fishing gear, housewares, and other handy items across six local storefronts. Three-piece stainless steel barbecue sets ($24.99) brave scorching flames as chefs spear, flip, and sear entrees over backyard grills. Fasten loose screws or ease bolts from lab experiments’ necks with a 21-piece drill bit set from Craftsman ($24.99), or beckon fish from the waves with a deluxe Shimano Zircos 4000 rod and reel fishing combo ($79.99). In downtown Naples, whimsical hardware-themed fixtures illuminate Sunshine Ace Hardware’s recently remodeled flagship store, whose walls are dappled with photos of the store’s 60-year history and prehistoric man’s discovery of circular saws.
Unfurling across almost two verdant acres, Bayshore Garden Center populates outdoor areas with thousands of plants ready to boost botanical credentials. A staff of professional green-thumbs solves shoppers’ horticultural quandaries, from sharing facts on seasonal flowering annuals ($1.29 each) and juice-laden peach trees ($29.99+) to fielding questions on whether or not pine cones can experience love. Hang a 10-inch premium basket ($11.99) to enthrall area bird populations, or wow garden-peeping passersby with the coquettish pink flowers of a hibiscus ($9.99). Bayshore Garden Center also stocks a wide selection of bushes and shrubs, with entrants such as the heat-friendly butterfly bush ($11.97) ready to thrive in a front lawn’s center stage or grow a labyrinth around backyard minotaurs. In addition to aboveground aesthetics, Bayshore Garden Center carries fertilizer and other nutrient-packed soil amendments to keep gardens green and vibrant.
Educational Concerns for Hunger Organization was founded as Educational Concerns for Haiti Organization by businessman and philanthropist Richard Dugger as a method of providing much-needed agricultural training for aid workers and missionaries. Throughout its 31-year history, the interdenominational nonprofit has grown to house a nursery of tropical plants, a 7.5-acre farm, and a resource center of over 4,000 books and publications centered around providing sustainable food chains and livelihoods in poverty-stricken tropical areas. Celebrating its grand mission of training those who help the hungry and the poor, ECHO introduces visitors to rainforest climates and innovative urban gardening techniques in its Global Farm and preserves rare species while educating the public on complicated exchange rates at the seed bank. Each purchase made helps actualize this mission.
ECHO's volunteers promote food security in tropical and arid regions throughout the world with over 75,000 hours of work each year, and the hardworking 51-person staff of horticulturists, researchers, and program directors teach aid workers and the general public with a variety of workshops, internships, and guided tours on the verdant fields and well-tended nurseries of its bustling campus.
The warm aromas of chocolate orange and Creamsicle tisane emanate from above, rousing the senses of visitors as they climb the spiral steps from Franklin Shops into Tea & Wine Loft. Along with blooming teas, domestic and imported beers and wines wash down the loft's roster of edibles, which include quiches, tuna salad, and numerous vegetarian and gluten-free options. White couches line the walls, beckoning guests to plop down and enjoy their plates as they shed single tears over the beauty of the artwork adorning the space. Those with an adventurous streak can subject themselves to the elements in the outdoor seating area before visiting the loft's retail area to restock on loose-leaf teas and teapots.
At Ruth Messmer Florist Inc., third-generation florists arrange fragrant roses, asiatic lilies, and vivid daisies into fragrant bouquets for any occasion. They can create classic arrangements with sleek, simple glass vases and decorative ribbons or enhance blooms with creative flourishes such as plush stuffed animals, balloons, or wicker baskets.
In addition to flowers, florists fill gift baskets with epicurean treats such as Ghirardelli chocolates, dried meats, fruit, and wheels of cheese jacked from Mighty Mouse’s Cadillac.
Fort Myers Florist's green thumbs artfully arrange bouquets in traditional and modern fashions for myriad occasions. Colorful sprays of florals or decadent candies are gifted by the shop's signature Flower Folks, whose round yellow faces greet recipients with a mischievous grin and a charming one-liner. The Flower Folks' cast of characters includes the broad-smiling Grinster, who totes an array of seasonal blossoms ($29.99+), the puck-kissing Toothless Joe, who embraces a boon of sweet treats ($29.95), and the debonair Baby Blues, who woos recipients with a mixture of white and yellow daisies and three yellow roses ($29.99+).